Dimitri Payet scored early in both halves as West Ham eased to a 2-0 victory over winless Newcastle United in the Premier League on Monday.
France international Payet formed part of Slaven Bilic’s new-look attacking line-up at Upton Park and was the pick of the bunch as they capitalised on a lifeless display from Steve McClaren’s men, who stay in the bottom three.
A stunning Payet strike gave the hosts an early lead and lit up a relatively low-key first half, with the former Marseille man on target again within four minutes of the restart.
The pace and guile of the West Ham forward line continued to cause problems after the break, with debutant Victor Moses surging clear and hitting the crossbar – Payet making the most of the rebound to double his tally for the evening.
Payet’s third Premier League goal put the game to bed as McClaren saw his side struggle for attacking intent and ideas in the absence of suspended striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Newcastle’s haul of two points from five games does little to demonstrate improvement under McClaren, although Bilic – who handed Andy Carroll his first appearance since February off the bench – will be delighted to have built on West Ham’s excellent 3-0 win at Liverpool with another vibrant performance.
West Ham led after just nine minutes as Payet’s impressive start to Premier League life continued with an expert finish into the top right-hand corner.
Following smart build-up from Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho, Payet gave Tim Krul no chance from the edge of the area, and the Frenchman went close again soon after following positive play down the right from Chelsea loanee Moses.
While Newcastle struggled to establish themselves in the game, Daryl Janmaat guided the visitors’ first chance straight at Darren Randolph inside the area.
Moses had the chance to double West Ham’s lead before the interval, shooting wide following a quick counter, with Bilic’s half only soured by the sight of Angelo Ogbonna limping off late on.
However, the hosts started the second half on the front foot as well and were rewarded when Payet doubled his tally following another dangerous counter off the back of a Newcastle free-kick.
Moses again showed strength and pace before rattling the crossbar, with Payet on hand to volley the rebound past Vurnon Anita and Krul on the line.
With the game drifting away from his side, McClaren introduced Ayoze Perez and Siem de Jong but it was full-back Janmaat who again went closest, forcing Randolph into a save down to his left from close range.
A lack of creativity continued to stifle the visitors, although De Jong saw his deflected strike tipped over well by Randolph.
But Bilic was always on course to get the better of his opposite number on their first meeting since his Croatia side famously ended England’s Euro 2008 qualification hopes at Wembley eight years ago.