By Marc Isaacs
LONDON (Reuters) – West Ham United were disappointing in defence and failed to live up to their normal standards as their unbeaten run came to an end with a 3-2 defeat against Newcastle United on Saturday, manager David Moyes said.
Moyes, whose side were unbeaten in three matches since he took charge, looked to have turned the team’s season around following recent victories over Chelsea and Stoke City.
But, having taken an early lead when Marko Arnautovic scored after six minutes, the Hammers’ defence could not deal with Newcastle’s impressive counterattack and conceded three sloppy goals to hand the visitors their first win in nine matches.
The defeat leaves West Ham one place above the Premier League’s bottom three and Moyes made no excuses for his side’s poor display.
“We should have capitalised after the first goal and when we got it early on, I thought it would work in our favour,” Moyes said. “We made a mistake for their goal and it should have been offside for the second. “But we didn’t perform well enough and I am disappointed. “We were hoping this game would give us a different league position and help us get away from the bottom,” he told reporters.
“We are at home and there is an expectation of playing more. We missed (Manuel) Lanzini for carrying the ball. But defensively I thought we were poor and didn’t deal with balls up to the striker.”
Moyes had no doubts that Andre Ayew’s penalty miss in the second half was a major factor in his side’s failure to take anything from the game.
Ayew blew a major chance to help his side draw level at 2-2 when his sluggish kick was well saved by Rob Elliot.
“It was such a big moment in the game for us. If we could have got back to 2-2 we were in the ascendancy,” he said.
“Andre was there to take it. We have missed one at Everton (last month) and one here. We cannot be missing them. We need to be more reliable.”
West Ham face a six-pointer on Boxing Day against fellow strugglers Bournemouth who are one place below them.
(Reporting by Marc Isaacs; Editing by Rex Gowar)