West Ham United 4 Bournemouth 0
Wednesday, 1st January 2020
by Chris Wilkerson
After four straight home defeats for West Ham, David Moyes started his second stint as manager at the London Stadium with a convincing 4-0 win to climb out of the relegation zone.In what could be described as the season?EUR(TM)s first six-pointer, it was Moyes?EUR(TM)s men who took the spoils, tearing Bournemouth apart with a three-goal first half that exposed the weaknesses of a floundering Eddie Howe team.
It was a first half of quite unfathomable ease, a contest more one-sided than Moyes and his charges could have even asked for.
Equally, they were doing nothing wildly different in approach to that of the side Manuel Pellegrini had been managing only days earlier. To a layman, it seemed as much about harder running as anything else, a confidence and/or desire to press further up the pitch and in packs.
That being said, Bournemouth were doing their best to be the worst side to have played a game at the London Stadium, so bereft of offering anything remotely competitive in their display.
Their weaknesses were fully exposed by West Ham. The flanks were guarded by two wide players who seemed unwilling or incapable of defending. It allowed the combinations down each side time and space to make decisive contributions.
All three West Ham goals were created down the Bournemouth left. It?EUR(TM)s a little acceptable to watch the running of Fredericks cause issues for a full back, but to see Snodgrass and Noble both too skilful on the dribble for the defenders, it was easy to see why Eddie Howe?EUR(TM)s side have crashed into the relegation fight.
After a cagey start, West Ham started to assert some control, Felipe Anderson defending well from the front and left by Bournemouth to float wherever he felt he could make an impact.
Leading this press from the front allowed the home side to bully their opponents. With the wings so easily dominated, the midfield was stretched, the defence struggling to play out and every second ball seeming one for West Ham to win.
They were rewarded after 17 minutes. Consistent pressure had Moyes?EUR(TM)s side on the front foot, Anderson playing a neat ball between defenders to give Snodgrass a run from the right and at the defender in the area. The Scot chopped back from his right foot onto his left and smartly rolled the ball to space at the edge of the box.
The ball found Mark Noble, striding forward to guide a sidefoot effort at goal. The shot was good, and on target, but the goal was made by the huge deflection that left the goalkeeper on the floor where he could only watch the ball sail into the empty side of the goal to give West Ham a 1-0 lead.
Bournemouth never seemed to recover, and as West Ham?EUR(TM)s captain geed up the crowd, the players were emboldened.
The confidence showed, Anderson working harder again and players like Snodgrass dribbling at players with a level of freedom not seen in recent weeks.
His combination with Fredericks led to the second goal. A little rolled back into the flying full back?EUR(TM)s path saw a first time cross into the area. It was flying a little behind Haller at around chest height, a cause for improvisation. Haller flew into the air and met the ball with an acrobatic volley at full stretch that nestled powerfully into the net before the goalkeeper could move. There is little doubt that it is West Ham?EUR(TM)s goal of the season.
At this point, The Hammers were close to dreamland. In a 45 minutes where Noble rolled out three Cruyff turns, the game was completely under the control of the men in claret and blue.
With ten minutes remaining in the half, the captain was at it again.
A cleared corner full harmlessly to his feet, but rather than delivering it back into the box, Noble set off on a run. Faking to pass to Snodgrass, he instead drove past Harry Wilson and towards the area. Making his way into the right side of the box, he felt the contact behind from the desperate Wilson, who wasn?EUR(TM)t smart enough to keep his feet out of the legs of Noble?EUR(TM)s in the box and did enough to bring him down.
Reliably as ever, Noble passed the ball to the goalkeeper?EUR(TM)s left as he flew to the other corner, scoring for the fourteenth consecutive calendar year in the Premier League and going two behind Paolo Di Canio?EUR(TM)s haul as the side?EUR(TM)s top Premier League goalscorer.
The half ended with Moyes?EUR(TM)s side still on top. Bournemouth were all at sea.
They came back from the break with a double substitution and a change in shape. It did little to improve them, although the game became slightly less embarrassing for them.
What was notable was the change in Noble?EUR(TM)s performance in the second half. He was definitely more withdrawn for the second 45, playing deeper and not foraying forward.
This was definitely something to note in the differences of the old and (remotely) new manager; no Pellegrini side would curb the attacking instincts of a midfielder when 3-0 up. Moyes wanted the control, not carried away by his team?EUR(TM)s dominance.
That control secured the three points as Bournemouth offered little and West Ham managed the game to a comfortable conclusion. Rice was bullying any Bournemouth player who dared step through his territory, Haller was comfortably too strong for any challenger and the possession play was calm and composed.
The side saw the game out, even finding time to give Anderson his first game of the season. His composure as he ran in behind the Bournemouth defence and then slotted past Ramsdale was wonderful, but it paled in comparison to the beautiful pass from the left foot of Rice that beat the defence.
The only other drama was created by Aaron Cresswell, throwing himself into a tackle on Ryan Fraser that left the winger flat on the floor and saw the left back shown a red card. As he waited near the centre circle for VAR to seal his fate, he was given a reprieve, much to the shock of anyone who had seen the tackle twice. It was definitely overzealous, a little dangerous, and not one many would have complained about being upheld. His right foot won the ball, his left leg came flying through to smash into Fraser?EUR(TM)s standing leg. It was likely that his leg was bent and not strong and straight that allowed VAR to soften the official?EUR(TM)s stance to only a yellow.
The game faded out, Bournemouth looking flattened and the last air squeezing painfully out of them as a Solanke header from six yards bounced off the inside of the post and into the arms of a grateful Fabianski, maintaining a rare clean sheet.
It ended 4-0, West Ham much improved. Moyes looked delighted, embracing many of his players at the final whistle. His side climbed out of the bottom three, forcing Bournemouth into it, leapfrogging their opponents and Aston Villa to reach the dizzying heights of 16th.
They would be careful to get carried away, so horridly poor were Bournemouth. It was a performance so bad that it may have reached a low that not even a West Ham side has reached in that stadium.
Still, it was good for confidence, it was controlled and signs of Moyes?EUR(TM)s ideals were on show. They managed the game, secured their points and pressed in moments. There was more organisation there, but a little extra energy was the major difference. With all that, the side conceded only three shots. That is a sensational change of fortunes.
Long may it continue, especially with an FA Cup game against Gillingham to come this weekend. Throwing away the cup will not be excused just to give reverence to Premier League survival. Continuing today?EUR(TM)s attitude again this weekend will help Moyes win over the doubters, one admittedly brilliant result is only the start.
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Player RatingsRoberto Jimenez Gago
Not the greatest way to start his West Ham spell. Conceded four, probably could've done a little better with the last.
Enjoyed a productive opening 45 minutes, making several forays down the wing. A little less efective once City brought their big players on at the break.
No notable error. Good to see Pellegrini taking a closer look at his in pre-season.
One vital error that led to City's third goal, as he conceded possession cheaply and unnecessary. As you might expect from a youngster.
Still looking a little clumsy and conceded the penalty that put Manchester City ahead.
Not involved to any great degree but made several decent interceptions and kept it simple.
It seems his legs still haven't gone - and he's looking like a leader in every game.
A decent half from the Brazilian winger, who gave one or two City defenders nightmares in the opening stages.
A decent first half but like many others, faded after the break.
Fit again and it showed - and long may that remain the case.
A real busy bee in the 45 minutes he played as the lone striker - a role to be filled by the club's record signing upon returning from China.
(Replaced Rice) A pretty horrible appearance, in which he was responsible for the final City goal and lucky not to concede a (fairly clear) penalty.
(Replaced Wilshere) Largely anonymous against the better City players.
(Replaced Rice) "I'll be like a new signing!" he (sort of) said last week. And he was a bit. Unlucky not to score with an effort that rattled the post.
(Replaced Antonio) Not really involved although one 25-yard free kick nearly caught City unawares.
(Replaced Fredericks) The old boy endured a bit of a torrid time against City's attack in the second half.
(Replace Johnson) No more effective that young Johnson, who he replaced.
It may well be his final appearance in claret and blue, the lack of notable effort was evident. * Other subs used: Grady Diangana (Lanzini 62); Winston Reid (Ogbonna 68).
Match FactsWest Ham United: Roberto Jimenez Gago, Ryan Fredericks, Ben Johnson, Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna, Declan Rice, Mark Noble, Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini, Jack Wilshere, Michail Antonio.
Goals: Mark Noble 25 .
Sent off: None.
Subs not used: .
Sent off: None.
Man of the Match: Ryan Fredericks.