Newcastle United will play English Premier League football again next season after a 2-0 win against West Ham United on Sunday at St James’ Park. Newcastle might have been in front in just the first minute when Emmanuel Riviere missed from close range. However moments later West Ham might have had a penalty when Mike Williamson appeared to bring down the attacker in the box but referee Martin Atkinson decided otherwise.
The Hammers countered well in the 24th minute as Stewart Downing beat the offside trap but could not beat Tim Krul who saved well one-on-one. The Magpies’ most spirited performance in 10 matches saw John Carver’s men play some enterprising stuff at times without ever truly testing the visiting goalkeeper. It was still goalless at the break but luckily for the Toon, Hull and Manchester United were also scoreless.
The hosts should have been in front in the 51st minute when Daryl Janmaat ran superbly down the right to beat the defender and make his way into the box before setting up Riviere with only the keeper to beat. However the Frenchman’s attempt was woefully off target. The goal arrived in the 54th minute when Moussa Sissoko rose above two defenders to head home Jonas Gutierrez’s cross from the left.
The Frenchman was shown a yellow card for removing his shirt in a hysterical celebration. As matters stood it would be the Geordies staying up ahead of the Tigers but there was still a long way to go. In the 79th minute former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan had a shot at goal but his effort from outside the box travelled wide of Krul.
From a counter-attack the Carver’s side had a four-on-one situation where Vurnon Anita somehow could not find his teammate to bury the match. It was all over in the 85th minute when Gutierrez hammered home from 23 yards to seal the deal. The Argentine was playing his last match for the Magpies and what a way to go out it was especially considering his return from testicular cancer just a few months ago.
In the end the Tyneside club’s first win on a final day in the top flight since 2006 guarantees top flight football for next season. The outcome also sees Sam Allardyce’s men slump to a 12th straight away fixture without a win and just one win in eight overall.