Moyes makes dream start as West Ham thump Bournemouth
No Vardy but a New Year’s party for Leicester at Newcastle while Watford see off Wolves
West Ham manager David Moyes celebrates after their 4-0 win over Bournemouth. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images
West Ham United 4 Bournemouth 0
David Moyes made a perfect start to his second spell in charge of West Ham after two goals from Mark Noble and one each by Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller gave the Hammers a 4-0 home win over Bournemouth.
Moyes, who saved the club from relegation during a six-month stint in 2017-18 and replaced Manuel Pellegrini at the helm on Sunday, saw West Ham produce arguably their best performance of what has been a patchy season.
Noble fired the home side ahead with a deflected 17th-minute shot from 20 metres before Haller doubled their lead with a spectacular goal eight minutes later, blasting in a Ryan Fredericks cross with an acrobatic volley.
Noble rounded off a perfect first half for West Ham with a 35th-minute penalty, sending goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way after he was fouled by Harry Wilson as he muscled his way past the Bournemouth forward.
Anderson added the fourth midway through the second half as he shook off his marker and slid the ball under Ramsdale before a VAR check rescinded a red card for West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell, who was instead booked for a poor tackle.
The result lifted West Ham to 16th in the standings on 22 points from 20 games while 18th-placed Bournemouth, who have 20 points, dropped into the relegation zone after suffering their eighth league defeat in the last 10 games.
Newcastle United 0 Leicester City 3
Leicester City striker Ayoze Perez came back to haunt his former team Newcastle United with a goal and an assist for midfielder James Maddison, as the Foxes eased to a 3-0 victory and cut the gap to runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool.
The win meant that Brendan Rodgers’ second-placed side have 45 points from 21 matches, 10 points behind Liverpool who have two games in hand and host Sheffield United on Thursday.
Leicester made light of Jamie Vardy’s absence due to a calf injury as Perez pounced on a poor pass across the back line from Newcastle defender Florian Lejeune and rode a tackle from Fabian Schar before slotting past Martin Dubravka in the 36th minute.
Lejeune was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons again as his poor clearance found its way to Perez who fed Maddison, and the England international blasted in a left-footed shot from distance three minutes later.
The double blow came shortly after Newcastle had missed the chance to take the lead through Brazilian forward Joelinton, who sprinted onto a pass over the top of the Leicester defence but failed to beat goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel with two attempts.
With Newcastle reduced to 10 men after using up their three substitutions and Schar unable to play due to injury, Leicester made it 3-0 in the 87th minute through Hamza Choudhury who curled in a shot from outside the penalty area.
Watford 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
Ten-man Watford continued their fine run of form under new manager Nigel Pearson and boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League with a 2-1 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Gerard Delofeu and Abdoulaye Doucoure fired Watford ahead before Pedro Neto pulled one back for Wolves, who failed to capitalise on a numerical advantage in the last 20 minutes after defender Christian Kabasele was sent off for the hosts.
Doucoure made it 2-0 in the 49th when he cut inside from the left and found the top corner with a firm drive which clipped Wolves defender Conor Coady and left Patricio stranded.
Neto reduced the arrears on the hour with a heavily deflected effort which sailed over Ben Foster and Wolves piled the pressure after Kabasele was shown a straight red card following a VAR review.
The centre back was originally booked for hauling down Diogo Jota just outside the penalty area but Watford held on in the closing stages to celebrate their third league win coupled with one draw under Pearson.
Norwich City 1 Crystal Palace 1
An 87th minute goal from Connor Wickham, allowed by a VAR review, earned Crystal Palace a 1-1 draw at bottom club Norwich City, a bitter blow for the struggling Canaries.
Norwich had led after a fourth minute goal from Todd Cantwell and dominated for large stretches but were unable to add to their tally -- Kenny McLean hitting the bar in the 73rd minute.
But Palace drew level when Wilfried Zaha slid a pass across the face of the goal to Wickham who slid the ball home, only to see the offside flag raised.
However a VAR review ruled that Wickham was just onside when the ball was played and reversed referee Jon Moss’s decision.
Norwich are winless in eight games and have just one victory in 16 matches.
The side bottom of the Premier League going into a new year has been relegated in 23 of the previous 27 seasons.