Aaron Cresswell scored his first goal for West Ham United as they ended 10-man Newcastle United's winning run with a 1-0 victory at Upton Park.
In the meeting of two of the Barclays Premier League's form sides, Newcastle were searching for their seventh straight triumph in all competitions. But they were undone by a West Ham team who have picked up 13 points from their last five home matches, with left-back Cresswell proving the matchwinner. The 24-year-old, who joined from Ipswich Town in July, settled the encounter with a close-range strike in the 56th minute as Alan Pardew's defence was breached for the first time this month.
In a match of few clear-cut opportunities, Newcastle could not find their goalscoring touch and their frustration was compounded when Moussa Sissoko was sent off for two yellow cards in less than a minute. West Ham's sixth league win of the campaign lifted them above Newcastle in the table.
The visitors made a bright start and went close inside the first three minutes as Ayoze Perez shot wide of the far post following good work down the right from Yoan Gouffran.
Stewart Downing returned from injury for West Ham as one of three changes by Sam Allardyce and was the first to test Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot, who was named in the starting XI, along with Gouffran and captain Cheick Tiote, due to a twisted ankle for Tim Krul in training.
Downing drew a comfortable stop from Elliot with a low strike and that was the best West Ham could offer in the opening stages despite Newcastle allowing their hosts to enjoy the majority of possession.
Perez was the most dangerous player on the pitch in a quiet first half and provided another example of his attacking threat by flicking into the side-netting after a near-post cross from Sammy Ameobi, who then curled wide in the 44th minute.
Elliot's goal was rarely threatened by the hosts, but he was relieved to concede only a corner early in the second half when he charged from his line to try to clear a free-kick, only to miss the ball completely.
Newcastle's goalkeeper could do nothing to prevent Cresswell from putting West Ham ahead. The left-back capitalised on sloppy Newcastle defending, latching on to a mis-hit shot from Cheikhou Kouyate and slotting into the bottom-left corner from close range.
Pardew threw on Papiss Cisse and Remy Cabella in response, yet the changes had little impact for a Newcastle side who laboured in search of an equaliser. A disappointing afternoon for Pardew's men worsened as Sissokowas was sent off for a late challenge on former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll less than 30 seconds after being cautioned for kicking the ball away.
Sissoko's early exit effectively ended any hope of a Newcastle fightback and leaves an injury-hit side facing further problems ahead of Tuesday's trip to Burnley.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "We have to say it was a fantastic finish from Aaron Cresswell. It was fortuitous he got in that position. He's a full-back and carried on his run into the box. It was always going to be a 1-0.
"We get back on the winning trail going into December. Newcastle are an in-form side. It's massive win for us."
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew: "I'm disappointed the six-game winning run has come to an end - at some point it had to.
"It was a tight game - they had a major break on the goal. It probably decided the game. We tried to push the best we could.
"He (Sissoko) needs to learn - it was a minute of madness. He's usually such a controlled player. I thought we were pretty good right up until the goal. West Ham were aggressive and diligent. They had good moments, but nothing more than we had.
"We've had blow after blow but we've rode them. We've put younger players in. Rob Elliot came in and another super performance. I'm a bit worried about full-back Daryl Janmaat - we'll have a look at that again."
|13 Dec 2014||v Sunderland (A)|
|07 Dec 2014||v Swansea (H)|
|02 Dec 2014||v West Brom (A)|
|20 Dec 2014||v Leicester (H)|
|26 Dec 2014||v Chelsea (A)|
|28 Dec 2014||v Arsenal (H)|