Football Features

West Ham 1-5 Newcastle: Callum Wilson sinks Hammers again to heap pressure on ‘furious’ Moyes

By Squawka News

Published: 22:14, 5 April 2023

It was a night of contrasting emotions at the London Stadium on Wednesday as West Ham’s relegation fears deepened with a 5-1 defeat to Champions League-chasing Newcastle.

Coming in fresh from a priceless 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Southampton on Sunday, Hammers supporters would have been hopeful their side could pull off a surprise result against the Magpies. Even in defeat, there should have been opportunity for David Moyes’ side to lay down a marker and show they mean business in the fight to avoid the drop.

Instead, everyone of a claret and blue persuasion headed home incensed and bewildered in equal measure at how their side handed the game to Newcastle.

It took just six minutes for West Ham to offer their first gift of the night to Newcastle. Sure, the opening goal — headed home from Callum Wilson — was forged by some incredible skill from Allan Saint-Maximin, but only after a poor header from Thilo Kehrer handed the visitors a needless corner.

That turned out to be the least of West Ham’s mistakes, too, with their defenders going walkabout to allow Joelinton to latch onto a simple long ball from Fabian Schar, rounding Lukasz Fabianski and doubling Newcastle’s lead after a VAR review.

West Ham, to their credit, continued to carry a threat going forward and got themselves back into the game right on half-time, with Jarrod Bowen’s deep corner misjudged by Nick Pope, who missed the ball and allowed Kurt Zouma to head home.

But it proved to be nothing more than a false dawn, with West Ham pressing the self-destruct button once again just one minute into the second half. This time, it was a mixture of Fabianski and Naif Aguerd at fault; the Polish goalkeeper rolling the ball out to his Moroccan defender, who was surrounded by Newcastle forwards, losing his composure and being dispossessed by Jacob Murphy, who squared for Wilson to finish into an open goal. The England international’s second of the night and 12th in 13 appearances against the Hammers — more than any other team he’s faced in his career so far.

“I enjoy playing against them and you kind of just have a feeling you’re going to score,” Wilson said after the match. “It’s about taking your opportunities because I’ve been on the bench for the last few weeks. You have to make a statement.”

Watching the match for BBC Sport, former Hammers defender James Collins noted: “West Ham had got themselves back into it and had something to build on. Fabianski rolls it to Aguerd, who gets his feet in a mess. It’s not an intense press but he has got the ball caught under his feet.

“It’s a shocking start for West Ham, David Moyes will be furious.”

If Moyes was already furious, he will have gone supernova watching the manner of Newcastle’s fourth goal. With 82 minutes gone and West Ham fans already flooding from the stadium, Fabianski followed the rush of blood to his head by charging out to try and clear the ball.

Fabianski, indeed, reached the ball, but only managed to divert it straight into the path of Newcastle striker Alexander Isak, who applied what will be one of the most simple finishes of his career to take his season tally to seven in 12 Premier League matches since joining from Real Sociedad.

Alan Smith gave a similar assessment to Collins in his commentary for Sky Sports.

“David Moyes will be furious. Four soft goals conceded,” he said, adding: “That is the match — those fans were right to leave early. This is done and dusted.”

The match wasn’t quite done and dusted, of course, with Newcastle still finding time to break down the left once again, with Joelinton beating Fabianski for his second goal and the Magpies’ fifth.

The long trip home for Eddie Howe, his players and the Newcastle supporters on Wednesday night will be that much sweeter as they look at a Premier League table that places them third, three points ahead of Spurs in fifth with a game in hand.

No such comforts for West Ham and Moyes, who by now has probably collapsed into a black hole of anger and despair, with his side only outside the bottom three on a dwindling goal difference, with their game in hand on those around them coming against defending champions Manchester City.