David Moyes said West Ham United paid the price for a succession of errors as Newcastle United scored a surprise 3-2 victory at London Stadium.
The Hammers began the day full of festive cheer, but their Christmas was ruined as the Magpies came from a goal down to secure their first win in ten Premier League matches.
Marko Arnautovic gave West Ham the perfect start, only for the visitors to equalise within four minutes through Henri Saivet’s free-kick. Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie then hit the woodwork before Mohamed Diame and Christian Atsu fired Newcastle two goals clear with half-an-hour to play.
Andre Ayew then missed a penalty before slamming a loose ball high into the net to set up a dramatic finish, but Moyes’ side could not fashion a late leveller.
It was just one of those days when we made error after error and it ended up with them scoring goals
“It was just a game full of errors. It was an error from them for the first goal, but certainly from us it was error after error all game and we just couldn’t pull it together,” said the manager. “We kept at it, huffing and puffing, but never really produced anything of any note in the whole game.
“Individually, we have to take responsibility for some of the things we’ve done. We’ll look at things and see what we could have done better as a team, but we just really messed up for the third goal, we missed a penalty on the day and just didn’t do the jobs well enough.
“For their first goal, we gave away two free-kicks in the lead up to it, we didn’t pass it well enough out from the back or use it well enough and it was just one of those days when we made error after error and it ended up with them scoring goals.”
While his team undoubtedly gave everything, Moyes admitted his players had ultimately not played well enough at either end of the pitch to deserve a share of the spoils.
Even when they were handed a golden opportunity to level from the penalty spot when 2-1 down, Ayew’s effort was saved by Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
“Probably, we hadn’t deserved to get back into the game because in the first half they had two good chances where they hit the post and the bar, but we needed to get back into it.
“The crowd had been good to us and stayed behind us and if we’d got the penalty I think it would have changed things.
“We’ve already missed two penalty kicks since I’ve been here and, when you’re in the position we’re in, you’ve just can’t afford to do that and you’ve got to take your chances.”
Moyes said his players have to get Saturday’s performance out of their systems quickly and they now have two important training sessions to prepare for the Boxing Day trip to AFC Bournemouth.
“We’ve shown good improvement at times. Saturday was always going to be different because we had to show what we could do and I don’t think we did that.
“We stuck at it and tried to get back in it, but ultimately we didn’t do enough, especially when we were in front, which was the biggest disappointment.
“Whatever the result is at this time of year, though, you just have to roll on to the next game.”