|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
West Ham put four past Bournemouth to welcome back David Moyes in style
Ed Aarons at the London Stadium
Date Published Wed 1 Jan 2020 19.40 GMT
As second comings go, David Moyes could not have scripted his any better. Two goals from the captain Mark Noble and one each from Sébastien Haller and Felipe Anderson ended West Ham’s run of four successive defeats at home and took them out of the relegation zone at the expense of a disjointed Bournemouth side.
Out of work since he was jettisoned by West Ham’s owners in favour of Manuel Pellegrini in May 2018, how Moyes must have relished the “olés” which rang around the stadium in the closing stages as his side cantered to victory. Only a few days into his second spell as manager he has already shown what a difference a new face can make – something that even Bournemouth’s owners may even have to consider at some point given the lack of fight in Eddie Howe’s side here.
“I don’t think I could have had a better start but the players have to take all the credit,” Moyes said. “Their attitude and commitment got the supporters behind us and that was key for us today.”
The former Manchester United and Everton manager had spoken of the need to restore confidence among his players after the disastrous run that cost Manuel Pellegrini his job, yet after Aston Villa’s victory at Burnley, West Ham found themselves in the relegation zone before kick-off – almost exactly the same position as when Moyes took over from Slaven Bilic in November 2017.
Last time it took Moyes until his fourth match to record his first victory but with less than half of this campaign remaining, he knew there was no time to waste. Bournemouth looked like perfect opponents to kickstart the home side’s campaign given Howe’s visitors had lost seven of their previous nine matches before this. Howe also made four changes to the side which lost at Brighton on Saturday with Callum Wilson leading the line despite enduring a run of 12 matches without a league goal.
Moyes, who admitted this week that he had not been able to stop smiling since his reappointment, emerged just before kick-off to a decent reception from the home supporters and spent almost the entire first half prowling the technical area, clearly enjoying being back in his natural habitat.
After a slow start, the 56-year-old’s enthusiasm was rewarded in the 17th minute when Robert Snodgrass’s cut back found Noble in acres of space and the captain’s shot from distance took a massive deflection off Lewis Cook to totally wrongfoot Aaron Ramsdale in the Bournemouth goal.
Taking the lead – albeit through a huge slice of good fortune – seemed to immediately lighten the mood among the home supporters and it was not long until they were celebrating again. Haller, without a goal at the London Stadium since the defeat to Crystal Palace in October, has looked an increasingly dejected figure in recent weeks but the way he volleyed home a cross from Ryan Fredericks illustrated just why West Ham were prepared to pay £45m to sign him last summer.
Noble’s second soon after from the penalty spot when Harry Wilson was somewhat harshly adjudged to have brought down the veteran midfielder almost lifted the roof off this vast arena. Having failed to score more than one first-half goal so far this season, suddenly West Ham had three.
Bournemouth’s woes can be traced back to Wilson’s last league goal in the 3-1 victory over Southampton at the end of September. Howe’s side briefly found themselves in third place back then but, like Haller at West Ham, the lack of goals for their main striker has coincided with their plunge down the table. They have not looked so vulnerable since the 2017-18 season, when they were in the bottom three at Christmas before a seven-game unbeaten run catapulted them up the table. On this evidence that kind of form looks beyond them but Howe will at least be encouraged by a better performance after the break after they switched to a back three.
Asked if his players are suffering from a lack of confidence, he said: “I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to see it’s damaged. It’s the first time we’ve been in the relegation zone for a long time but I almost think that is a good thing for us because it’s going to refocus energies. We need to change something.”
Felipe Anderson rounded off a fine individual performance with the fourth goal following a wonderful cross field pass from Declan Rice with his left foot. Further evidence that this was West Ham’s day came when Aaron Cresswell was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Ryan Fraser, only for VAR to overturn referee Graham Scott’s original decision. Moyes will just hope that his good fortune can last a little longer this time.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
West Ham: Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Snodgrass, Rice, Noble, Fornals, Felipe Anderson, Haller.
Subs: Zabaleta, Lanzini, Roberto, Sanchez, Diop, Masuaku, Ajeti.
AFC Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Francis, Steve Cook, Mepham, Rico, Lewis Cook, Lerma, Gosling, Harry Wilson, Callum Wilson, Solanke.
Subs: Boruc, Surman, Stanislas, Fraser, Simpson, Billing, Dobre.
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)