Newcastle completes 3-0 rout of West Ham

Joselu, Ciaran Clark and Aleksandar Mitrovic sealed a 3-0 victory for Newcastle United over West Ham in the Premier League.

The goal capped a strong showing from Newcastle in the wake of its humbling EFL Cup exit at the hands of Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.   -  Getty Images

Newcastle United got its first win of the season as Joselu, Ciaran Clark and Aleksandar Mitrovic fired it to a 3-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday.

Rafa Benitez's men had not won a competitive match since they beat Barnsley on the last day of the 2016-17 Championship season, but they fully deserved to take all three points at St James' Park.

Joselu scored his first goal for the club nine minutes before half-time and its lead rarely looked in doubt before Clark's header made it 2-0 on 72 minutes.

West Ham looked like a team bereft of confidence as it failed to threaten a comeback from the moment Joselu bundled in the lead.

Javier Hernandez, who scored twice in the 3-2 loss at Southampton, came closest to an equaliser before Clark and Mitrovic made the most of some dreadful defending to put the result beyond doubt.

An end-to-end but scrappy first 15 minutes saw Newcastle have penalty appeals waved away for a high foot from Mark Noble, before Isaac Hayden lashed a half-volley narrowly over Joe Hart's crossbar.

There was concern for West Ham midway through the half as Andre Ayew received lengthy treatment for an accidental blow to the face, the Ghana international returning to the pitch with protective strapping on his nose after being caught by the studs of Javi Manquillo following a sliding challenge.

The build-up from both teams had been drastically low on quality but Newcastle broke the deadlock with the game's first truly good passing move. Mikel Merino sent a fine throughball into the path of Christian Atsu down the left, and his cut-back was steered home by Joselu, despite the best efforts of the covering Aaron Cresswell.

Newcastle, buoyed by its breakthrough, started the second half as it finished the first and Hart had to react well to push a low shot from Ayoze Perez away from his bottom-left corner.

Hernandez, who had scored three times in four starts against Newcastle before Saturday's meeting, thought he had netted again as he turned a rebound goalwards following Rob Elliot's save from Cresswell, but a combination of the goalkeeper and Clark just kept the ball from crossing the line.

West Ham was slowly beginning to take control of the game but Newcastle almost doubled its lead in brilliant fashion, with Hart making a good stop to deny Matt Ritchie and Pablo Zabaleta making a timely clearance on the rebound.

But with 18 minutes left, the visitor was undone by the sort of poor defending that has been a hallmark of its dismal start to the season. Ritchie found space to the right of the area and his cross was headed into the bottom-left corner by Clark, who appeared unmarked just six yards from goal.

Hart made a good save to deny Mitrovic from close range but the substitute made amends with four minutes to play, rounding the England goalkeeper before slotting home after West Ham's dreadful attempt at an offside trap backfired.

The goal capped a strong showing from Newcastle in the wake of its humbling EFL Cup exit at the hands of Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, but the pressure on Slaven Bilic will only increase after another listless Hammers performance.


Key Opta stats: 

- West Ham has lost all three of its Premier League games this season – the last time that it did this was in 2010-11, when it ended the season bottom of the league.
- This was Newcastle's 18th Premier League win against West Ham United – only versus Aston Villa (22) and Tottenham Hotspur (21) have they won more often.
- Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored five and assisted two more in his last 10 Premier League appearances.
- Joe Hart has conceded 20 goals in his last six appearances in league competition.


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