Newcastle 2 West Ham 0

Moussa Sissoko

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At St. James' Park



Newcastle United 2 (Sissoko 54, Gutierrez 85)

West Ham United 0



Second half goals from Moussa Sissoko and Jonas Gutierrez secured Newcastle United's Barclays Premier League status for another season, as they recorded a 2-0 victory over West Ham United at St. James' Park.


Sissoko headed home Gutierrez's left-wing cross early in the second period before, with time running out the Argentine turned from provider to goalscorer when he found the back of the Gallowgate End net from 20 yards.


And that means the Magpies did not need to worry about results elsewhere, as they took care of their own business and finished the 2014/15 in 15th place.


Roared on by a vociferous, packed St. James' Park, United raced out of the traps and could have got off to the perfect start with just 51 seconds on the clock.


Riviere and Moussa Sissoko combined well down the right, with the latter delivering a low cross into the path of Papiss Cisse, who was arriving at the near post.


The Senegalese front man saw his effort blocked but the loose ball fell kindly for Riviere who, having made up at least 30 yards to get into the box, fired an angled drive inches off target.


Former Monaco man Riviere looked a real handful in the opening exchanges and threatened again in the sixth minute.


Again it stemmed from the right flank - this time a deep Daryl Janmaat cross, which Riviere met with an acrobatic volley that rippled the side netting rather than the back of it.


Janmaat was next to try his luck, pulling a shot wide from the edge of the box, as Newcastle tried to turn their dominance into goals.


It took West Ham 23 minutes to create an opening, and it fell the way of former Middlesbrough man Stewart Downing.


The winger snuck in behind the home rearguard to latch on to Aaron Cresswell's threaded pass, but goalkeeper Tim Krul made a fine block with his legs to keep the game goalless.


The Magpies were soon back on the front foot and when another Janmaat cross found its way through a clutch of bodies, Riviere was unable to get enough power on his half-volley to trouble Adrian.


Five minutes before half-time another chance came and went. Jonas Gutierrez's fine pass put Jack Colback in down the left and his deep delivery was headed over the top by the rampaging Janmaat.


With no changes at the break, Newcastle continued where they had left off and within three minutes of the restart Mike Williamson had glanced Colback's corner narrowly wide.


On 50 minutes, the hosts came within inches of finally breaking the deadlock.


Vurnon Anita's pass into the right channel was latched onto by Janmaat who, with his first touch, skipped past Cresswell before driving into the area and slotting the ball across the six-yard box.


Riviere came to meet it but, with only Adrian to beat, failed to make contact and it rolled through to safety.


However, just four minutes later Newcastle deservedly took the lead.


Gutierrez had been outstanding all afternoon and continued in that vein by delivery an inch-perfect cross from the left flank right onto the head of Sissoko, who had risen above both Winston Reid and Cresswell.


And, in front of the Gallowgate End, the Frenchman did the rest, planting a downward header past Adrian and sparking huge celebrations of relief around St. James' Park.


Not content with just the one, United soon went in search of a second and Cisse saw a header blocked by Hammers substitute James Tomkins before firing an ambitious long-range effort off target.


With only a single-goal cushion, the closing stages were always likely to be nervy and so it proved as Nolan pulled the trigger from 18 yards.


However, the former Newcastle skipper - normally such a potent goalscoring force from the middle of the park - failed to get a true connection on his strike as it bobbled wide.


In the 83rd minute, the Magpies were almost gifted a second that would have put the result - and the issue of their top flight survival - to bed.


As a West Ham free-kick into the box was cleared towards the halfway line, Anita robbed Cresswell and raced through on goal.


With only Adrian to beat and a couple of teammates to his right, the Dutch midfielder opted to try and play in Sissoko but Adrian managed to smother before it reached the Frenchman.


However, that miss was not to matter as, just seconds later, the lead was doubled and Premier League safety secured.


That it came via the boot of Gutierrez was so fitting - not just for his outstanding performance in this fixture but also to cap a season in which he overcame testicular cancer.


When Colback rolled the ball into his path, Gutierrez worked it back onto his right foot and then placed a low shot beyond the grasp of Adrian and into the bottom corner.



Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Paul Dummett; Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita (Yoan Gouffran 88), Jack Colback, Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse, Emmanuel Riviere


Subs not used: Freddie Woodman, Ryan Taylor, Siem de Jong, Sammy Ameobi, Remy Cabella, Ayoze Perez



West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Adrian; Carl Jenkinson; Winston Reid, Reece Burke (James Tomkins 68), Aaron Cresswell; Alex Song, Kevin Nolan (c); Stewart Downing, Cheikhou Koyate (Elliot Lee 77), Enner Valencia (Morgan Amalfitano 62); Carlton Cole


Subs not used: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Joey O'Brien, Matt Jarvis, Nene



Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)


Bookings: Newcastle United - Sissoko (54), Gutierrez (85); West Ham United - Amalfitano (80)



Attendance: 52,094 (3,200 West Ham)

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