Wasteful West Ham crash to bogey-team Bournemouth
PUBLISHED: 17:05 19 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:06 19 January 2019
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The Hammers found things tough against lively Cherries
Bournemouth 2 West Ham United 0
The Hammers were left all at sea down on south coast, where it proved to be a tale of the strikers at the Vitality Stadium.
While Manuel Pellegrini was left looking helplessly high into the murky, misty skies after recalled Andy Carroll had been guilty of the miss of his career just after the break, in the opposite dug-out, Eddie Howe saw Callum Wilson and Joshua King go on to clinically hit the target to secure three points for the Cherries.
The Hammers victory over Arsenal last Saturday had been their sixth in nine Premier League matches and, kicking-off in 10th spot – two places and four points above Bournemouth - they made just one change as Carroll came in for the want-away Marko Arnautović, who, with his mind focused more on China than Dorset, had not even boarded the team coach for the trip to the South.
But Carroll saw little of the ball in the early exchanges as Bournemouth came out of the blocks looking determined to get their stuttering season back on track. Jefferson Lerma fired a rising 20-yarder through the damp coastal air and high over Lukasz Fabianski’s bar, before the fit-again Wilson crossed to the far post, where David Brooks ghosted behind Pablo Zabaleta only to wastefully nod behind.
Defeat at Everton last weekend had been the Cherries 11th loss in their last 14 games in all competitions but having taken just seven points from their last dozen Premier League outings, they were at least able to welcome back top-scorer Wilson to start in place of ex-Hammer Junior Stanislas, who found himself on bench alongside ‘keeper Asmir Begović as the recalled Artur Boruć took the gloves.
Having been on the back foot during the opening quarter-hour, the Hammers finally mounted their first serious attack of the afternoon when Carroll released Felipe Anderson down the left before then arriving at the far post to nod the Brazilian’s deep cross into the path of Michail Antonio, who found himself crowded out.
In his quest to keep the move alive, Carroll then found himself yellow-carded for rocking Ryan Fraser, who soon dug himself out of the Vitality Stadium mud to cross for Nathan Aké, whose close-range header was ruled out by an offside flag against Wilson.
Having survived that scare, the Hammers then saw Anderson’s fierce shot charged down, while the sliding Samir Nasri fired inches wide from 18 yards before last week’s match-winner, Declan Rice, was far less accurate with one over the top that brought a scrappy, niggly first period to a goalless conclusion.
Just after the restart, Fraser’s right-wing cross was almost turned into his own net by Zabaleta but Fabianski parried and neither Aké nor Steve Cook could force the loose ball home.
Seconds later, the Hammers should have taken the lead, when Mark Noble crossed to the far post, where Carroll sent a cushioned header into the path of Antonio six yards out. But with the West Ham No. 30 only succeeding in stubbing the ball towards the far post, Carroll - just one yard out - was guilty of that horrendous miss, launching the ball into the adjoining postcode.
That would prove to be expensive for Manuel’s men, who fell behind on 53 minutes, when Fraser darted down the left flank and having crossed to edge of West Ham area just a split-second before being wiped out by Issa Diop, the Bournemouth midfielder’s pain was soon eased by the sight of Wilson lashing an 18-yarder under the left-hand angle to break the deadlock with his 11th goal of the season.
Pellegrini responded with a double-switch as the red-faced Carroll and Nasri retired in place of Javier Hernández and Robert Snodgrass, who had barely settled into their stride before King invited Wilson to unleash a low 18-yarder that Fabianski fingertipped onto the base of his left-hand upright.
That would prove the final act of the afternoon for the Bournemouth goal-getter, who hobbled away as Stanislas stepped from the bench for the final quarter-hour.
Hernández had a rare long-ranger saved in the hitherto redundant Boruć’s first meaningful action the afternoon and, shortly afterwards, the Cherries ‘keeper took no prisoners as he punched the ball off Angelo Ogbonna’s scalp.
But Bournemouth would have the final word in stoppage time, when Stanislas released the impressive Brooks gliding down the right flank and the Cherries midfielder, who looked like he had been playing in carpet slippers all afternoon, unselfishly squared to King, who confirmed victory with a simple tap-in.
CHERRIES: Boruc, Clyne, Smith, Aké, S. Cook, Gosling, Lerma, Fraser (Daniels 90+2), Brooks (Mousset 90+2), King, Wilson (Stanislas 73). Unused subs: Begović, Surman, Rico, Simpson.
HAMMERS: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Diop, Rice, Noble (Diangana 78), Nasri (Snodgrass 66), Antonio, Anderson, Carroll (Hernández 66). Unused subs: Adrián, Obiang, Masuaku, Silva.
Booked: Carroll (19),
Referee: Simon Hooper