Late fightback not enough as Irons beaten by Newcastle
Two goals in six first-half minutes, plus a Jonjo Shelvey free-kick from range, proved enough to condemn West Ham to a 3-2 defeat against Newcastle at London Stadium despite a late surge from the Hammers.
Headed goals from Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez helped Steve Bruce’s side to record their second away win of the season as the Iron’s search for a Premier League win stretches to five games.
Shelvey’s second-half effort rubbed further salt into the wounds, but it wouldn’t prevent West Ham from clawing their way back into the contest as Fabien Balbuena and Robert Snodgrass struck late on as they looked for a share of the points.
The Hammers, who were unchanged from last week’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United, earned 10 corners against the Blades but were unable to turn the ball home. Their fortunes almost changed when Snodgrass curled in a teasing set-piece just before the 15-minute mark only for Balbuena to poke wide of the upright.
That miss proved costly as two minutes later the Magpies edged themselves in front. Shelvey’s deep free-kick that followed Issa Diop’s foul on Miguel Almiron hung nicely in the air for Joelinton at the back post. Newcastle’s £40m summer signing nodded the ball back across the face of goal for Clark to rise highest and nod home his first of the season.
Things went from bad to worse six minutes later as a short corner routine caught out the Hammers’ defence. A teasing ball from Jetro Willems on the left-flank was greeted by Fernandez’s powerful header as the ball looped over Roberto and into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Roberto was all that stopped Steve Bruce’s men from charging into an early three-goal lead when he stood tall to deny Allan Saint-Maximin one-on-one after the pacey frontman was set free on the counter.
The striker had an almost identical chance shortly after the half-hour mark but was denied by another piece of fine goalkeeping. The rebound fell back to the Frenchman who in turn teed-up Almiron, but the winger was unable to slot home as the Hammers looked to gain a footing in the game.
The Irons went close through Sebastien Haller’s acrobatic effort and were denied by Dubravka’s finger-tip save as Balbuena’s goal-bound header was tipped over.
Manuel Pellegrini made a double change at half-time, bringing off Mark Noble and Andriy Yarmolenko for Manuel Lanzini and Albian Ajeti, in an attempt to mount a comeback.
It was almost a nightmare start to the second-half though as DeAndre Yedlin stabbed home at the second attempt only for it to be chalked off for offside.
Former Academy of Football schoolboy Shelvey ensured that didn’t matter as he fired his free-kick from range low and into the bottom corner to make it 3-0 six minutes after the re-start and put the Magpies out of reach.
Balbuena had yet another chance to convert as Snodgrass’ corner dropped inside the six-yard box, and this time the Paraguayan stabbed home as Pellegrini’s men looked to claw their way back into the game with 15-minutes remaining.
Snodgrass set-up a nervy finish with a fantastic strike from just inside the area on the stroke of 90 minutes.
Despite the late pressure it ultimately proved to be a case of too little, too late for West Ham as they prepare to dust themselves down ahead of next weekend’s trip to Burnley’s Turf Moor.
West Ham United: Roberto, Zabaleta (Fredericks 72), Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell, Rice, Noble (Ajeti 46), Snodgrass, Yarmolenko (Lanzini 46), Felipe Anderson, Haller
Subs not used: Martin, Ogbonna, Sanchez, Fornals
Goal: Balbuena 73, Snodgrass 90
Newcastle United: Dubravka, Yedlin, Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Willems (Dummett 87), Almiron, Shelvey, Hayden, Saint-Maximin (Atsu 77), Joelinton (Carroll 89)
Subs not used: Darlow, Krafth, M Longstaff, Gayle
Goal: Clark 16, Fernandez 22, Shelvey 51
Referee: Stuart Attwell