Newcastle United gave their survival hopes a real boost this weekend as they followed up their draw against Manchester United with a 2-1 victory over West Ham United at St. James’ Park.
The Magpies got off to a flyer, penning the visitors back and taking a 2-0 lead within the first 15 minutes with goals coming from Ayoze Perez and Georginio Wijnladum.
The Hammers responded in the second half with a strike from Nikica Jelavic, yet the hosts held out for the three points and subsequently moved out of the bottom three.
Everyone in a Newcastle shirt played their part at St. James’ Park, yet the game’s outstanding player was attacking midfielder Wijnaldum as he proved to be a real thorn in West Ham’s side.
|Goals||Shots||Key Passes||Take-ons||Touches||Accurate Passes||Ball Recoveries||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Wijnaldum was heavily involved throughout and was instrumental in his side’s good start as he recorded both an assist and a goal.
He first set up Perez to fire the hosts in-front before doubling his side’s lead ten minutes later, side-footing Daryl Janmaat’s cross high into the net from close-range.
Aside from his goal contributions, the Dutch international also recorded four shots, four key passes, five successful take-ons and ten ball recoveries over the course of the 90 minutes.
In possession, Wijnaldum was reliable as ever as he produced 72 touches and 49 accurate passes
The wins momentarily takes Newcastle out of the bottom three at Swansea City’s expense, though the Welsh side could move back above them with a win over Watford on Monday.
Newcastle have enough ability to stay up this season, though keeping Wijnaldum determined and in-from could prove critical come the end of the campaign.