x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Premier League round-up: Nolan's happy return has Pardew sweating

Kevin Nolan returned to St James' Park and played the part of villain, scoring the lone goal in West Ham's 1-0 victory over Newcastle United.

Kevin Nolan, left, returned to St James' Park and played the part of villain as his lone goal led West Ham over Newcastle United.
Kevin Nolan, left, returned to St James' Park and played the part of villain as his lone goal led West Ham over Newcastle United.

Kevin Nolan returned to St James' Park to haunt his former side, scoring the winner as West Ham United beat Newcastle United 1-0 on Sunday night.

In a game featuring multiple reunions, the West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, who managed Newcastle for eight months until January 2008, came away with all three points at the expense of his opposite number Alan Pardew, who managed West Ham from 2003 to 2006.

Nolan's 39th-minute strike, so typical of the goals he once scored when he was the Newcastle captain, converting a pass from Joey O'Brien to secure the Hammers' first win in Newcastle in 14 years.

The victory was West Ham's first of the season outside of London and moves the club up to sixth place in the standings with 18 points. The defeat was just Newcastle's second in nine league games as the Magpies remain 10th with 14 points.

Newcastle were once again far from their best, but did create more than enough chances to get something out of the game and would have done but for some poor finishing and the resilience of the goalkeeper, Jussi Jaaskelainen, who produced fine saves from Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa.

Opposite number Tim Krul prevented Andy Carroll, the former Newcastle favourite, from opening his West Ham account with a 72nd-minute save with the visitors threatening on the counter-attack.

But ultimately it was Allardyce who was smiling as his successor Pardew was left to bemoan another disjointed display and defeat at the hands of his former employers in front of a largely disappointed crowd of 51,855.

"We are kicking ourselves," Pardew said on BBC Sport.

"It was the West Ham performance we knew we were going to get but what we lacked was the verve and imagination to unlock them. We had eight or nine shots but none with any purpose or quality. Newcastle at home must score one, two, three or maybe four and we got none today.

"It's nothing to do with our European game - we made lots of changes and the team was fresh - but we didn't do ourselves justice in the first 30 minutes. We didn't come alive until they scored and that is not good enough.

"We've got a home game [against Swansea City] next week and we're under pressure to produce a performance and win."

Carroll spurned a great opportunity to score against his old employers when he saw a side-footed effort saved by former teammate Krul after robbing Mike Williamson in the 72nd minute.

Krul went up for an injury-time corner as Newcastle battled for an equaliser but he could not get his head to Ben Arfa's delivery and Yohan Cabaye put a subsequent shot over the crossbar.

 

JAMIE CARRAGHER: WE DESERVE OUR POINT

Jamie Carragher says Liverpool were worthy of the point they claimed with a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Luis Suarez dealt a huge double blow to Chelsea's Premier League title hopes on Sunday after inadvertently ending John Terry's comeback and snatching a deserved draw.

Terry looked set to enjoy a dream return to action after his domestic four-match racism ban when he powered the European champions ahead from a corner.

But the Chelsea captain then collided accidentally with the man at the centre of football's other race scandal, forcing him off on a stretcher, with Suarez going on to equalise for Liverpool and almost steal victory.

The draw prevented Chelsea from climbing back into second place as they recorded their third league game without a win to lie three points behind Manchester United.

Carragher told Sky Sports: "I think first half Chelsea were on top but in the second we came out and great credit to the lads.

"We probably deserved a draw in the end, the way we battled in the second half."

It was Carragher's first start in the league this season and he said: "The Premier League is a step up [from the cups] with all its intensity and Chelsea is a difficult place to come.

"If I am picked I give everything; it is down to the manager, he is the boss."

When asked if not playing was frustrating, Carragher said: "Yes and no. I want to play but I understand.

"I am never going to cause a problem."

His Liverpool teammate Jose Enrique added: "Most important is the performance from the team. Suarez is an amazing player, a key player for us."

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