|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Steve Cook header seals Bournemouth comeback win over West Ham
Jacob Steinberg at the London Stadium
Date Published Sat 18 Aug 2018 17.16 BST
After all the talk of fresh starts, the boos at full-time felt worryingly familiar for West Ham. Bournemouth made it another one of those trying afternoons at the London Stadium, dampening the mood with an excellent fightback from a goal down, and on this evidence it is not going to be easy for Manuel Pellegrini to tackle the gloom that falls over this troubled ground in times of adversity.
By the time it was over Pellegrini had a better grasp on why West Ham’s home form has been so mediocre since they left Upton Park two years ago. His new side have started the campaign with two defeats, despite a busy summer in the transfer market, and it was striking to hear the Chilean say that his players are still carrying mental scars from last season’s uncertainty. It was an accurate diagnosis given how easily West Ham collapsed when Bournemouth raised their level in the second half and earned their second consecutive win thanks to goals from Callum Wilson and Steve Cook.
“We made mistakes,” Pellegrini said. “The first goal was one Bournemouth player against four of our players. We need to forget last season and recover the trust of the club. Is last season still on their minds? Yes. That’s why in the second half we tried to keep it 1-0. It’s a lack of confidence.”
Pellegrini had displayed his ruthless side after last week’s 4-0 defeat by Liverpool, dropping Michail Antonio, Ryan Fredericks and Declan Rice, but his decision to start without a defensive midfielder would have disastrous consequences. West Ham grasped for cohesion in vain and it was a sign of their discomfort that they did not threaten until Javier Hernández forced Asmir Begovic to save at his near post in the 26th minute.
Bournemouth were tough to break down and it was interesting to consider how Eddie Howe’s side have benefited from stability since winning promotion to the Premier League in 2015. They have been a model of consistency under Howe, providing an example for scattergun clubs like West Ham to follow. “We know each other very well,” Bournemouth’s manager said. “We have our style of play.”
Given that they are integrating 10 newcomers in their squad, it was unsurprising to see West Ham playing like strangers. They were tentative in defence and attack, Felipe Anderson and Robert Snodgrass made little impact in the wide areas and Hernández rarely clicked with Marko Arnautovic up front, allowing Bournemouth to maintain a solid shape in front of Begovic.
However, the hosts started to dominate when Jack Wilshere began to dictate the flow in midfield and they took the lead when Anderson offered a flash of the ability that convinced West Ham to make him their record signing. While the former Lazio wingerflattered to deceive for much of the contest, it was the Brazilian’s lovely pass that led to Hernández winning West Ham’s penalty in the 31st minute. Nathan Aké’s lunge was desperate and Stuart Attwell, the referee, penalised the Bournemouth centre-back after consulting his assistant.
Arnautovic, West Ham’s top scorer last season, took spot-kick duties off Mark Noble and the Austrian slammed a low penalty past Begovic. Yet Pellegrini’s side could not relax despite their advantage. Wilson had aimed a shot too close to Lukasz Fabianski while the game was goalless and Bournemouth pressed inventively for an equaliser. Josh King had a goalbound shot blocked on the stroke of half-time and David Brooks, who was bright and dangerous cutting in from the right, lacked conviction when he found himself alone in the box on two occasions.
Bournemouth had identified central midfield as a weakness in West Ham’s 4-4-2 system. Noble and Wilshere provided no protection for their defence, with the former lucky not to concede a penalty for a push on Dan Gosling, and Pellegrini’s expansive tactics backfired.
West Ham were ragged without enough defensive balance in midfield and Bournemouth levelled when Wilson took a pass from Cook, surged past lamentable challenges from Fabian Balbuena and Pablo Zabaleta and rolled a confident finish past Fabianski in the 60th minute. “Callum’s individual moment of brilliance really swings the game in our favour,” Howe said. “I fancied us from that point.”
Howe was right to be confident. Six minutes later Angelo Ogbonna tripped Brooks on the right. Ryan Fraser clipped the free-kick into the middle and it summed up West Ham’s day that it was Ogbonna who failed to stop Cook from heading the cross past Fabianski.
Daily Mail: PLAYER RATINGS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
WEST HAM (4-4-1-1): Fabianski 6.5; Zabaleta 5.5, Balbuena 5, Ogbonna 5, Masuaku 5.5; Snodgrass 6 (Perez 77), Noble 6 (Sanchez 77), Wilshere 6, Anderson 6; Arnautovic 6.5, Hernandez 6 (Yarmolenko 67, 6)
SUBS NOT USED: Adrian, Cresswell, Obiang, Diop
GOALS: Arnautovic (pen)
BOOKINGS: Ogbonna, Noble, Wilshere
MANAGER: Manuel Pellegrini 5.5
BOURNEMOUTH (4-4-2): Begovic 6.5; Smith 6.5, Cook 7, Ake 6, Daniels 6.5; Brooks 7.5 (Francis 78), Gosling 6, Surman 6, Fraser 6.5; Wilson 8, King 6.5 (Cook 90)
SUBS NOT USED: Boruc, Ibe, Mousset, Defoe, Wings
GOALS: Wilson, Cook
BOOKINGS: Gosling, King
MANAGER: Eddie Howe 7
REFEREE: Stuart Attwell 4
MAN OF THE MATCH: Callum Wilson