A finally-inspired Newcastle United kept control of its own destiny to beat their former manager and maintain Premier League status on Sunday at St. James Park.
Moussa Sissoko headed home a Jonas Gutierrez cross early in the second half to give the Magpies a 1-0 lead they would not give back, as Jonas added a goal of his own in the late stages.
West Ham finishes 12th with 47 points, a far cry from their lofty early season pace.
In an odd twist of fate, Newcastle finishes above its rivals at Sunderland.
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Newcastle came out of the gates hard, taking 11 of the game’s first 13 shots and coming close to a first-half goal on several occasions. Both Daryl Janmaat and Emmanuel Riviere flat out missed the frame and producing good opportunities.
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Vurnon Anita sprung Newcastle on a 3-on-GK break with 10 minutes to spare, but inexplicably passed while very close to West Ham keeper Adrian and the score remained 1-0.
And then Jonas made St. James Park erupt when he added the insurance tally, months after returning to the team from a battle with testicular cancer. Newcastle was safe.
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Newcastle United: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini (c), Williamson, Dummett, Sissoko, Anita (Gouffran, 82′), Colback, Gutierrez, Rivière, Cissé. Subs: Woodman, R.Taylor, Gouffran, Ameobi, Cabella, de Jong, Perez.
Goal: Sissoko (54′), Gutierrez (85′)
West Ham United: Adrian, Jenkinson, Burke (Tompkins, 69′), Reid, Cresswell, Song, Nolan (c), Kouyate (Lee, 77′), Downing, Valencia (Amalfitano, 63′), Cole. Subs: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Tomkins, Amalfitano, Jarvis, Lee, Nene