Henri Saivet

Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Benitez: Newcastle “needed a victory like this”

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Newcastle United’s nine-match winless run is over, and Rafa Benitez is relieved to see his charges get what he believes is a deserved trip back out of the drop zone.

[ RECAP: West Ham 2-3 Newcastle ]

Benitez has lamented his team’s lack of depth since the end of the August window but rarely proffered negatives about his players or their effort.

So when the Magpies responded from a rough start to get goals from two unexpected sources and a third from Christian Atsu, Benitez was essentially glowing from the visitors’ side at the London Stadium as Newcastle beat West Ham 3-2.

From the BBC:

“We needed a performance and a victory like this. We were pushing really hard against Everton and hit the post twice. I am really pleased for the lads and the fans. it is fantastic.

“It was important to win to show that we could doing the things we are doing. We know it will be difficult to the end but we know that we can win and achieve things doing things as we are.”

Mikel Merino, Jonjo Shelvey, and Isaac Hayden were all unavailable to Benitez through injury or suspension, necessitating a partnership between Mo Diame and Henri Saivet. The latter hadn’t started for Benitez in the Premier League, and scored a free kick after giving away a goal to Marko Arnautovic early in the match.

It doesn’t get easy for the Magpies over the festive season, with a visit from behemoth Manchester City next. But the Magpies will defend to the death and hope for good things from a visit from old pal Chris Hughton and Brighton and then a trip to Stoke City.

West Ham United 2-3 Newcastle United: Magpies sweep Irons

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  • Arnautovic scores in 6th minute
  • Saivet makes amends for gaffe
  • First NUFC win since Oct. 21
  • Magpies sweep West Ham

Henri Saivet, Mohamed Diame, and Christian Atsu booted Newcastle United out of the drop zone with a 3-2 win at West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday.

The Magpies end a nine-match winless run in the Premier League, rising to 15th with 18 points.

Marko Arnautovic and Andre Ayew scored for David Moyes‘ Irons, who slip 17th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

DeAndre Yedlin protested an early corner, and West Ham replied by fouling during service.

At the other end, Adrian caught a Mo Diame cross and held it in play as his body carried into the goal.

A horrific giveaway from Henri Saivet sprung Arnautovic for a 1v1 with Ciaran Clark, and the Austrian cut to the right to belt a shot past Rob Elliot. 1-0.

Saivet made amends with a sensational free kick goal. Making his first start in the Premier League under Rafa Benitez, the Frenchman swept a free kick over the wall and just inside the near post to level the score.

Yedlin came close to supplying a go-ahead assist when he ran onto Matt Ritchie‘s through ball, but Dwight Gayle‘s shot popped off the cross bar.

Michail Antonio popped a corner kick over goal with an unmarked header off a corner kick in the 26th. Elliot made a nice stop on Arthur Masuaku moments later.

Matt Ritchie hit the post as Newcastle struck the woodwork for the fourth time in two matches.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Newcastle went ahead with style, as Christian Atsu nutmegged James Collins and squared to the penalty spot for Diame to belt into the gaping frame.

The lead was set to be shortlived after a penalty was conceded (despite a foul outside the 18) by Newcastle, but Elliot saved Andre Ayew’s poor penalty.

And Atsu piled misery on the Irons with a counter attack that West Ham gave plenty of liberty. Dwight Gayle forced a turnover and Joselu squared for Atsu to finish in the 61st.

But Newcastle born Andy Carroll won a back post header off a corner kick, and Ayew was on the spot to bury West Ham’s second. Game on, 69′.

The Magpies would need every bit of resolve to hold off hard-charging West Ham, but managed to keep the Irons out of their goal.

PL AT HALF: Saivet’s slick free kick, Aguero goal amonst highlights

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Four of six Premier League 10 a.m. ET kickoffs have seen at least a goal as the Premier League fits nine matches into this eve of Christmas Eve.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Manchester City 1-0 Bournemouth

Sergio Aguero has improved his record as Man City’s all-time leading scorer with his 100th goal at the Etihad Stadium, moving the Premier League leaders into the lead before the half hour mark.

West Ham United 1-1 Newcastle United

Making his first Premier League start for Rafa Benitez, midfielder Henri Saivet has been the architect of awful and amazing. He scored on the free kick above, moments after doing this:

Swansea City 0-0 Crystal Palace

The Welsh hosts may’ve deserved a penalty, and were let off the hook at the other end by an uncharacteristic Wilfried Zaha stumble.

Southampton 1-0 Huddersfield Town

Charlie Austin flicked Wes Hoedt‘s cross behind Jonas Lossl to open the scoring at St. Mary’s.

Stoke City 2-0 West Bromwich Albion

Joe Allen has scored a potentially massive goal as the Potters aim for three points in an early relegation six-pointer, and Eric Choupo-Moting doubled the advantage before the break.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Watford

The Seagulls started very bright, but have so far been unable to manufacture a goal.

Reinforcements arriving: Newcastle sign Bordeaux MF Saivet

AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCAT
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NEWCASTLE, England (AP) Newcastle has signed midfielder Henri Saivet from Bordeaux on a five-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

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The 25-year-old Saivet made 178 appearances for the French club in all competitions, scoring 23 goals during his stay in Bordeaux. He was part of the side that won the French league title in 2009.

“I am really proud to be able to play for this club, and I am really excited at the challenge that lies ahead.” Saivet said.

[ MORE: Sunderland could face points deduction for transfer dealings ]

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren told the club’s official website that he was delighted with the deal for the midfielder, who becomes the club’s first signing since the January transfer window opened.

“Henri is someone the club have been watching for a while and he has developed into an excellent player at Bordeaux,” McClaren said.