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Season 2017-18
West Ham United (a) Premier League 
since 2012 

Saturday 23rd December 2017, 3.00pm

 London Stadium

Conditions: In dulce jubilo

Admission: 30 (actually more expensive than for our last away meeting in September 2015, when a mutually-agreed subsidy reduced them to 25).

Programme: 3.50

West Ham


2 - 3




6 mins: Henry Saivet headed back towards his own goal before inexplicably scuffing a dreadful sideways pass straight to Marko Arnautovic on the half way line who strode forwards. 

Ciaran Clark looked likely to get a challenge as the former Stoke player neared the Newcastle box, but was slow to turn, allowing the forward to shoot across Elliot into the far corner before indulging in the embarrassing Adam Ant 'Prince Charming' salute popular round these parts.

10 mins:
A belated decision of a high boot by Winston Reid on Christian Atsu to the left hand side of the box saw play pulled back for a free kick after Matt Ritchie had wastefully blasted over.

Henri Saivet stepped up hit a superb curling right footed free-kick from 25 yards, beating Adrian low at his near post. The 'keeper seemed a long way over, possibly expecting a cross rather than a shot and had too much ground to cover but the kick was well-placed and hit with power.

Half time: Irons 1 Magpies 1

53 mins: Clark played a measured pass out to Atsu down the Newcastle left and he nutmegged Zabaletta before crossing for Mo Diame who opened up his body and blasted a right-footed effort into the top corner from eight yards out. Despite being at the end housing the away contingent, he avoided actively celebrating - presumably as a gesture towards his former club West Ham 2-1

61 mins: The Magpies gained possession and broke at pace out of their own half after a ricochet off two home players after a West Ham corner was cleared. Dwight Gayle's superb pass found Atsu charging forward towards the left side and he opted to feed Joselu out on the left of the area. 

Atsu's pass was a little wide and the Spaniard evaded "dandy highwayman" Arnautovic before pulling the ball back. Christian Atsu continued his run and met the cross first time to slide in.

69 mins: Aaron Cresswell's corner from the West Ham left found recently-arrived substitute Andy Carroll powering past two defenders at the far post and his firm downward header was well saved by Rob Elliot. The ball fell loose and was lashed into the net by Andre Ayew - who had earlier missed a penalty - from inside the six yards box. 3-2

Full time: Irons 2 Magpies 3

We Said

Rafa - who kept himself fit by shuttling between the bench and the technical area - a not insignificant distance:
"It's difficult when you have a bad run. What was really important was to win, and to have a good performance against a good team. It is important not to be in the bottom three at any time, not just at Christmas.

"We were working so hard for so many games, we deserve a day like today. For the fans, it's fantastic.

"The game against Everton we hit the post twice. And today it was one of those days where I couldn't believe it would be the same again.

"We deserved to win. The performance of the team has been so good, it's a great feeling for us and the fans.

"I could not say too much before the game about the selection, because I knew (David) Moyes was listening, but we had problems with Merino and Hayden, and (Jonjo) Shelvey was suspended. 

Henri is a good professional and trained really well - he was unlucky, but after he made the difference with his goal.

"Saivet understands the game. Technically, he's good and he can take free-kicks. Both he and Diame are from Senegal, so it was important they understood each other and they did really well.

"In terms of the club, you have to keep winning to be sure that you stay in the Premier League - that's the target.

"But for the fans this is about belief and showing we can win games and can compete.

"You can see the team spirit and work rate of different players, but it doesn't mean we don't still need players to compete at another level. They are different things."

They Said


David Moyes commented:

"Not a good one that's for sure. It was a game full of errors, I just keep looking at the goals we've conceded and the mistakes we've made.

"It was near enough right from the start. We got the goal - I think from a Newcastle mistake - but after we made two or three terrible mistakes which led to them scoring from a free-kick.

"All in all, it just seemed like that on the touchline. Mistake after mistake. We then missed a penalty at 2-1 which makes it even more difficult.

"Everyone knows how good Andy is. But we gave ourselves too much to do after conceding a farcical third goal.

"We have to try and get rid of the individual errors. We missed him at home. He's the one player who can do more on the ball and it was glaringly obvious we missed him here.

"It was going to be a test with expectations changing towards us winning, but it showed today that we could not do that.

"It was the manner of losing the goals. The third was a catastrophe, the way it came about. We don't score the penalty, and those things can make a big difference."


Henri Saivet made a first Premier League appearance of the season, becoming the 22nd player used in that competition in our 19 games to date.

Last sighted in a League Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest in September, this was only midfielder Saivet's fifth PL outing for the club and his third PL start. He last featured in the PL as an 89th minute sub against West Bromwich Albion at SJP back in February 2016.

A debut Toon goal made Saivet the club's 132nd PL scorer - and Mo Diame then became the 133rd. His most recent top-flight goal before today came for Hull City at Arsenal in October 2014.

Efforts against former clubs Wigan Athletic and Hull City were among six goals Diame scored last season, and today's strike completed a full house against English clubs he's played for; having also previously netted for Hull against Newcastle.

Saivet scored Newcastle's 200th league and cup goal against the Hammers, with that total then being increased to 202 after Diame and Atsu's strikes.

Newcastle recorded their 107th away win in the PL at the 432nd attempt - and an eighth against West Ham. That takes them level in the rankings with Aston Villa and one behind Spurs.

Saivet and Diame became the fifth and sixth Senegal internationals to score in the PL for us, after Habib Beye, Abdoulaye Faye, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. Of those, messrs Beye, Ba and Diame were all French-born, making Saivet only the third native of Senegal to find the net - all three hailing from Dakar.

United scored three away goals in the Premier League for the first time since a 3-0 victory at Hull City in January 2015. The only Newcastle player who featured in both games was Ayoze Perez.

Rob Elliot's penalty save was the first made by a Newcastle goalkeeper in the Premier League since Karl Darlow denied Yohan Cabaye of Crystal Palace at St. James' Park in April 2016. The Greenwich-born custodian had conceded all seven previous PL spot kicks faced for Newcastle.

The last away penalty save in the top-flight was by Tim Krul to foil David Dunn of Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park back in February 2012. 

First footing - debut results at PL "new builds":

West Ham (2017/18) won 3-2
Brighton & Hove Albion (2017/18) lost 0-1
Huddersfield Town (2017/18) lost 0-1
Cardiff City (2013/14) won 2-1
Swansea City (2011/12) won 2-0
Stoke City (2008/09) drew 1-1
Hull City (2008/09) drew 1-1
Reading (2006/07) lost 0-1
Arsenal (2006/07) drew 1-1
Wigan Athletic (2005/06) lost 0-1
Manchester City (2003/04) lost 0-1
Leicester City (2003/04) drew 1-1
Southampton (2001/02) lost 1-3
mackems (1999/00) drew 2-2
Derby County (1997/98) lost 0-1
Bolton Wanderers (1997/98) lost 0-1
smoggies (1995/96) won 2-1

(NB: earlier visits in other competitions excluded)

Following a 3-0 home victory in August, Newcastle completed their first double of the season (although they're yet to play Manchester City at all). Their last maximum points return in the top-flight came against Spurs in 2015/16 - the only double secured that season.

The London Stadium is the 56th different venue to have hosted a PL game involving Newcastle. That count will increase to 57 following our visit to Wembley to face Spurs next year.

Magpies @ Hammers: Premier Years:

2017/18: Won 3-2 Saivet, Diame, Atsu
Lost 0-2
2014/15: Lost 0-1
2013/14: Won 3-1 Cabaye 2, Remy
2012/13: Drew 0-0
2010/11: Won 2-1 Nolan, Carroll
2008/09: Lost 1-3 Owen
2007/08: Drew 2-2 Martins, Geremi
2006/07: Won 2-0 Duff, Martins
2005/06: Won 4-2 Owen 3, Shearer
2002/03: Drew 2-2 Bellamy, Jenas
2001/02: Lost 0-3
2000/01: Lost 0-1
1999/00: Lost 1-2 Speed
1998/99: Lost 0-2
1997/98: Won 1-0 Barnes
1996/97: Drew 0-0
1995/96: Lost 0-2
1994/95: Won 3-1 Lee, Mathie, OG
1993/94: Won 4-2 Cole, Lee 2, Mathie

PS: An OPTA statistic repeated by various outlets caught our eye; namely that Henri Saivet was the sixteenth Newcastle player to net direct from a free kick in the Premier League.

Try as we might, we couldn't find any listing of the previous fifteen - so the challenge of doing so was duly accepted. To date, we've uncovered 15 of that 16: Henri Saivet, Andros Townsend, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Ryan Taylor, Geremi, Charles N'Zogbia,  Emre, Hugo Viana, Laurent Robert, Nolberto Solano, Gary Speed, Tino Asprilla, Alan Shearer, Peter Beardsley.




Christmas jumpers! A resurgent Newcastle leapt out of the bottom three with a memorable and unexpected victory in their first appearance at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It was an outcome that defied all the odds, especially after a stray pass from midfielder Henri Saivet after just six minutes set up Marko Arnautovic to stride forward and give the hosts the lead.

The forgotten man of the squad was played his first league game in 22 months due to suspension of Jonjo Shelvey and fitness concerns over both Isaac Hayden and Mikel Merino.

But back came Newcastle - and Saivet - with a superb free-kick four minutes later, beating Adrian low at his near post to get the visitors back on terms.

With confidence flooding back, the Toon hit the woodwork twice before the break - Dwight Gayle crashed a shot off the bar before Matt Ritchie's superb curler came back off the inside of a post. 

West Ham themselves were guilty of missing chances at the other end though: goalkeeper Rob Elliot equal to an effort from Arthur Masuaku and Michail Antonio heading just wide when well-placed.

But in an amazing second half, Mo Diame soon put Newcastle ahead and the away followers were in a Winter wonderland when Elliot saved a penalty before Christian Atsu made it 3-1 to the visitors.

That 56th minute spot kick block was crucial to the victory, the custodian anticipating Andre Ayew's poor penalty - seemingly having taken advice from the Hammer's Ghanaian team mate, Atsu.

There was a measure of justice to that outcome, TV replays confirming Ciaran Clark's challenge on Antonio was outside the area - something that soon had the away bench remonstrating with the fourth official after they'd viewed footage of the incident.

When Ayew did get one back following a 69th minute corner - aided by recently-arrived substitute old boy Andy Carroll - it was easy to fear the worst for the Magpies, who had failed to hold a lead on three occasions during their winless nine game run.

However the visiting defence stood firm thereafter and a monumental effort saw the last 25 minutes completed without mishap, despite a continuation of the aerial bombardment that seemed be Plan A, B & C for a remarkably average side overseen by David Moyes. 

A bench featuring two left backs both lacking match fitness in the shape of Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara saw Ayoze Perez introduced, but his lack of physical presence did nothing to settle our nerves as Newcastle struggled to maintain possession for more than a few seconds.

Chancel Mbemba then replaced Saivet in the closing moments, taking up a defensive midfield position that he's previously occupied internationally for DR Congo. 

Lee Mason's full time whistle was greeted with delirium on and off the pitch as a first victory in 10 games and two months was rightfully celebrated and savoured, as a festive soundtrack of "All I Want for Christmas" blared out across the rapidly-emptying stadium.

Newcastle's second away win of the season saw them climb to fifteenth in the table, above the Hammers, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth. Jingle bells indeed.


Page last updated 28 December, 2017