West Ham 2-3 Newcastle United
West Ham manager David Moyes could not hide his disappointment at this defeat, which kept his side rooted in the lower reaches of the Premiership relegation battle.
An aggrieved manager was quick to highlight big mistakes on the first Newcastle goal and that the second was off side. “I’m disappointed but it’ll happen,” said Moyes. “We knew if we could win this today we could get away from the bottom.”
The manager admitted that the team had missed their talismanic midfielder Manuel Lanzini, who was serving the second game of his ludicrous two match suspension for the diving charge at Stoke last week.
Moyes identified the failure to convert a penalty when two one down as a pivotal moment in the game. “The penalty was such a big moment in the game, the chance to get back to 2-2.” We need to get a little bit more reliable when it comes to penalties,” said Moyes.
The manager also revealed that he would be looking at the goalkeeping situation again, after this result, meaning Joe Hart maybe returning for the game at Bournemouth on Boxing Day.
The game all started so well for West Ham, with just five minutes on the clock, when Marco Arnautovic intercepted a sloppy pass across the back by Henri Saivet. The Austrian striker then ran on to cooly finish under the advancing keeper Rob Elliot.
The lead only lasted four minutes as Saivet made amends curling a free kick inside the post .
The game continue to ebb and flow with first the visitors twice hitting the woodwork. West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku saw his long range effort pushed aside by Elliot, while Michel Antonio then nodded wide from an excellent Arnautovic cross.
The game continue apace in the second half, with Arautovic seeing his shot go narrowly wide of the post. But seven minutes into the half Christian Atsu cutting in from the left laid the ball on a plate for Mohamed Diame to prod home.
Two minutes later came the penalty as Antonio broke through the middle only to be pulled down by Ciaran Clark. Andre Ayew strode up to take the penalty but his body shape said it all, resulting in Elliot pushing the effort away.
Another sloppy piece of football from the home side saw the ball given away in midfield, only for Newcastle to break at speed with three against two defenders – the move was finished by Christian Atsu.
West Ham clawed a goal back as Andy Carroll’s header from a corner rebounded to Ayew, who rammed the ball high into the net. The home side continued to press but in the end all to no avail.Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez was happy with the result. “It was a great day for our fans and for our players,” said Benitez, who felt his team had been hard done by in recent games, not getting the results their efforts deserved