Debutants Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick both scored as Newcastle made a winning start to the 2020-21 Premier League season against an uninspiring West Ham.
Wilson, a £20m summer signing from Bournemouth, was a threat throughout as the Magpies won their opening game for the first time since 2012.
Steve Bruce’s side were well worth their victory despite the Hammers twice hitting the crossbar.
Wilson prodded in Andy Carroll’s flick-on to open the scoring, while Hendrick sealed victory with a late effort into the top left corner.
While Pablo Fornals and Angelo Ogbonna both hit crossbar for the hosts, too often their attacks lacked the cutting edge to trouble a resolute Newcastle defence.
And it ensured their miserable recent starts to Premier League campaigns continued, as they became the first club to lose their opening match for the fifth consecutive season.
Magpies debutants steal the show
Magpies manager Steve Bruce had said he was pleased to see owner Mike Ashley “flex his muscles” with the summer arrivals of Wilson and Jamal Lewis, plus free agents Ryan Fraser and Hendrick.
And even more pleasingly for Bruce, Wilson, Lewis and Hendrick all made an immediate impression for their new employers.
Wilson, who appears to thrive when facing the Hammers, was undoubtedly the pick of the bunch.
The 28-year-old’s pace and movement caused problems well before he scored his eighth goal in nine outings against West Ham, twice going close from Lewis deliveries from the left and teeing up Jonjo Shelvey after a surging run from his own half.
He also appeared to benefit from the freedom and flicks that Andy Carroll’s robust presence provided alongside him.
Newcastle had the fourth worst goal-scoring record in the top flight last term and Bruce will hope that combination can help to remedy that problem.
Wilson’s goal was a result of his opportunism after Carroll had got across the near post to flick on Javier Manquillo’s cross, and Hendrick’s late right-foot shot put the seal on a fine night for Newcastle’s new boys.
New season, familiar tale for Hammers
West Ham were bottom of the Premier League after the opening round of fixtures in each of the past three seasons.
And despite this performance not being as humbling as their heavy defeats against both Manchester clubs and Liverpool, it did highlight the need for manager David Moyes to bring in some reinforcements.
While they have been able to complete the permanent signing of Tomas Soucek, the Czech international has not exactly provided any fresh impetus, having spent the second half of last term on loan at the club.
Young winger Grady Diangana was controversially sold and three of the club’s most expensive players ever, including record signing Sebastien Haller, started as substitutes.
While Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Haller were all brought off the bench, there was little suggestion that the Hammers, who only managed three shots on target, were ever going to mount a comeback.
Man of the match – Callum Wilson (Newcastle)
‘Callum will give us something different’ – what they said
West Ham boss David Moyes speaking to BBC MOTD: “I think you are always trying to improve the squad but that wasn’t the reason we lost tonight. We have to analyse that.
“We had a good pre-season, we were feeling good after finishing the season well so we were disappointed with tonight.
“We need to get better with the players we have and they can be better, undoubtedly.”
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce told Sky Sports: “I wouldn’t say best week but when you come away from the Premier League and win 2-0 with two new signings scoring, it helps the cause.
“There was not much in it and we have a striker who scored typical striker’s goal. Callum Wilson enjoys playing against West Ham and it was good to see them two get off the mark. We were worthy winners.
“We have been missing the goals, Callum will give us something different and makes the squad better. He can only help the situation.
“We have made progress, it is a long season and cannot get carried away but the last week has been a positive week for everybody, the impact the signings have made, the supporters in particular will like the look of them,
“That is certainly the best I have seen of Andy Carroll since the year he has been back. He has scored a coupe goals in pre-season and when he plays like that and he stays well, we know what sort of competitor he is.”
Centurion Rice – the stats
- Newcastle United have won 10 Premier League away games against West Ham United – their joint-best such tally in the competition (10 vs Tottenham Hotspur).
- West Ham have lost more season openers in the Premier League than any other team in the competition’s history (14).
- Newcastle recorded their first opening weekend victory in the Premier League since beating Tottenham Hotspur in August 2012.
- West Ham manager David Moyes has lost nine of his last 13 matchday one fixtures in the Premier League (W4), including his last two (also for Sunderland in 2016-17).
- Newcastle’s Jeff Hendrick scored and assisted in a single Premier League game for the first time in his career (123rd appearance).
- Newcastle’s Callum Wilson has scored eight goals in nine league games against West Ham, more than he has netted against any other side in his league career.
- West Ham midfielder Declan Rice made his 100th appearance for the club in the Premier League.
West Ham host Charlton in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday (19:30 BST) before travelling to Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday, 19 September (20:00 BST).
Newcastle are also in EFL Cup action on Tuesday (19:30 BST) when they welcome Blackburn to St James’ Park before facing Brighton at home in their next Premier League game on Sunday, 20 September (14:00 BST)
- 24FredericksBooked at 54mins
- 20BowenSubstituted forFelipe Andersonat 89′minutes
- 16NobleSubstituted forYarmolenkoat 67′minutesBooked at 70mins
- 18FornalsSubstituted forHallerat 67′minutes
- 8Felipe Anderson
- 19ManquilloBooked at 68mins
- 14HaydenBooked at 13mins
- 10Saint-MaximinSubstituted forJoelintonat 75′minutes
- 13C WilsonSubstituted forAlmirónat 85′minutes
- 7CarrollSubstituted forS Longstaffat 88′minutes
- 36S Longstaff
Match ends, West Ham United 0, Newcastle United 2.
Second Half ends, West Ham United 0, Newcastle United 2.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Angelo Ogbonna.
Attempt blocked. Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tomas Soucek.
Offside, Newcastle United. Javier Manquillo tries a through ball, but Joelinton is caught offside.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Federico Fernández.
Substitution, West Ham United. Felipe Anderson replaces Jarrod Bowen.
Offside, West Ham United. Aaron Cresswell tries a through ball, but Sébastien Haller is caught offside.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Sean Longstaff replaces Andy Carroll.
Goal! West Ham United 0, Newcastle United 2. Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Miguel Almirón.
Offside, Newcastle United. Miguel Almirón tries a through ball, but Joelinton is caught offside.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Miguel Almirón replaces Callum Wilson.
Foul by Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United).
Andy Carroll (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt saved. Sébastien Haller (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Ryan Fredericks with a cross.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Jamal Lewis.
Attempt blocked. Michail Antonio (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Federico Fernández.
Attempt blocked. Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.