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Newcastle smash West Ham to take command of top-four race

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Braces from Callum Wilson and Joelinton paced Newcastle past West Ham and made sure the Magpies hung on to third place, while the Hammers remain out of the relegation zone merely on goal difference.

Newcastle took another step toward a top-four finish with a comfortable, casual 5-1 victory over West Ham at London Stadium on Wednesday.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

The victory keeps Newcastle (53 points) 3rd in the Premier League table, ahead of Manchester United on goal difference (+26 to +5) with 10 games left to play, on track for their first UEFA Champions League berth in 20 years. West Ham (27 points), meanwhile, remain 15th, three places outside the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Newcastle wasted little time before jumping out to an early lead, as Callum Wilson added to his stellar goal-scoring record versus West Ham (11 goals in 13 appearances against the Hammers) in the 6th minute. Allan Saint-Maximin cut in from the right wing and curled a cross to the top of the six-yard box, where Wilson was waiting and rose highest to head past Lukasz Fabianski for a 1-0 lead.

Seven minutes later, the offside flag went up after Joelinton rounded Fabianski and slotted the ball into an open net. They keyword: after. The assistant referee kept his flag down and allowed the play to continue before flagging as Joelinton wheeled away to celebrate. A lengthy video review revealed that the Brazilian midfielder was indeed onside, and the goal was awarded.

WATCH WEST HAM vs NEWCASTLE FULL MATCH REPLAY

Kurt Zouma got West Ham back to within a goal with a powerful header in the 40th minute, but the one-goal margin lasted just 24 seconds into the second half, as disaster struck for Zouma’s center back partner, Nayef Aguerd. Fabianski rolled the ball out to the Moroccan international, who lost the ball straight to Jacob Murphy on the edge of the penalty area. Murphy played a square ball to Wilson for a tap-in from six yards out.

Goal no. 4 came late on, courtesy of another epic error at the back. Sean Longstaff played the ball over top of everyone, bringing Fabianski 30 yards out to sweep up the threat, but the first touch off his thigh played him into heaps of trouble with Aleksander Isak quickly closing in. The ball fell to Isak to chest it down and lob it home for his 7th PL goal.

Joelinton covered 50 yards with the ball, beat Zouma then beat Fabianski with a strike from 15 yards out to make it 5-1 in the 90th minute.


Newcastle wobbled, but they never went down

The first meeting between Newcastle and West Ham this season signaled, in hindsight, the first real stumble of the Magpies’ sensational season. The result wasn’t a disaster itself, but the performance was flat and that would quickly become a worrying trend. Another 1-1 draw with Bournemouth (19th place at the time) was followed by back-to-back PL defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City, with the League Cup final loss to Man United sandwiched in the middle. Three straight clean sheets, two goals scored in five games.

From 3rd to 6th in the span of a month. Now, after four straight victories (with multiple goals scored in each), Eddie Howe’s side is back in 3rd place, three points above and holding a game in hand on 5th-place Tottenham.


Stars of the show

West Ham vs Newcastle

Photo: FotMob.com


What’s next?

Newcastle will continue their Champions League chase on Saturday (10 am ET), when they visit 9th-place Brentford (43 points). At the same time on Saturday, West Ham will be just a few miles down the road in west London to face Fulham (39 points - 10th place) at Craven Cottage.

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How to watch West Ham vs Newcastle live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 3pm ET, WednesdayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & in-form players to watch

Nayef Aguerd scored the winner last time out and the Morocco star being fit has been a real boost for the Hammers. Declan Rice continues to dominate in midfield, while Lucas Paqueta was excellent against Southampton and showed off plenty of defensive work to go along with his quality on the ball. Lukasz Fabianski returned from injury and made some key saves in the shutout win.

Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes continues to dazzle in midfield, while Alexander Isak, Kieran Trippier, Nick Pope and Sven Botman are all having fabulous seasons too. Newcastle’s attackers are all chipping in with goals and assists as Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Joe Willock all popped up when it mattered most against Manchester United.


West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Gianluca Scamacca (knee)

Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Emil Krafth (knee), Ryan Fraser (other), Miguel Almiron (thigh) | DOUBTFUL: Joe Willock (thigh)



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