Hammers' new hero Payet brings home comforts with brace to sink Newcastle
West Ham 2-0 Newcastle
West Ham embrace their heroes and in Dimitri Payet they may have found a new one.
Payet has all the skill, flair, attitude and football charisma that Hammers fans love and last night, under lights, he won them a game almost single-handedly.
Victor Moses, on his West Ham debut, performed very well but Payet looked to be playing a different game entirely.
He scored the wonderful opening goal after nine minutes and added a second shortly after the restart, displaying a rare awareness and technique.
Payet's signing is one of the triumphs of the financial strength of mid-table Premier League sides. He was Marseilles' best player but they could not afford to keep him when West Ham offered £10.7m for him in the summer.
Newcastle signed Florian Thauvin from Marseilles, as well as Aleksandar Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum for even bigger fees, but they could be forgiven for feeling they signed the wrong men.
Newcastle arrived late and offered almost nothing at all in this match, leaving them bottom of the Premier League.
Mitrovic was suspended while Thauvin and Wijnaldum were both anonymous and both substituted. Their most dangerous attacking player was right-back Daryl Janmaat.
West Ham were fairly open in midfield but they attacked with pace and always looked like creating chances.
Payet ran the game from his No 10 role, and when his team-mates put a good move together after nine minutes, he finished it beautifully.
Diafra Sakho played a back-heel out to Mark Noble on the left of the penalty area. With no shot on, Noble rolled it to Payet lurking just outside the box, and the Frenchman clipped the ball with the inside of his right boot into the far top corner.
West Ham did not look wholly comfortable defending their lead, but they always carried a threat.
Four minutes into the second half, a Newcastle free-kick was cleared and Moses raced away, reaching the box and cutting inside. His smacked shot hit the bar and bounced down and out, where Payet made the side-footed volley finish look far easier than it was.
With Newcastle so limp, there was no chance of a comeback.
Independent News Service