Unhappy start for West Ham as Newcastle United's newcomers underpin deserved win
West Ham 0 Newcastle United 2
The Hammers made a horrible start to their season when a poor second-half performance got the outcome it deserved.
Despite twice hitting the crossbar in the opening half, the Irons could have few complaints about the loss as Newcastle were the superior side for most of the night and deservedly claimed the spoils with second half goals from newcomers Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick.
Right from the outset, the warning signs were there for the Hammers, as Lukasz Fabianski had to demonstrate some sharp reflexes early on to get in the way of a near-post header from Argentine defender Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey fired into the side-netting from just inside the area.
The Geordies bossed the midfield early on because of Shelvey and exuded menace in the air in the shape of old Boy Andy Carroll – who also went close with a powerful header and with an acrobatic volley that just cleared the bar.
And new Bournemouth recruit Wilson also threatened with a header and when he whipped an effort just past an upright after cutting in towards the left edge of the area.
But David Moyes’ side made chances too. Angelo Ogbonna reached a Declan Rice free-kick ahead of the defending pack and his header bounced off the top of the bar.
Then, after Michail Antonio had tested keeper Karl Darlow with a low shot in a breakaway, Tomas Soucek sent a far-post header narrowly wide after a long hanging cross from Ryan Fredericks on the right flank.
The Hammers hit the woodwork again not long after, with Fablo Fornals clipping the top of the bar in attempting to turn in another Fredericks cross.
But what had been a first half some promise slowly ebbed away during a dismal second half.
It was £20m signing Wilson who have Newcastle the lead on 56 minutes, stabbing in from close range after Hendrick had deftly headed on a deflected cross from the right by Javier Manquillo.
The Hammers had a big penalty shout soon after Seb Haller was brought on to add more ballast up front. His ball into the danger zone clearly clipped Hendrick’s arm, but home protests were waved aside by ref Stuart Atwell, who saw it as accidental.
And Henrick ensured the points would be heading north three minutes from time when he smashed a beauty into the roof of the net from just inside the area after good work from sub Miguel Almiron.
West Ham: Fabianski – Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell – Soucek, Rice – Bowen (Anderson 89), Noble (Yarmolenko 67), Fornals (Haller 67) – Antonio. Subs not used: Balbuena, Anderson, Lanzini, Johnson, Randolph