|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Callum Wilson’s blistering strike sets up Bournemouth for win over West Ham
Nick Ames at the Vitality Stadium
Date Published Sat 19 Jan 2019 17.05 GMT
If West Ham were not wounded enough by the possible departure of Marko Arnautovic, it felt as if industrial quantities of salt had been rubbed in here. While their star forward sat at home, dropped after expressing his desire to join Guangzhou Evergrande, a bad week was compounded in wildly contrasting ways by two men who have been touted to take his place.
The one who did, Andy Carroll, produced an inexplicable miss after half-time to let Bournemouth off in a tightly-poised game. The one they would apparently like to sign, Callum Wilson, promptly scored a blistering opener and West Ham’s lack of response after that provided a grim snapshot of how things might look if Arnautovic gets his wish.
A goal for Carroll might only have proved a sticking plaster in any case but, in the context of this match, what happened in the 49th minute changed everything. Carroll, starting for the second time since returning from injury last month, met Mark Noble’s cross at the far post and headed down for Michail Antonio, who had timed his run well.
Antonio could not make a good connection, instead fluffing his lines and watching the ball squirt a yard from the goalline, where his provider was running in. To the disbelief of both persuasions Carroll, with the odds overwhelmingly in his favour, cleared the stand with his shot. It was, you dared think, an opportunity a mercurial Austrian might have gobbled up.
“That chance was a key moment in the match,” said the Bournemouth manager, Eddie Howe, who shared the home crowd’s relief at the termination of a four-game winless run. “In previous weeks these moments have been going against us.”
Wilson did not hang around in compounding Carroll’s frustration. His goal owed much to Ryan Fraser, who set himself free on the left with a slick touch on halfway. As he crossed, a heavy challenge from Issa Diop sent the ball spinning into the D and it sat up for Wilson, with textbook technique, to volley sweetly past Lukasz Fabianski. West Ham created nothing of note after that and hardly tested Artur Boruc, who turns 39 next month and was starting his first Premier League game since May 2017 in place of the dropped Asmir Begovic.
Wilson is among West Ham’s preferred replacements for Arnautovic but they do not have the funds to interest Bournemouth, who would want £75m for the player. That figure might have risen further if Lukasz Fabianski, flinging himself to his left, had not tipped Wilson’s daisycutter against the post, keeping West Ham in the game as it entered the last 20 minutes.
It was Wilson’s final involvement, Howe saying a knee problem curtailed his game, but further punishment would arrive at the death. David Brooks, who missed a free header in the first half but otherwise played elegantly, broke clear down the right and laid on a simple finish for Josh King. Bournemouth had come close on other occasions, Fabianski saving breathtakingly from Steve Cook moments before Carroll’s moment of ignominy, and their margin of victory was deserved.
“I thought it was a real reward for the players’ efforts and mindset during this difficult run,” Howe said, while a curt Manuel Pellegrini offered little about the rationale of leaving Arnautovic behind.
“As a manager you must make decisions on the players that work better in the week,” the West Ham coach said. “Marko has another issue so I thought it was not a good idea for him to play. We don’t need to talk about a player that was not in the squad; I never complain about players that are not here.”
When might Arnautovic be ready to play again? “I don’t know,” Pellegrini shot back. West Ham do not have long in the transfer window to find some certainty.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS, LIVE LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
Bournemouth (4-4-2): Boruc 6; Clyne 7, S Cook 6.5, Ake 7, Smith 6.5; Brooks 7.5 (Mousset 90), Gosling 6.5, Lerma 7, Fraser 7 (Daniels 90); King 6, Wilson 8 (Stanislas 73, 6)
Subs not used: Begovic, Simpson, Rico, Surman
Manager: Eddie Howe 7
West Ham (4-3-3): Fabianski 7; Zabaleta 6.5, Diop 6.5, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 6; Noble 7 (Diangana 78), Rice 6, Nasri 6 (Snodgrass 66, 6); Antonio 5.5, Carroll 4.5 (Hernandez 66, 6), Anderson 5.5
Subs not used: Adrian, Masuaku, Obiang, Xande Silva
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini 5.5
Ref: Simon Hooper 6
MOM: Callum Wilson