In another sub-par performance from Newcastle, West Ham were well on top at Upton Park this afternoon and went in 2-0 up against a very poor looking Newcastle side.
Newcastle got off to a poor start and were on the back foot to a sprightly West Ham side, and were always second to the ball.
And it was after only 8 minutes before Newcastle found themselves behind, with a good goal from Di Michele, who was making his full debut for the London side. The Italian beat Coloccini on the right before cutting in and hitting the ball, which took a wicked deflection over Shay Given, and the Newcastle goalkeeper had no chance.
Cacapa was playing in front of the Newcastle back four but he looked slow and sluggish, and was having difficulty distributing the ball.
After about 20 minutes the Newcastle team came more into the game with Duff and N’Zogbia prominent, and Owen went close just missing the right hand post, although he was flagged (wrongly) for offside.
Newcastle were playing quite well at this stage, but then West Ham scored again when Given made a magnificent save from Di Michaeli, and the ball ballooned back to him.
Taylor and Coloccini should have tackled or blocked the shot, but they did neither, and allowed the Italian to find his composure and rocket home the ball from just 15 yards out.
It was a bad goal to concede and Shay Given must have thought he was getting no cover from his defense.
This was another poor and heartless performance from Newcastle, and they will need to significantly improve their play in the second half to get anything out of this game, since it’s been all West Ham in this first half.
A third goal from West Ham and this game will be over.