16 September, 2015

Arsenal Champions League Perspective, Game 1: Why the fuck do they bother?

To make a change from having to review every match played over a weekend, the task of then having to review the Champions league games also quite frankly filled me with dread. It's already a struggle to get the weekly review out and doubling the workload didn't seem like fun. So I decided to only cover it from the perspective of the team I follow, Arsenal. And, judging by tonight's game, I won't have to do these extra reports for long.

I really should just re-print the title around 900 times with the occasional "No work and no shins makes Jack was a g a dull boy...." thrown in for good measure. It's a curious thing to want to constantly qualify for a tournament knowing we'll get dumped repeatedly out of it in less and less glorious fashion. It's like an annual race to the bottom to see how badly we can both mis-fire on the pitch and shoot ourselves in the foot. Of course there's the financial element to qualifying but since we no longer rely on such things anymore it really makes the last two forays into Europe quite remarkable in their combinations of exceptional play and utter howlers.

Indeed, it makes you think that if this is how it's going to be in Europe from now on, as it shows no signs of changing, why bother killing ourselves to get top four for a near ritual bout of humiliation? For that's what this result was, humiliating. No two words about it. Whether it was down to complacency, bad travel or a poor team choice is up to you to decide. But there's really only evidence for the first option there. Premier league teams travel in planes decked out better than most peoples fucking houses and the team picked tonight isn't a far cry from the one we expect to challenge for the premier league title this season. Yet tonight, against a team who basically own their domestic league and aren't anywhere near the individual quality Arsenal have, Arsenal turned in easily the worst performance in a long time.

The same was true for most of the English teams. The cream of the Premier league seemingly unable to deal with decent teams who show up and play football. At least Chelsea know how to put away a team they should beat. Should Arsenal play like this again on Saturday it'll be a fucking pasting.

The game started brightly enough though. Arsenal controlled the early possession and generated a chance in the 8th minute that Giroud should have put away (surprise fucking surprise). In all fairness to him, and this will be the only time I'll say that in this column, he arrowed his header top corner and it took a fine save to keep the ball out. Debuchy and Chamberlain combined nicely down the wing ten minutes later to present him with another header that hit the post and when the re-bound fell straight to him he couldn't lift it over the prone keeper who blocked it. Then Zagreb, set up to soak up and counter, ran forward on the 23rd minute. Switching the ball around quite tidily, Pivaric caught Debuchy napping and Chamberlains' tracking back was laughable. Pivaric fired straight at Ospina who could only parry the ball onto the knee of the oncoming Chamberlain and the ball wound up in the net. It was gloriously typical Arsenal goal to concede.

It got worse on the 40th minute when Giroud, having been previously booked for dissent, lunged a clumsy challenge just outside the box and received a second yellow and walked. While the first yellow is debatable he can have no issues with the second. He was no-where near the ball and his foot was almost knee-height. After enduring a bad time in the press lately surrounding his ability and getting absolutely ripped apart in the French media for his international performances, Giroud had an opportunity here to show that he's a team player and still has a lot of value. Instead, he acted like a petulant child the entire game and got himself sent off in 40 minutes after missing some easy goals. The press will be fucking after him tomorrow, believe that. He better keep away from the internet because the knives are out and he's ,well and truly, going to get it. If you thought "Arsenal need strikers" fanfare had reached it's nadir you ain't seen nothing yet. They'll be scaling new peaks of obnoxiousness. And Giroud handed them all the ammunition they would ever need tonight. He'll need to smash home 30 goals to shut the bastards up now.

Having said that though, to a man, Arsenal were pure shit tonight. Playing with almost zero energy and guile, they relied so heavily on Ozil and Alexis to carry the team to the promised land it was embarrassing. This would be bad enough normally, had it worked, but both those players decided to put in sub-par shifts themselves and, after the goal, Zagreb just sat back waiting for the counter. After ten men, they virtually put the kettle on and waiting for us to shoot ourselves again.

Within a minute of the restart Zagreb hit the post and then they got the opening they were waiting for on the 57th minute, a free-kick lofted into the box caused absolute mayhem (it is Arsenal after all) and Fernandes headed home. It was plainly clear what Zagreb were doing, soaking up pressure while nullifying Alexis and Ozil and then countering fast down the wings. Ospina had to Neuer the ball out a few times as a result. Then Arsenal threw caution to the wind and switched to a flat back three to chase down the game. With twelve minutes to go Alexis threaded a through ball and Walcott finally missed the offside trap Zagreb had been springing all night and he dispatched calmly past the keeper. Not one player celebrated the goal.

This result was atrocious. Made even worse due to the fact it was against a team set up to counter so obviously and whose players were almost content to blast the ball into the stands at every chance (mind you, this is some achievement given how far away the fucking stands were). Quite how Arsenal bounce back from a result like this will show if this team truly do have the spine to contest in either this league or the Premier league but this humbling will either make or break this team. Given Chelsea's barnstorming result at home with Tel Aviv will no doubt be some cause for concern for Wenger. He'll have to pick up a demoralised team and pit them against an old foe that still holds a lot of hoodoo over his players. Arsenal have Olympiakos next in the Champs league at the end of September. We miss out on three points there, we're fucked. Well and truly fucked.

Gameweek 5: Well that was funny..............................

So the Premier league is now back with a bang and the what a series of results we got. One of the better gameweeks in recent memory (depending on where your allegiances lie) has left the league table in a more dishevelled state than it's been in a while and, while we're only five weeks in, we're getting to the point were the league is starting to convalesce into the state it'll keep for most of the season. The state of early-season flux is almost over, let's see what this weekend (and Monday) have taught us:

Everton Vs Chelsea: The beginning of the end?............
The weekend could hardly have started off with a better fixture. The last time these two teams met, it resulted in a nine goal thrill ride of a game. This time was just as thrilling but for the other team. Everton absolutely dominated a match in which their excellent play is surely bound to be overshadowed by the paucity of their opponents play. Chelsea's main problems lay in their defence, midfield and attack which is a bit of an issue. In fact, were it not for a highly speculative (yet, well struck) shot from a defensive midfielder, 35 yards out, they would have only managed one shot on target the entire game. The match did not really get going until the 25th minute when Stones grossly over-hit a back pass to Howard so badly many considered it an actual shot. Howard dealt with it but an own goal for Stones against a team bidding ridiculous sums of money for him would have been priceless. Everton sparked into life from that and were one up within a minute. Galloway, in what has become an all too frequent story for Chelsea, was allowed to skip down the left flank and slung in a perfect cross for Naismith to head home. The lax manner in which Galloway was ignored was matched only by the slack defending for the header for which Begovic could do nothing.

He could do nothing for the second, five minutes later, either, after repelling two fine attempts from Kone and McCarthy. Lukaku and Kone one-two'd down the right and fed the ball to Barkley who found Naismith in acres of space in the centre. He had more than enough time to tee up the shot into the bottom-left corner. At this point Chelsea seemed totally lost, Coleman had Costa in his pocket and both Pedro and Hazard were totally anonymous, it was difficult to spot the player who would drag them forward when Matic stepped up. Having been run ragged the whole half, trying to plug up holes in the defense, he ran forward from midfield and arrowed a magnificent shot into the top corner. While it could be said that he should've been closed down, it seems quite harsh considering he was 35 yards out and there was no danger. In the second half Chelsea applied the pressure and almost scored and conceded, from Terry and Lukaku respectively, until Barkley slid a ball through to Naismith whose right-footed shot made it a perfect Hat-trick for him and a Perfect day for Everton. This result will, no doubt, buoy the toffee's for their next game at Swansea and set up Naismith for life. That man will no longer have to pay for a pint, a pie or pussy in his hometown anymore. Chelsea have their old familiar whipping boys of Arsenal next and will know that another insipid display like this will see the Gunners put them to the sword but that a victory will restore balance to their sinking ship. And boy, they need it.

Arsenal Vs Stoke: The walking dead hits the the rocks.......
For Arsenal this match was crunch-time. A home match (when home form has been dismal) against one of their “Bogey” teams that's had a very skillful overhaul. It promised to be a rough-and-ready match filled with ankle-snapping tackles and eked out 1-0 wins. What was delivered was something completely different as the new-look Stoke were completely monstered by Arsenal. Or, at least, they really should've been had Arsenal's old familiar struggles with finishing not returned (assuming they ever went away to begin with). Telling stat of the match; Arsenal had 29 shots, 23 inside the area, 12 on target and only scored fucking twice. Make no mistake, regardless of what he'll say afterwards, Hughes knows he was lucky to escape without a cricket score. And, for that, he can only thank whatever god he prays to, Arsenal's striking coaches and Jack Butland. Maybe he should just expand his prayers to all three and save himself some time. Arsenal's profligacy was so bad that, in typical Arsenal fashion, they will still have to answer questions about their striker options even after a match in which both main strikers scored.

Both also screwed some unbelievable chances too which is the main cause for concern. Walcott's first arrived after eight minutes when Alexis (who was in fine, rampaging form) had a header tipped amazingly onto the post, the rebound bounced back to Walcott who Fernando Torres'd it wide despite having the entire fucking goal to aim at. His second miss was from an absolutely pin-perfect Bellerin cross that Walcott didn't even have to break stride to meet and, in attempting to glance it far corner rather than just mill it, fluffed it over. It was beginning to look like one of those days. The Alexis rampage continued (he's racked up more shots so far, 28, than the entire Newcastle team,21) alongside Cazorla and even Koscielny had a go with a wicked strike. It wasn't until the 31st minute that the deadlock was broken when Coquelin expertly dispossessed Joselu and fed Ozil whose glorious over-the-top ball took out the entire Stoke defense and midfield to land right on Walcott's foot, he skinned the defender on his shoulder, rounded Butland and stroked home. Stoke woke up somewhat in the second half but never ever looked like troubling either Gabriel (who played a blinder in place of Mertesacker) and Koscielny, let alone Cech. Giroud came on with 15 minutes left and his first contribution was to shank horribly wide when put through one-on-one. However his goal was vintage Giroud as three Stoke players somehow managed to avoid marking him when Cazorla put in a free kick to the near post and he headed home. Arsenal now head to Zagreb with belief and a good haul of points to kick off their league campaign which will continue with a wounded Chelsea early next week. Stoke, stuck on two points, have a marauding Leicester next and will need to recover their fighting spirit to stand any chance.

Palace Vs Man City: The Money team Rookie ruins the eagles nest..........
City headed to Selhurst Park knowing exactly what to expect from this Pardew side, war. With a raft of pacy attacking players and a mountain of self-belief and support Palace were expected to give City their toughest test so far. And they did. In a tough, physical match the stalemate was only broken by an 18 year old who was not expected to get more than a handful of opportunities this season. Should he take all of them like he did this one, expect to see Iheanacho line out in sky blue on the regular. For the first time this season, City have had to grit their teeth and grind out a victory. Indeed, it seemed that they were playing for a draw when they brought the academy graduate on in the 89th minute. From the off, Palace gave City no respect and pressured them throughout. With Bolasie, Zaha and Puncheon all flying around the place, the game seemed to resemble an air show at times. It was quite interesting to see Gayle and Campbell on the bench however rather than Bamford. With Gayle was nearly sold off in the summer and Pardew has openly stating that Campbell is short of fitness, Bamford can expect far more of a look in this season but, if this is any evidence of how Pardew sees his team, he'll find gametime hard to come by. Especially when his teammates are playing like this week in, week out, even if they lose.

City, on the other hand, will probably rue this bruising encounter even with the pain-relief of three points and the best season start in their club history for over a century. With Sterling injured and their wizard, Silva, absent completely the sight of Aguero hobbling off after 25 minutes, after a horrendous Dann tackle, could not have been a happy one. He'll now almost certainly miss the Juventus game. On a better note De Bruyne had a fine debut and looks to become the player he always could've been when he clicks into the higher gear the premier league demands of it's players. In fact he started most of City's best chances including one which Navas, presented with an open goal, screwed into the side netting after rounding the keeper. Bolasie had a header he really should've scored from and match seemed destined to be a scrappy 0-0 affair when Nasri found some space, squeezed off a shot that the, up till now, brilliant McCarthy couldn't hold. Iheadnacho reacted first and toe-poked in from six yards out. A dream start for a player who doesn't even qualify for the City Champs league B list. Palace will have to dust themselves down, take the positives from this performance as they play a mis-firing Spurs team next. City, after Juventus, will have another tough match-up with the Hammers looking to claim yet another top tier scalp.

Norwich Vs Bournemouth: Case for the defence falls short for Bournemouth.....
Norwich's first home premier league win came courtesy of a dismal performance by the Bournemouth defence and a fantastic performance by Hoolihan. It's no secret that Hoolihan is a particular favourite of Alex Neil's and this MOTM display only added the gloss to that. Granted, he's not getting any younger at 33 and you have to build the team around him to get the best out of him but he made the football today worth watching with a sublime assist for the first goal in the first half and netting one of his own in the second. By the time Jarvis netted the third on the 67th minute the Bournemouth defence was running around in disarray with almost no idea of how to stem the canary yellow tide coming at them. Norwich's link up play between their players was great and Remond put in easily his best match by far today alongside the aforementioned Hoolihan. He'll savour this performance knowing he'll probably not get too many opportunities to influence a match to this degree.

For Bournemouth Howe lamented easily his sides worst performance in the Premier league to date. Watching the match, it was easy to see where the real weakness resides; The defence. The midfield and attacking issues look to be fleeting and previous results indicate that they can score and create when needed (the 4-3 against the Hammers springs to mind) however it's the defensive frailties that look like they're getting worse and show no signs of improving. It's an oft told nice tale that the Bournemouth defence have all been there since League One and have started every game since. But they're quality is sorely lacking and they were shown up today. And in terms of re-enforcements it's not looking much better. Of the four defenders they brought in, one is out for the season (Mings), one will be 38 by the end of the year (Distin) and another was an emergency loan brought due to injuries. This could turn into a real disaster for Howe if he doesn't play his cards right here. Norwich go to Liverpool next week and they'll fancy themselves to take some points more for how well they're playing rather than how badly Liverpool have been. Bournemouth have the last of their “easy run” with Sunderland next week and it'll be the last chance to right the ship before they get into the thick of it.

Watford Vs Swansea: Swans plucked clean by the Benetton team......
It has to be said that what Flores has done at Watford has been nothing short of amazing. The initial stories about how he would gel a squad that, at times, comprised of up to 22 different nationalities while his own grasp of English could only charitably described as “tenuous”. That he has them playing an exciting brand of football whilst giving as good as they're getting is amazing. And to put the cherry on top today, a win against a team that has soundly beaten Man United and scared the bejeezus out of Chelsea. If there were any sense that they did not belong in the top flight, this has pretty much extinguished that. Or at least dampened it down heavily. Yet the win was not as clear cut and the joy at the end of this match was more relief at it ending rather than the relief of a first win.

Swansea will look back on this game and wonder if there was something in the water. They played lethargically and looked devoid of the menace that has become their hallmark so far this season. This lack of conviction was paramount for the goal when Deeney was allowed all the time in the world to feed a ball through to Ighalo and the lack of any pressing allowed him to calmly slot past Fabianski. Yet Watford nearly unravelled themselves minutes later when they down to ten men after Behrami launched (there's really no other adjective I could use there) himself into a ludicrous tackle on Ayew and was sent off for subsequently stamping on him. Yet, such was the lack of any kind of energy with Swansea, that going down to ten men didn't really affect the match for either team. Gomis had only one shot the entire game, a good one it has to be said which was smartly saved by Gomes, and literally that was it. The Swans have Everton next and this display will give the Toffees' a big smile,Watford have Newcastle next for, they will believe, a readily achievable three points.

West Brom Vs Southampton: Two wrongs don't make a right.......
It is telling to just how boring this game was that the two major talking points from it are Berahino playing for a club he said he'd never play for again (that said, he did a better fucking job than Lambert) and McManaman's impromptu impression of a dying salmon after a, admittedly, idiotic Targett tackle that not only missed him but the ball as well. His resultant dying swan impression did little but draw laughs and the ire of his own manager in the post-match interview. Maybe the “talking to” will be to inform him that he should actually wait for the tackle to hit him before leaping over the defender like he's been launched from a fucking catapult.

Whatever the view of this result West Brom will be thinking that, should Berahino not get back to his previous season form, they're seriously short of ideas up front. Rondon will need at least a season to bed in and Lambert couldn't have been less of an influence had he gotten the wrong bus. Both teams were fielding debut Centre-backs that will have enjoyed this nice, gentle introduction to the premier league but they both really should've been tested. Brommie were unable due to the lack of any sort of understanding between their strikers and Southampton seemed to have forgotten about Pelle he was that isolated. They'll need to figure out how to get the supply of ball back up fast as they host Man United next week. West Brom will need to find the scoring boots as they travel to a dejected Villa who, they hope, won't have picked themselves up from their last game, leaving them the opportunity of three easy, much needed points.

Man United Vs Liverpool: Tactics Rodgers strikes again............
This clash of the old rivals couldn't be anymore a shadow of it's former event status. This used to be a clash of two titans with teams that fought viciously for any ground and every goal. This match up, however, was between two badly put together teams both of whom are filled with players who fail utterly to live up to their reputations and paychecks. In United a 250 million spending spree has resulted in a team that can barely string together a series of passes and is fielding Fellaini as a “Target man” meaning that hundreds of millions of pounds worth of skillful ball-playing midfielders have resorted to “route-one” lumping it up to the big guy tactics. In Liverpool, there are a number of square pegs trying to fit into the round holes of the tactics Rodgers has devised and it's not going so well. Only the genius of Coutinho and the energy of Milner is keeping it afloat and, even then, just barely. Rodgers insistence on playing a 4-3-3 when he's only one specialist wide player (Ibe) is just plain crazy and were they against a better team they could've been stuffed.

Today the two messes met head-to-head and it's clear that, at least, United are somewhat heading in the right direction (thanks, mostly, to the return of De Gea). Liverpool were totally anonymous in the first half and also most of the second. It was only a Benteke overhead goal that spurred them on until they conceded afterwards. Clyne had a bad game and Skrtel was unable to help him out and, as a result, United funnelled everything down the left. And it was from the left that the first goal came. Mata's free-kick was clever and Blind's shot was good but it all should never had happened had the defence and midfield done a simple job of marking. The lead was doubled when Gomez badly mis-timed a slide tackle on Herrera in the box, who stepped up himself to dispatch the penalty. United were sitting until Benteke vaulted through the air to slam home the goal of the game. Briefly Liverpool were purred on until Martial, on in the 65th minute, received the ball and he ran through the huge gap between Clyne and Skrtel before finishing past Mignolet and crowning his arrival in the Premier League. Invariably too much will be made of him, given his transfer fee, but it was a decent goal and one that should set him up nicely. United, however, will know that they were flattered by the scoreline but will point to the few positives they can garner from this match. A midweek encounter against PSV should be a handy one in time for their week end match against Southampton. Liverpool have a, on paper at least, easy run of games to help cement whatever style Rodgers has going on, it begins with Norwich.

Sunderland Vs Spurs: Few questions answered, more questions remain..........
For Spurs, this was the supposed to be the “easy” three points. Even before a ball had been kicked this season their re-enforced rearguard was meant to be waterproof and avoid slip-ups against teams they should be beating easily. But while they did win, with a clean sheet to boot, the ease at which Defoe ghosted past their defenders time and time again should provoke some worried thinking. And if it doesn't, it fucking should. Defoe, even on his day, is not the quickest forward the league has ever seen and yet, the lethargy in the Spurs legs was such that he resembled Usain Bolt at times. Much of this was down to the quality of the ball he was receiving and had he found his shooting mojo the scoreline could have been radically different. He was clearly given a new lease of life playing in a 4-4-1-1 in front of Toivenen and the best chance of the game fell to him in the first half when he latched onto a sublime through-ball form Lens (again) which, after he shrugged off the defence fired a ball past Lloris which cannoned back off the post. He gave Alderweireld a torrid time the entire game.

Not that Sunderland had it all their own way. Spurs had almost 60% of the possession and seemed to be almost taunting the Sunderland players with the ball. Yet, when it came to the final third, this sense of confidence was lacking which was personified with Chadli doing some nice work on the wings to create a glorious chance for the new boy Son, only for Son to air kick comically instead. Spurs one ray of hope was Alli, who was a constant source of menace to the Sunderland defence. The match seemed destined for a 0-0 result (Spurs first shot on target was in the 73rd minute) when Mason and Lamela combined nicely to carve the Sunderland defence wide open. Mason ran in to chip Pantillimon (no mean feat) and was caught by the goalkeepers outstretched leg as the ball bobbled home for the goal and all three points. Should the injury prove lengthy he may hardly consider it suitable compensation but Spurs sure will. Their first win couldn't have come at a better time even if not in the manner they wanted. They'll need the boost for high-flying palace next week. Sunderland can take many positives from today, but would've rathered a point at least, and will hopefully bring this same level of play to a tricky tie against Bournemouth next.

Leicester Vs Aston Villa: It ain't over till it's over and if it ain't broke.........
For a manager who refuses to consider anything but survival a goal Ranieri sure has a funny way of going about it. He's got his team playing like demon title contenders and the atmosphere at the King Power couldn't be happier if they started giving out free puppies. One of the hallmarks of this Leicester team, however, isn't a dynamic pass-and-move style or a attacking zeal bordering on the psychotic, it's a never-say-die attitude that will see their players run their hearts out for the full 90 minutes. Most managers are delighted if they've just two or three players with that kind of attitude to spur them on. Ranieri has around 15. In Mahrez and Vardy he's two tpyes of players that can swing matches all on their own, Mahrez in particular has been a revelation, his form surpassed only by the incredulity that he cost a mere 400k. Their record so far has been incredible and they've yet to lose. Although they have Sherwood to thank, above all others, for that still being true after this game.

As good as Leicester was today they will have to admit that, for 60+ minutes they were completely outclassed by Villa. Tactically Sherwood was spot-on and made sure that the aforementioned Vardy and Mahrez were contained and not allowed any space to influence the match and Leicester appeared sunk after conceding two world-class goals. The first a wicked curler of a shot from Grealish (what a fucking first goal to have) occurred after some pinball shit in the Leicester box. Vardy failed to track back to mark Grealish meaning he had all the time he needed to set himself up to swerve the ball into the far side of the net. In the second half Leicester steamed forward with everything and got caught on the counter beautifully. Agbonglahor picked the ball up from deep and skinned Bacuna to head towards the left side of the goal, he cut back intelligently for Gil to bend his shot just inside the post. After that was when Sherwood made his mark and not in the way he'd like to. Bringing on Ayew (who lost possession far too often) and Gestede (who relies on crosses coming in to be useful) effectively emptied their midfield and reduced them to nine men at a point when Leicester had thrown caution to the wind for a goal hunt. Ranieri's own substitutions were targeted solely at freeing up Mahrez to bomb forward at will and it worked. His corner led to the first goal when he dipped it over Bacuna for De Laet to head home over Guzan. On the 82nd Mahrez again (he really was at the centre of everything, Christ knows how Vardy got MOTM) served a through-ball to Drinkwater whose low cross was inch-perfect for Vardy to equalise in between two defenders. And that should have been that, only for Mahrez again. His cross in the 89th minute was ideal for Dyer to head over Guzan (and take a punch to the face for his troubles) for the win. The second half was quite possibly the best half of football I've seen in years. Villa, as gutted as Sherwood is and should be, will need to dust themselves down for West Brom next week when Leicester will float to Stoke to put their marker down in this league.

West Ham Vs Newcastle: Why is Newcastle?..............
It's a testament to just how dis-liked (for whatever reason) that Pardew was at Newcastle that no-one is calling for his return despite the abject display by Newcastle tonight. Although a few more games like this and that might change. Newcastle were second and third rate in every department tonight and the Hammers will scarcely believe their luck at getting such an easy confidence booster ahead of their clash next week with Man City. Cisse looked like a Sunday pub league player sweating out last night's 12 pints, if McClaren doesn't go all out for Austin in January there needs to be an inquiry and Sissoko couldn't have looked more uninterested in the game going on around him had he just left the grounds and gone home. It's telling that the Newcastle midfield gained a good deal more life when he was subbed off for Aarons, too bad that was in the 78th fucking minute. Colback looked limited and it seems as if the “giving everything for the cause” style of play is starting to wear him down.

Conversely, on the other side, it seems that Hammers fans are finally getting what they've been asking for. For all of Big Sam's positives it clear, after only five games, that Bilic is a far superior manager at this level. His pursuit of Payet (who was just unstoppable today) has shown the fans that the fripperies of the Big Sam era (such as spending 15m million on ,and paying 90k a week to, an absolute donkey of a player his own medical team refused to sanction) are long gone and aren't set to return anytime soon. The first goal was a classic example of the style of football he has instilled in his players, and I fucking love it. Noble, after expertly winning the ball off Wijnaldum, exchanged a series of gorgeous passes with Sakho whose final backheel caught the entire Newcastle defence on the hop and Noble cut the ball back to Payet who finished brilliantly into the top corner, leaving Krul no chance. After the goal, West Ham sat back in pure counter-attack mode and scored the second after a poor Newcastle free-kick. The ball headed to the half-way line where Moses controlled it with his head and sped off towards the goal. He left Haidara on his arse when he cut inside and ripped off a shot which smashed back out off the crossbar out to Payet who calmly slotted home for all three points.