Newcastle United 2 West Ham United 0: Magpies stay up as Sissoko, Gutierrez sink Hammers

John Carver leads the celebrations on the Newcastle bench after survival was secured
John Carver leads the celebrations on the Newcastle bench after survival was secured

NEWCASTLE United secured their Premier League status this afternoon thanks to goals from Moussa Sissoko and Jonas Gutierrez.

The pair gave John Carver’s side a 2-0 victory over West Ham United at St James’s Park.

And the result saw Newcastle – who hadn’t won since February 28 and were in danger of being relegated on the final day of the camapign – end the season in 15th place, a point above Sunderland.

Owner Mike Ashley had broken his long silence before the match.

The billionaire had insisted minutes before kick-off that the club was not for sale “at any price” – whatever Newcastle’s fate.

Ashley also pledged to “invest” in the squad in what was his first-ever interview as the club’s owner.

Sissoko and Gutierrez struck in the second half to condemn Hull City to the Championship.

Newcastle started well – the recalled Papiss Demba Cisse and Emmanuel Riviere had early chances – and Daryl Janmaat also shot wide in the 17th minute.

But Carver’s side, lacking ideas and inspiration in the final third of the pitch, lost momentum as the half wore on against a well-organised West Ham side, skippered by former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan.

Janmaat headed a left-wing Jack Colback cross over Adrian’s goal in the 40th minute, and the half ended goalless.

Carver sent out an unchanged team for the second half, and the game’s best chance fell to Riviere in the 51st minute after Janmaat, set away by a clever ball from Vurnon Anita, broke down the right.

Janmaat beat his marker and delivered a low cross to Riviere a yard from goal, but somehow the striker didn’t even get a touch.

But the all-important breakthrough wasn’t long in coming.

Gutierrez crossed from the left and Sissoko headed the ball into the bottom left-hand corner to lift the roof at St James’s Park.

Sissoko ran to the home dugout, where he was mobbed by his team-mates and the club’s staff.

Referee Martin Atkinson booked Sissoko – who changed his boots later in the half – for taking his shirt off in the aftermath of his 11th, and almost certainly last, goal for the club.

West Ham’s fans, meanwhile, chanted “you’re getting sacked in the morning” at Allardyce, who seems certain to leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Allardyce sent on Elliot Lee, son of former Newcastle midfielder Rob, for the last 13 minutes.

Anita, outstanding in midfield, won the ball deep in his own half and ran the length of the pitch, but opted to pass rather than shoot, and Adrian managed to block his pass

But Newcastle were not finished, and Gutierrez a shot from Gutierrez took a deflection on its way past Adrian in the 85th minute.

Gutierrez stripped off his shirt in celebration, but he didn’t don his trademark Spider-Man mask.

There were cheers, and anti-Ashley chants, after the final whistle.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Dummett; Sissoko, Anita (Gouffran, 89), Colback, Gutierrez; Riviere, Cisse. Subs not used: Woodman, R Taylor, Ameobi, Cabella, de Jong, Perez.

WEST HAM UNITED: Adrian, Jenkinson, Burke (Tomkins, 69), Reid, Cresswell, Song, Nolan, Kouyate (Lee, 77), Downing, Valencia (Amalfitano, 63), Cole. Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Jarvis, Nene.

Goals: Sissoko 54, Gutierrez 85

Bookings: Sissoko 54, Amalfitano 80, Gutierrez 85

Referee: Martin Atkinson (Bradford)

Attendance: 52,094