|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Javier Hernández double helps West Ham end Newcastle’s winning run
Louise Taylor at St James' Park
Date Published Sat 1 Dec 2018 17.19 GMT
Felipe Anderson will surely haunt DeAndre Yedlin’s memory for some considerable time. The Brazilian’s devastatingly intelligent change of pace periodically unhinged Newcastle’s entire back four but, as his specific marker, the USA right-back endured a particularly chastening match. His sense of self-esteem may take a while to recover.
If Anderson destabilised his hosts, Newcastle suffered the further indignity of dissection by Robert Snodgrass’s left-footed precision and were grateful Javier Hernández converted only two of the chances that came his way. By the time Anderson claimed a merited stoppage-time third, the sense of Geordie optimism engendered by a recent three-game winning run had long since evaporated.
“Felipe’s still learning the Premier League but he’s improving with every game,” said a contented Manuel Pellegrini who revealed Hernández’s recent appearances have been restricted by a virus. “I’m so happy for Javier,” said the West Ham manager. “He’s been five weeks ill.”
All in all it was a day on which the £100m invested by West Ham last summer seemed shrewd business, while Newcastle’s £20m transfer market profit appeared high-risk folly rather than prudence. “West Ham spent money on offensive players and that made the difference,” said Benítez, pointedly. “It’s a reminder of how tough things can be for us. If you don’t take your chances and another team has quality, this is what happens.”
Fortune began frowning on Newcastle as Hernández gave West Ham an 11th-minute lead, his goal coinciding with the late arrival of a minority of fans who had delayed their entry to the ground to precisely the same moment. The idea was to stage a “walk-in” protest to highlight the overall awfulness of Mike Ashley’s 11-year ownership but it rather backfired. As West Ham celebrated, the stragglers took their seats to a volley of boos from the majority of supporters who feared the demonstration would undermine the home performance.
Sure enough, as soon as the militants started shuffling in, Newcastle’s defence suffered a concentration lapse and Javier Manquillo allowed Snodgrass sufficient space to curl in a gorgeous left-foot, right-wing, cross. All that remained was for the unmarked Hernández to time his connecting run perfectly before extending his right foot and sweeping the ball beyond Martin Dubravka from close range.
Newcastle may claim they were distracted by those ripples of movement in the Gallowgate End but Manquillo, recalled for a rare outing at left-back, already looked a weak link against Snodgrass. Had Rafael Benítez really been right to disregard the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” maxim and abandon the back three who had served him so well at Burnley last Monday? That trinity’s dismantling left Ciaran Clark, very much the hero of Turf Moor, warming the home bench alongside Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey. As Anderson’s incisive advances down the left of Pellegrini’s 4-4-2 formation illuminated the rainiest and gloomiest of Tyneside December afternoons, the latter pair surely saw their chances of swift recalls enhanced.
With a sodden, awkwardly tricky surface ensuring chances came and went at both ends, no one was entirely in control and Ayoze Pérez spurned three decent openings for Newcastle. Until Hernández registered his second, West Ham’s lead always looked fragile. When Declan Rice hooked a ball forward, the sporadically brilliant Marko Arnautovic flicked a header down into the path of Hernández, whose surge into the area concluded with a low shot, side-footed beyond Dubravka. Like Pérez, the Mexican had missed some decent openings but he finally scored again by converting surely the most difficult of the lot.
Not to be eclipsed, Anderson appropriately enjoyed the last word, connecting with the substitute Jack Wilshere’s slick counterattacking pass and shooting left-foot into the bottom corner. By then Pérez had been withdrawn – and jeered off – after fluffing a close-range header and a couple of shots – not to mention looking an ersatz No 10. Small wonder Benítez is desperate to sign Atlanta United’s £25m-rated Paraguay playmaker Miguel Almirón next month. Much may hinge on Ashley’s willingness – or reluctance – finally to speculate to accumulate.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
Newcastle (4-4-1-1): Dubravka 6; Yedlin 6.5, Schar 6, Fernandez 6, Manquillo 6.5; Ritchie 5 (Atsu 54 5.5), Diame 5, Ki 6.5, Kenedy 5 (Shelvey 70 5); Perez 5.5 (Joselu 78 6); Rondon 6
Subs: Woodman (Gk), Clark, Lascelles, Longstaff
Booked: Schar, Ritchie, Yedlin
West Ham (4-4-2): Fabianksi 6.5; Zabaleta 6, Balbeuna 6 Diop 6, Cresswell 6 (Masuaku 54 6); Snodgrass 6.5, Rice 7, Noble 6 (Wilshere 85), Anderson 7.5; Arnautovic 6 (Obiang 71 6), Hernandez 8
Subs: Adrian (Gk), Carroll, Ogbonna, Perez
Goals: Hernandez 11 & 63, Felipe Anderson 90
Booked: Snodgrass, Zabaleta, Noble
Referee: Paul Tierney 6.5