|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Bournemouth win thriller at West Ham with Callum Wilson hat-trick
Jacob Steinberg at Upton Park
datePublished Saturday 22 August 2015 17.13 BST
They have been winning friends and admiring glances, but the time had come for Bournemouth to prove that they belong at this level and Eddie Howe’s players wanted something more substantial to show for their unstinting efforts than generous pats on the head that followed narrow defeats in their first two matches. Howe’s side did not disappoint at Upton Park and heightened West Ham United’s air of vulnerability by scoring their first goals of the season and earning their first victory in the top flight of English football.
The Premier League will be a more enjoyable place for Bournemouth’s presence if they attack with this much adventure and imagination every week. Callum Wilson scored a hat-trick and although Bournemouth’s chaotic defending made the contest closer than it should have been, they were steadied by the composure of Marc Pugh after squandering their 2-0 lead at the start of the second half and deserved their 4-3 win.
West Ham should learn from the way that Bournemouth steeled themselves. The move to the Olympic Stadium next summer means that relegation is unthinkable this season and they had better hope that the gamble of replacing Sam Allardyce with Slaven Bilic does not backfire. They lost for the second successive week at home, Bilic once again bemoaned his players’ inability to do the basics properly and the systematic frailties that were exposed by Leicester City last weekend were present against Bournemouth. Can this really be the same team who won at Arsenal two weeks ago?
This was an ordeal for Aaron Cresswell in particular and West Ham’s indiscipline was encapsulated by Carl Jenkinson picking up the fifth red card of Bilic’s short reign, while the sight of Kevin Nolan starting up front alongside Diafra Sakho because of injuries to Andy Carroll, Enner Valencia and Mauro Zárate highlighted the need for them to sign a striker.
Charlie Austin might have had a chuckle when he heard about this defeat, bearing in mind what the club’s co-owner, David Sullivan, has had to say about paying £15m for the Queens Park Rangers striker, and West Ham should not kid themselves about Modibo Maïga coming off the bench to score moments after Wilson made it 4-2 to Bournemouth. They are crying out for attacking reinforcements and Dimitri Payet cannot create chances on his own.
Bournemouth arrived in east London goalless but it was not long before they reminded Darren Randolph of the torture they subjected him to when he was at Birmingham City. Deputising for the suspended Adrían, Randolph was not favoured by recent history given these were the same opponents who stuck 12 goals past him in two matches last season.
Not that any blame could be attached to Randolph for any of Bournemouth’s four goals here. There was nothing he could have done to prevent them from breaking their Premier League duck in the 11th minute and West Ham were in trouble once Simon Francis had won his tussle with Cresswell on the right. Wilson’s sharp movement across Winston Reid allowed him to batter Francis’s cut-back past Randolph at the near post.
Boos rang around Upton Park once Bournemouth’s superior competence became painfully apparent and there were times when it felt like a trick of the mind that Bilic was standing in the technical area instead of Allardyce.
The damage was already severe by the time James Tomkins replaced Angelo Ogbonna in central defence after 35 minutes. Cresswell had a nightmare and the left-back was culpable when Bournemouth scored again, Wilson punishing his errant pass.
West Ham were a collective shambles and their diamond system afforded their full-backs no protection. While Cresswell struggled to contain Matt Ritchie on the left, Jenkinson was tormented throughout by Max Gradel on the opposite flank and was sent off for pulling the winger back and conceding the penalty that presented Wilson with the opportunity to complete his hat-trick in the 79th minute.
Bournemouth should have led 3-0 at the break. Instead West Ham still had hope. Bilic brought on Matt Jarvis for Nolan and West Ham grabbed a lifeline when Joshua King tripped Mark Noble in the area in the 48th minute.
Noble scored the penalty and West Ham equalised five minutes later, Cheikhou Kouyaté smashing the ball into of the roof of the net after Boruc palmed out Sakho’s shot.
Bournemouth could have crumbled, yet they had won the game once and they could win it again. Gradel found Pugh in space on the left and he sent Jenkinson skidding off into the distance before bending a sumptuous curler past Randolph.
There was one more scare for Bournemouth to survive, Eunan O’Kane clearing the ball off the line from Payet’s corner in the final minute of stoppage time, but they are out of the blocks.