Newcastle ran out worthy winners this afternoon against a very good West Ham team by 3 goals to 1. A brace from Mark Viduka and a third goal from Charles N’Zogbia made the win look fairly easy in the end.
There’s no doubt that West Ham will win more games than they lose this season so this is a very good result for Newcastle following their disappointment last Monday at Derby.
Mark Viduka – 2 good opportunist goals from the Australian striker today
Newcastle got off to a dream start with a goal by Viduka after just 2 minutes. Milner made progress down the left then laid the ball back to N’Zogbia who put in a lovely cross for Mark to nicely head home past Green. Steve Harper showed why he is keeping Given out of the team with a brilliant save after 27 minutes when he turned a rasping shot from Noble around the post at full stretch down to his right.
Newcastle surprisingly went more on the defensive and allowed West Ham to come at them more and West Ham duly equalized after 32 minutes when Dean Ashton volleyed home from 7 yards. Newcastle had failed to clear from a long throw in. Newcastle came back and applied pressure to West Ham and N’Zogbia, who had another sparkling game, put in a great ball through to Viduka who stabbed it home after 41 minutes.
At half time the game was on a knife’s edge with newcastle leading 2-1 but it was still anybody’s game.
But Newcastle started the second half in good form and Mullens was booked for a bad trip on Butt. Then Martins replaced Owen, who seemed to get a knock just before he was replaced. Not sure if it was his groin again. After 55 minutes Viduka, showing excellent technical skills went past 3 West Ham players before playing it back for Butt but his shot was straight at Green who saved easily. Then after 72 minutes as West Ham threaten again Harper made another good save as he blocked a good shot from Bowyer and Beye was very alert to clear the ball quickly.
On 73 minutes Newcastle introduced Enrique for Viduka but this is hardly a defensive move. N’Zogbia moved to the left wing and Smith joins Martins up front, and Milner is operating on the right wing.
Then an excellent move by Newcastle nets them a third goal. The ball is moved nicely from defense in a free flowing move and Smith gets the ball just outside the penalty area. He holds the ball up expertly and then slots it back to N’Zogbia who sweeps it out to Martins on the left wing. Martins then brings the ball in a little and crosses for N’Zogbia to neatly slot home Newcastle’s 3rd goal. Charles made two goals and scored one â€“ not a bad day’s work for the brilliant Frenchman â€“ who seems to get even better with each game. So glad we have this lad for at least 5 years.
Newcastle brought Steven Taylor on for Cacapa with about 10 minutes to go. Apparently Cacapa sustained a groin strain. Newcastle were well in command now and should have had a fourth goal when Martins unnerved Upton and stole the ball from him, went around the goalkeeper and then amazingly hit the side netting when it was easier to score. However, Martins made this chance and it shows you just how dangerous the Nigerian is. He just needs more playing time and he looked dangerous at times. he can still score a lot of goals for Newcastle this season.
An excellent win for the boys today and some very good performances all over the park. Beye looked very good at right back and the two central defenders looked very solid indeed and it was good to see young Enrique finally get on for a league game. With Enrique in at left back it will free Charles N’Zogbia for him to cause all kinds of trouble to the opposing defenses.
Not one Newcastle player didn’t play his part in this victory and Sam can take a lots of positives from this game. Harper was excellent again, young N’Zogbia looks better every game and Mark Viduka got a couple of goals, which is what Sam has been asking of him.
Great performance all around from the boys today. Well done.