Jonjo Shelvey scored a wonder goal and two of his center backs also found the net as Newcastle United beat West Ham United 3-2 at the London Stadium on Saturday.
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Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez also scored for the Magpies, whose 12 points have them 16th. That’s four places and a point below the Irons.
Fabian Balbuena and Robert Snodgrass scored late for West Ham, but it would’ve been larceny had the hosts taken a point.
Three things we learned
1. West Ham defense a first half shambles: Newcastle entered the day with six league goals and could’ve had four by halftime were it not for some close range saves by Roberto. Both goals came off short set pieces which saw the Irons undone by one or two extra passes.
2. Creativity to the (Saint)-Max: Allan Saint-Maximin butted heads with Patrick Vieira at Nice, but has been nothing but positive on-and-off the field for Newcastle. His dribbling wizardry has brought something to Newcastle missing since the days of Hatem Ben Arfa. Yet to be rewarded with a goal — and he should’ve had two on Saturday — “Saint-Max” is one of the redemptive reasons to watch Newcastle despite the 5-4-1 formation.
3. Shelvey steps in and shines: The only certainty when it comes to a Jonjo Shelvey start is unpredictability (We know the logic doesn’t work there). Stepping in for Matty Longstaff, the bald-headed passing maestro scored and incredible free kick and struck the cross bar as well. Steady next to Isaac Hayden, Shelvey has a shot to keep his spot when Sean Longstaff returns from suspension.
Man of the Match: Jetro Willems — The Eintracht Frankfurt loanee was a delightful playmaker who provided plenty of tackles, interceptions, and field changing on the night.
The teams traded corners before Miguel Almiron won a free kick on the edge of the 18.
Jonjo Shelvey’s long swung kick was headed back across goal by Joelinton, and Clark headed it past Roberto for 1-0 in the 16th.
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It was 2-0 in the 22nd through another center back, as Fernandez had time and room to head home Jetro Willems’ cross off a short corner.
Allan Saint-Maximin then arrived behind the West Ham to back line for a long 1v1 dribble ended by a substandard strike saved by Roberto.
The Magpies were all over the Irons, Saint-Maximin stopped on another breakaway from Roberto and then playing Almiron who saw his shot saved, too. Then Shelvey smashed the cross bar.
West Ham had a few solid chances inspired by Robert Snodgrass, but Martin Dubravka was credited with a few good saves for the Magpies.
Roberto made another diving save to deny Saint-Maximin in stoppage time, and Shelvey’s corner was defended before the match hit halftime.
Saint-Maximin turned playmaker in the second half with a chip to DeAndre Yedlin, who was denied on his header and then by the offside flag after depositing the rebound.
Shelvey then delivered the stomach punch with a spinning free kick around the wall which snuck inside the near post.
Fabian Balbuena pulled one back for West Ham after Dubravka could only slap a cross onto his path in the 74th.
But wait, Snodgrass had something else to say with a sensational low volley inside the far post in the 90th.