|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Jonjo Shelvey’s pass-mastery delivers Newcastle to win over West Ham
Louise Taylor at St James' Park
Date Published Saturday 16 January 2016 17.28 GMT
Jonjo Shelvey announced his £12m arrival on Tyneside with a characteristically chameleon-like performance. If helping to create both Newcastle’s goals while also supplying the afternoon’s best passes delighted his new public, the former Swansea midfielder was lucky to escape a sending off as Steve McClaren finally got the better of Slaven Bilic.
Newcastle’s former England manager and West Ham’s ex-Croatia coach are good friends and they embraced warmly at a final whistle which brought McClaren a first win in seven games and a precious three points in the struggle for Premier League survival. It left Bilic clearly disappointed by a setback which dented the visitors’ European ambitions and West Ham only really woke up following Nikica Jelavic’s introduction.
“We have to admit Newcastle were better and deserved to beat us,” he conceded. “Our first half was very poor.”
McClaren has long lacked a midfielder with a passing range as varied as Shelvey’s and the new boy quickened play up appreciably. “The speed of Jonjo’s pass give us an extra two seconds and means defences can’t recover,” said Newcastle’s manager.
Shelvey’s fabulous long pass picked out Daryl Janmaat wide on the right in the preamble to the second goal, and the right-back’s whipped cross was met on the volley by Georginio Wijnaldum. As it whizzed past Adrián, McClaren had reason to reflect on just how much more effective Wijnaldum had been since his repositioning in a new role behind Aleksandar Mitrovic.
As the impressive Dutchman celebrated his ninth goal of the season Newcastle fans were enjoying the rare sensation of having a two-goal cushion. Taking full advantage of West Ham’s wobbly start, Ayoze Pérez had given his team an early lead, curling a clever shot from the edge of the area just inside a post in the wake of Shelvey’s smart pass and Wijnaldum’s equally adroit lay-off.
In between those goals Fabricio Coloccini’s splendid interception prevented Michail Antonio scoring following Aaron Cresswell’s cross but, generally, McClaren’s side displayed an almost unprecedented degree of control.
The Gallowgate End could well have been celebrating a third but Moussa Sissoko saw his shot blocked after a moment of hesitation. Shortly afterwards Shelvey experienced one of those red-mist moments which even his biggest fans accept he can be prone to.
Blocking Enner Valencia’s advance with a hefty off-the-ball upper-arm barge was not a good idea and he was fortunate not to be shown a red card. The sight of Valencia going down clutching his face prompted a mini-melee and the referee Neil Swarbrick called on the captains to help restore order.
When the dust settled Shelvey was not even booked. This opens the door to potential retrospective action from the Football Association but that would depend on Swarbrick – who was close at hand – not having seen the incident.
McClaren saw it as a fuss about nothing. “Handbags, shoulder to shoulder,” he said. “Let’s talk about the game not something which might make stupid little headlines.” Bilic proved diplomatic. “There were some strange decisions,” he said. “But I don’t want to comment on it.”
His primary concern had been salvaging at least a point and, sent on for the second half, Jelavic very nearly turned the tide. Indeed the substitute striker scored with his second touch.
Having intercepted Chancel Mbemba’s negligent backpass -– with Valencia’s close attendance perhaps scrambling the centre-half’s mind -– he rounded Rob Elliot before rolling the ball into the empty net and claiming his first Premier League goal for West Ham.
If Mitrovic’s erratic finishing had not betrayed some stellar hold-up play Newcastle would have won comfortably. Instead West Ham began highlighting Shelvey’s occasional tendency to concede possession in dangerous areas and Elliot denied Cheikou Kouyaté with a knee following Jelavic’s cross.
McClaren looked to be in agony during seven minutes of stoppage time. “A massive three points,” he acknowledged afterwards. “I’m going to enjoy a glass of red wine.”
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS, PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE FROM THE PREMIER LEAGUE CLASH
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Elliot 6.5; Janmaat 7, Mbemba 5, Coloccini 7.5, Dummett 6 (Saivet 57, 6); Shelvey 8, Colback 6; Sissoko 6.5, Wijnaldum 7, Perez 7 (Gouffran 80); Mitrovic 6.5 (Lascelles 90)
Subs: Darlow, Aarons, Riviere, Toney
Scorers: Perez 6, Wijnaldum
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Adrian 7.5; Tomkins 6 (Jenkinson 75, 6), Collins 6, Ogbonna 5, Cresswell 6; Kouyate 6, Obiang 5 (Jelavic 46, 7); Antonio 5.5 (Moses 70, 6.5), Noble 6, Payet 6; Valencia 6
Subs: Randolph, Reid, Song, Cullen
Ref: Neil Swarbrick
MOM: Jonjo Shelvey
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