West Ham returned to winning form with a comfortable 2-0 win at home against high-flying Newcastle United.
Declan Rice got the ball rolling with a seventh-minute opener from a corner to give the hosts the lead before club captain Mark Noble doubled the Hammers scoreline five minutes from half-time with a thumping finish from the penalty spot.
Newcastle looked eager to get on the scoreline in some capacity but were ultimately unable to get anything against a resilient West Ham defence.
Story of the game
West Ham got off to a flying start as seven minutes in, newly identified England youngster Rice put the Hammers ahead.
Robert Snodgrass whipped in a teasing corner towards the penalty area and the 19-year-old midfielder, unmarked in the area, had an easy header past Martin Dubravka to give the hosts the lead.
Newcastle remained a dangerous threat following Rice’s opener. Ayoze Perez was able to beat Lukasz Fabianski in the 28thminute with a first time finish from close range, but his effort was flagged off for offside.
Despite looking likely to get an equalising goal, it was the hosts that got the vital second goal of the match after the Hammers were awarded a penalty four minutes from half-time.
Florian Lejeune brought down Javier Hernandez inside the penalty area, giving the captain Noble the chance to double West Ham’s lead. The skipper stepped up, and rifled the ball past the reach of Dubravka to make it 2-0 to the hosts going into half-time.
The second-half saw the Toon open up more in attack and be more creative with how they approached the West Ham defence. Record signing Miguel Almiron was beginning to pull the strings for his new club, but the former Atlanta United playmaker was unable to create a goal that would get Rafa Bentiez’s side back in the game.
The pressure continued to mount on West Ham as the visitors looked for an equaliser, but ultimately the Magpies were unable to get a thing as the Hammers ended the night 2-0 winners.
Rice continues to impress for the Hammers
It’s been a hot second since Rice was in the national media. Not only a fortnight ago the West Ham youngster announced he will declare for the England national team after months of speculation on his international future.
And during that time Ireland and England fans clashed heads on which nation would be better for the midfielder, Rice has been keeping his head down and continued to impress on the pitch for the Hammers.
His seventh-minute goal might have been his only his second ever senior goal, but for the full 90 minutes the now England teenager impressed and kept the Hammers midfield in check with another valiant performance.
Almiron looks the real deal
There’s no sugar-coating today, Newcastle were awful. They were disorganised, undisciplined, and a bore on the eye for every fan in the stadium. But amongst the bleakness is a shining light in the form of Miguel Almiron.
The Paraguayan international has impressed the Newcastle faithful since his introduction to the Premier League, and despite only starting three games for the club, Almiron has become a fan favourite in the North East.
Although he was unable to assist Newcastle tonight, Almiron proved to be a handful for the Hammers.