West Ham back in the drop zone after home defeat to Newcastle United
17:20 18 January 2014
Premier League: West Ham United 1 Newcastle United 3
Former Hammers manager Alan Pardew won the battle of the bosses at Upton Park, where Newcastle’s victory sent West Ham back into the dreaded drop-zone.
First-half goals by Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy put the visitors firmly in the driving seat before Carlton Cole’s effort on the stroke of the interval gave ex-Magpies’ boss Sam Allardyce some second-half optimism.
But after seeing Cole and substitute Andy Carroll unbelievably miss two absolute sitters, he could only watch from the dug-out as Cabaye sealed victory for his old club in the dying moments.
Last Saturday, West Ham had rounded off a miserable week of cup embarrassments by pillaging three priceless points across the border in Wales, with victory at Cardiff City.
And following that welcome win - the Hammers first in eight league games - Allardyce made two enforced changes as James Collins and Mohamed Diame came in for the suspended James Tomkins and a concussed Guy Demel.
But having achieved that double over the Red Dragons, one week later, the Hammers could not carry any fire into the early exchanges as Matt Jarvis failed to deliver any quality in a trio of early crossing attempts, while Matt Taylor also sent a glancing header well wide.
Nestling in eighth spot, 15 points and nine places above the Hammers, the Magpies had come into this match without a win since Boxing Day.
Indeed, last Sunday’s controversial reverse against Manchester City was Newcastle’s fourth successive defeat and, having spent the week apologising for his apparent three-word rant at counterpart Manuel Pelligrini, Pardew named an unchanged side.
‘Old’ was the only repeatable word in Pards’ alleged tirade at the Chilean but, six days on, on a chilly East East afternoon, it was to prove the same old story for West Ham United, as they quickly found themselves trailing to the visitors.
Remy had already fired a couple of early warning shots when he twisted and turned in the Hammers area before wastefully drilling wide and, shortly afterwards, the Frenchman sent a rasping 20-yarder steaming into Adrain’s gloves.
On 16 minutes, though, it was left to his compatriot Cabaye to give Newcastle the lead, when Yoan Gouffran foraged deep into home territory before squaring to the mercurial midfielder, who calmly ignored Razvan Rat’s lunge and side-footed beyond Adrian from 15 yards. to make it half-dozen for the season.
Moussa Sissoko looked set to double the visitors’ advantage midway through the first half, but after bearing down on the exposed Adrian and letting fly with an angled 10-yarder, the Newcastle striker was left staring into the cold East End sky as the Hammers keeper gratefully clutched the squirming ball just before it reached the goal-line.
Having scored one already, Cabaye went in search of a second, but his shot flew just inches wide, before Remy had to leave the field for running repairs and a clean shirt after cutting his forehead on the outstretched arm of Matt Taylor.
The Frenchman departed wearing a bloodied No. 14 and returned wearing a Persil white No.5 but, on 32 minutes, West Ham’s number was up, when Sissoko looped a right-wing cross into the six-yard box, where Remy had all the time in the world to chest down and fire past both Roger Johnson and Adrian, to claim his 11th goal of the campaign.
Apart from a weak, hooked effort from Stewart Downing that Tim Krul easily fielded and a Diame effort that flashed across the face of goal, ragged West Ham had offered little in an opening 45 minutes that could have been yet worse, but for Adrian’s brilliant save to deny Cabaye and Remy’s late air shot.
But in stoppage time for that Remy head injury, Carlton Cole tempered the inevitable interval boos, when he gave the Hammers a glimmer of second half hope.
Chesting down Rat’s cross from the left, the powerful striker - who signed a new 18-month contract in midweek - saw his point-blank shot smothered by Krul but he reacted first to prod his fifth goal of the season over the line as the Magpies’ ‘keeper and Mike Williamson fruitlessly lunged at the loose ball.
Ravel Morrison replaced Jack Collison for the restart, but it was Remy, who posed the first threat of the second period with a scorching angled, 15-yard shot that Adrian acrobatically clawed away.
After Collins sent a header beyond the far post, Carlton Cole had an unlikely, yet brillaint, chance to level, when makeshift right-back Taylor trundled down the wing and crossed low into the six-yard box, where the sliding striker somehow steered the ball wide of the target.
Certainly, the bubbling Hammers were looking a different side to the one that had looked so deflated in the opening period and the claret and blue fans amongst the crowd of 33,344 were lifted yet further on the hour mark, when former Magpies striker Carroll - watched by England coach Roy Hodgson - stepped from the bench to replace Diame.
It was almost a fairytale return to Upton Park for the big man, but Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa just got his foot to the ball ahead of the England striker, whose tumble on to the deck resulted in treatment for the Frenchman.
Joe Cole also replaced Jarvis but - with a quarter-hour remaining - it was his fellow sub Carroll, who had the best chance to make an impact, when Downing cut back from the by-line, however even Hodgson would have had his head in his hands as the Hammers record, £15 million signing deposited the ball on to the Barking Road from just eight yards.
Those misses by Carlton Cole and Carroll were to prove costly, though, and as the 95th-minute approached, man-of-the-match Cabaye cemented that Magpies win with a 20-yard free-kick that curled over the Hammers wall and in off Adrian’s right-hand post to send West Ham back into the perilous waters of the bottom three.
HAMMERS: Adrian, Taylor, Rat, Collins, Johnson, Downing, Diame (Carroll 61), Jarvis (J Cole 72), Collison,(Morrison h/t), Noble, C Cole. Unused subs: Jaaskelainen, Maiga, Diarra, Chambers.
MAGPIES: Krul, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon (Dummett 74), Williamson, S. Taylor, Tiote, Cabaye, Anita (Sh. Ameobi 60), Gouffran, Sissoko, Remy (Ben Arfa 78). Unused subs: Elliott, Cisse, Haidara, Obertan.
Referee: Andre Marriner