A brace from Javier Hernandez and late strike from Felipe Anderson ended Newcastle's winning run, as West Ham recorded a 3-0 win at St. James' Park.
West Ham took the lead after 11 minutes, as those few fans taking part in the '11th minute walk-in' took their seats, with Javier Hernandez finding space inside the area to convert Robert Snodgrass' inswinging cross for the early advantage.
Newcastle did have chances to equalise before the break, with Ayoze Perez failing convert any of the four that came his way, while Salomon Rondon had a shot blocked well by Pablo Zabaleta on the stroke on half time.
The Hammers meanwhile appeared content playing on the counter following Hernandez's goal, and looked threatening doing so, but couldn't produce the final pass or finish at the vital moment.
The second half started in a similar vein to the first, with both sides spurning chances, as Rondon could't direct a near post header on target, while Hernandez passed up two great efforts in the space of a minute.
Hernandez made amends for earlier misses in the 63rd minute, as the Mexican ran onto Arnautovic's flick-on before calmly finishing past Martin Dubravka and double West Ham's advantage, before Felipe Anderson rounded off his performance with a richly deserved goal to seal the 3-0 win in added time.
Key Talking Point
Rafael Benitez will be ruing the chances his side missed during this game, with Ayoze Perez and Rondon the guilty pair, as they both passed up numerous opportunities over the course of the game, while a striker at the other end proved to be the match winner.
Newcastle entered the game having won their last three, but their momentum has been well and truly halted following a mediocre display against West Ham.
Starting XI: Dubravka (5); Yedlin (5), Schar (6), Fernandez (5), Manquillo (5); Ritchie (6*), Ki (6), Diame (5), Kenedy (5); Ayoze Perez (5); Rondon (5).
Substitutes: Atsu (5), Shelvey (5), Joselu (5).
Matt Ritchie could've had two assists in the first half if Ayoze Perez had converted either of his set-pieces, such was the quality of the deliveries, which is why it came as such a surprise when he was substituted at the beginning of the second half.
I’ll struggle to get my head round a fairly consistent and reliable Matt Ritchie being dragged off while Kenedy remains on despite not putting in a decent 90 minutes this season 🤔— Adam Gardner (@Adam_Gardner96) December 1, 2018
While he was hard-working up front, Ayoze Perez had four opportunities in the first half to get Newcastle back into the game, and failed to hit the target with any of them.
His best was the second, as he ballooned his header over from just six yards out when he should've scored, as the Spaniard failed to match his effort with goals.
Win or lose my hatred for Ayoze Perez grows every game— BM (@BenjaminMould) December 1, 2018
A half decent number 10 would flourish in this team. He can stick his fingers in his lugs all he wants but ayoze Perez is shite— Kris Leighton (@toontong85) December 1, 2018
Lmao don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone play worse than Ayoze Perez.😂— ben (@bennmurrayy) December 1, 2018
WEST HAM UNITED
Key Talking Point
West Ham's quality in the final third proved too much for Newcastle, as Javier Hernandez and Felipe Anderson starred for Manuel Pellegrini's side.
The Mexican provided two great finishes in each half at vital moments of the game, while Anderson got the goal his performance deserved right at the death, while their hosts were wasteful in front of goal.
A welcome clean sheet means it was a solid afternoon for the Hammers, who will now hope to kick on following their display.
Starting XI: Fabianski (6); Zabaleta (6), Balbuena (5), Diop (6), Cresswell (7); Snodgrass (6), Noble (7), Rice (6), Anderson (7); Hernandez (8*), Arnautovic (5).
Substitutes: Masuaku (5), Obiang (5), Wilshere (6).
Javier Hernandez proved to be the difference between the two sides at St. James' Park as his brace earned West Ham their first win in almost a month, the Mexican showing good movement for his first of the game, while his composed finish sealed the win for the Hammers.
Worth his weight in gold lets get another want to see him get his hat-trick— Simon W (@cooper1827) December 1, 2018
THIS IS WHAT HE DOES AND WHY HE NEEDS TO START ⚒⚒👍👍😃😃— ⚒IronHammer⚒ (@ClaretnBlueLife) December 1, 2018
While it's hard to pick a player, Marko Arnautovic at times looked a player who was searching for match sharpness.
He did provide the assist for the second goal of the goal, but the imposing Austrian will better afternoons for West Ham this season.
The Premier League returns in midweek, as Newcastle travel to Merseyside to face Everton on Wednesday, hoping to get back to winning ways.
West Ham, meanwhile, host Cardiff on the Tuesday at the London Stadium, as they look to carry the momentum of the win against the Magpies into their fixture against the Welsh side.