(Reuters) - Striker Javier Hernandez made the most of a rare start for West Ham United by scoring two clinical goals which helped the east London side to a 3-0 Premier League win at Newcastle United on Saturday.
The result, wrapped up with a late goal from Felipe Anderson, lifted West Ham to 13th place on 15 points from 14 games and ended Newcastle’s three-match winning streak as the Magpies, who have 12 points, slipped to 14th.
Hernandez stressed hard work to break into West Ham’s starting line-up had finally paid off.
“I know I am doing well on the training ground,” he told Sky Sports. “I have been patient. In this world when you have confidence it is easier to perform like I did today.
“We wanted to come here and get three points and the important thing is that we scored first. We scored three and could have got more.”
West Ham’s fast breaks had toothless Newcastle reeling all afternoon and livewire Mexico international Hernandez fired them ahead in the 11th minute with a sweeping close-range finish after a fine cross by Robert Snodgrass.
Hernandez and strike partner Marko Arnautovic continued to torment their markers after the break and the Mexican missed two gilt-edged chances before they combined to devastating effect for the second goal in the 63rd minute.
Arnautovic superbly headed down a lofted West Ham clearance into Hernandez’s stride and the 30-year old made no mistake as he drove the ball past Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka inside the near post.
Newcastle threw men forward in the closing stages but failed to create any chances and were caught cold again in stoppage time when Brazilian Anderson found time and space in the penalty area to bury his shot through Dubravka’s legs.
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini praised Hernandez but warned his side they must not get carried away.
“The worst mistake is to think the future is regular for us,” the Argentine said.
“We need to play the next game (at home to Cardiff on Tuesday) in the same way as today. An important three points but it is not enough.
“We arrive with the World Cup and Javier was five weeks ill. It is not easy to recover his best moment but he is a scorer. I am happy for him.”
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond