AFC Bournemouth 3 West Ham United 2
Saturday, 11th March 2017
by Staff Writer
West Ham were taken to the cleaners on the South Coast this afternoon as Slaven Bilic's side went down to a 90th-minute strike from Josh King.Today's hosts had to wait until the final minute of normal time for Josh King to seal his hat-trick, which was only Bournemouth's second ever in the Premier League (you can guess who the other was scored against).
However only the most partisan of West Ham supporters will fail to admit that AFC were by far the better team on the day - and could have beaten United far more comprehensively had they managed to convert either of two first half penalties.
The first of those arrived in the tenth minute after Sofiane Feghouli's clumsy attempt to prevent Charlie Daniels from entering the box. However King, the Cherries' leading goalscorer this season placed his spot kick wide of the target - much to the winger's relief.
Within seconds, the Hammers were to find themselves ahead; Feghouli instantly redeeming himself by finding Michail Antonio, who turned sharply before firing across Artur Boruc.
West Ham managed to cling on to their slender advantage for 20 minutes before King grabbed his first of the afternoon, after hoodwinking Jose Fonte with a sharp turn and firing low beyond a despairing Darren Randolph.
Yet the 'keeper was on hand to deny Bournemouth a second penalty minutes later, after Fonte was adjudged by referee Bobby Madley to have tripped Pugh (TV replays failed to show any clear contact).
Level at the break, it took the Cherries just three minutes of the second half to restore their lead. The offside law was exposed for the utter mess it is in its current state as King, clearly offside as a free kick was taken took a step back (to where he was then considered onside) before firing home Afobe's pass.
Brian Clough once said "if any one of my players isn?EUR(TM)t interfering with play, they?EUR(TM)re not getting paid". On today's evidence, it's hard to disagree as even West Ham's players looked entirely confused.
As the game dragged on, with West Ham continuing to look second best an equaliser looked far from likely.
Yet second half substitute Andre Ayew had other ideas and with just seven minutes of normal time remaining he converted from close range to make it 2-2 after some excellent work by Antonio and (fellow sub) Sam Byram, on for a disappointing (and definitely not a right back) Cheikhou Kouyate.
That should have been enough for the Hammers to see out the game, to perhaps even "repsect the point" - as someone once said. But inexcusably, West Ham were caught on the counter-attack, pressing forward for a winner, which King converted to steal the win for the hosts.
The defeat extends West Ham's win-less Premier League run to four matches, with Leicester next up at the Olympic Stadium - where United have lost as many games as they won in the league so far.
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Player RatingsDarren Randolph
Little he could do about the first but almost embarrassed by Rondon from distance after being caught off his line and then totally misread the corner from which Evans equalised.
Nutt-sed for the opening goal but rallied thereafter. Not a right back however and neevr will be.
Hasn't been himself for a number of weeks. A shadow of the player he seemed prior to the England call-up.
Gave his all, came up short against a very good side.
If you search for 'baptism of fire' on the web, don't be surprised to find a reference to Fonte's debut.
All over the shop tonight. Hopefullt just a blip following some very decent showings of late.
The one player likely to light up the OS on an otherwise dull and dreary night.
Anonymous, spent much of the night chasing shadows.
Huffed and puffed and threw himself around with wild abandon as per, but came up against not only a very good opponent but one of those referees who has no time for physical forwards (see Carlton Cole).
Bar one chance in the first half, he was invisible.
His night was summed up by the one chance he had to deliver a probing cross - which he shinned straight out for a goal kick instead. Woeful, offered nothing.
(Replaced Feghouli) Tasked with rescuing a sunken ship.
(Replaced Obiang) The scond debutant of the evening, Snodgrass gave glimpses of what he could potentially offer.
(Replaced Carroll) Tasked with rescuing a sunken ship.
Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Match FactsWest Ham United: Darren Randolph, Cheikhou Kouyate, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid, Jose Fonte, Pedro Obiang, Michail Antonio, Mark Noble, Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini, Sofiane Feghouli.
Goals: Michail Antonio 11 Andre Ayew 83 .
Booked: Mark Noble Pedro Obiang .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
AFC Bournemouth: Boruc, A.Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Fraser (Mousset 85), Arter, Gosling, Pugh, King, Afobe (Wilshere 85).
Subs not used: Allsop, Cargill, B.Smith, Gradel, Ibe.
Goals: King (31, 48, 90).
Booked: Pugh, Afobe, Gosling, Cook.
Sent off: None.
Referee: Bobby Madley.
Man of the Match: Manuel Lanzini.