It wasn’t the ideal start for West Ham United to their crucial holiday period, as Newcastle defeated them for a second time this season 3-2 Saturday afternoon at the London Stadium.
While many in the capital were shopping for last minute gifts, the gift giving of goals was in full store for both teams to start the game. Just barely past five minutes in, the Hammers took the lead when Henry Saivet delivered a terrible pass that sprung the improving Marko Arnautovic to deliver another goal for the Austrian as of late.
But the Hammers instantly gave up their advantage, when Saivet made amends with a free kick goal in the 12th minute that Adrian should have done a whole lot better with. Both teams would continue a very entertaining first half, where Dwight Gayle and Michail Antonio know they should have given their clubs a second goal, and Matt Ritchie continued his torment of West Ham with a great curling hit off the post.
The second half would see Newcastle continue to find space and make it a miserable afternoon for Pablo Zabaleta, as Mohamed Diame scored against his former side in the 53rd minute after Christian Atsu nutmegged the Argentine. And Rafa Benitez’s side would make it 3-1, when Zabaleta and Arthur Masuaku did poorly on a counter that eventually lead Atsu to score in the 61st minute.
There was hope that the Hammers would complete a late comeback, when Andre Ayew made some amends for his terrible penalty early in the half to finish from point blink range in the 69th minute. But the Magpies would hold off late attacks by David Moyes side to secure the double over the Hammers this season, and end a horrid four game losing streak and ten game winless run.
West Ham will hope for a much better defensive performance on Boxing Day, when they travel and face off against Bournemouth.