Two seasons ago, the fortunes of The Hammers were very different, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side finding themselves struggling down at the wrong end of the table. In fact, they only survived in the final weeks of the season, something which is hard to believe given their drastic change in fortunes since then.
In November 2019, Newcastle United, then managed by Steve Bruce, put in what was arguably one of their best performances under him as they were 3-2 victors in the capital when their trend of defensive goal scorers continued against a stunned Hammers team.
Story of the game
A theme of the campaign up to early November was a lack of goals, but their woes well and truly disappeared as they found their cutting edge to ease past a woeful West Ham United and move four points clear of the relegation zone.
Newcastle had only scored once in their previous five games and led when Ciaran Clark headed in the opener after losing his marker following a corner.
Another set-piece proved to be West Ham’s undoing again just six minutes later, with Federico Fernandez being the man on target this time, making the most of Roberto’s horror show in the home sides’ goal.
Several more chances came and went for Bruce’s men before Jonjo Shelvey eventually got a deserved third from a free-kick shortly after half-time.
In somewhat typical Newcastle fashion, they didn’t make easy work of their day out in London as Fabian Balbuena pulled one back before Robert Snodgrass got an undeserved second in clever fashion heading into stoppage time.
All of a sudden, West Ham were the side in the ascendancy and threatened to rescue a point in a horrific performance but Newcastle would hang on to spark celebrations amongst the 3,000 strong traveling supporters in the away end.
Allan Saint-Maximin's career ender
This game was the first serious glimpse of how much Allan Saint-Maximin can terrorise a defence.
Nowadays the Frenchman is causing havoc for opposition week in, week out, but he virtually ended Pablo Zabaleta’s career with this impressive performance.
The winger was unfortunate not to have had more goal involvement after his darting runs forward. Were it not for sloppy finishing from the likes of Miguel Almiron, Saint-Maximin could easily have had one or more assists to his name.
He could even have got his own name on the scoresheet as he registered the most shots on target of any player on the pitch with three.
The away end
Carnage, delirium, and madness are just three words to sum up the scenes in a sold-out away end at the London Stadium that day as The Magpies secured just their second away victory of the campaign.
With bodies (and seats) everywhere, it certainly turned out to be an away day to remember for the traveling Toon Army who will have been having memories of their victory by the same scoreline little under two years before when they secured a crucial three points just in time for Christmas in their first season back in the top-flight under Rafael Benitez.
Victory is always sweet, but this win turned out to be something of a catalyst for an upturn in form as The Magpies went on a decent run of form before Christmas.
The theme of defenders doing the business at the other end of the pitch continued as well, with Clark and Fernandez, among others, getting their names on the scoresheet in the fixtures that followed.