- Wijnaldum nets ninth goal
- Perez converts after just six minutes
- Jelavic answers for West Ham
Can you be wasteful in a much-needed win?
Newcastle United scored twice in the match’s first 15 minutes, then held on to top visiting West Ham United 2-1 at St. James Park on Saturday.
West Ham failed to advance from fifth place in the loss. Nikica Jelavic scored for the Hammers.
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Newcastle United roared out of the gates, with Wijnaldum tripping on one prime opportunity and Perez denied on another. But it was still early when Perez broke through. Shelvey hit an incisive pass to Wijnaldum, who laid it off for Perez to first touch around Adrian from outside the 18.
Fabricio Coloccini made a prime break-up of a searching cross through the six, as West Ham helped the first 15 minutes be as lively as you’d like.
But it was Wijnaldum who would convert off another Shelvey-started play. Daryl Janmaat scooped up Shelvey’s big diagonal ball on the right, and beat Aaron Cresswell to send a cross towards the six that Wijnaldum belted past Adrian. 2-0.
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9 – All nine of Georginio Wijnaldum’s Premier League goals this season have come at St James’ Park. Comforts.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 16, 2016
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
Believe it or not, it should’ve been for West Ham. They looked jumbled at the back, and Newcastle mistouched numerous golden opportunities to keep the Irons in the match.
West Ham pulled one back just after halftime, and moments after Newcastle failed to convert yet another chance. Jelavic pounced on a Chancel Mbemba back pass, and pushed the ball around Rob Elliot before converting from a tight angle. Game on, 2-1.
A snake-bit Mitrovic was teed up for 5-6 brilliant chances as the lone striker, but either missed the goal or was stopped by Adrian.
The game remained in play, and Elliot made a huge point-blank save in the 89th minute to keep three points in St. James Park.