Premier League
West Ham United 2-0 AFC Bournemouth 

Monday, 24th October 2022
by Chris Wilkerson

It's five home wins on the bounce for West Ham, a comfortable and dominant 2-0 victory pushing The Hammers into the top half of the table.

A controversial first-half goal by Zouma was followed by a Benrahma penalty in stoppage time at the end of the second half to wrap up the points.

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West Ham dominated throughout almost the entirety of the 90 minutes, but wobbled late on as the one-goal lead started to look slimmer and slimmer as Bournemouth threw men forward as time started to disappear.

The manager made one change from the 1-0 defeat at Anfield last time out, Benrahma rightfully earning his place over Fornals.

The Hammers seemed to set-up in 4-2-3-1, Downes a little ahead of Rice and Soucek, used defensively to limit players like Lerma dropping deep and getting time on the ball.

It was a half West Ham dominated, although West Ham domination often allows the embattled opponent their moments to threaten.

Bournemouth were out to counter, with the pace of the returning Fredericks on the right an often-used avenue.

He created chaos early on, chipping in a cross that was not dealt with. The headed clearance dropped down around the feet of Solanke, and the home side were lucky that Fabianski was aware and off his line fast, smothering the ball. It stayed loose, but Kehrer was calm picking up the pieces, passing out without fuss.

It didn't knock West Ham off their stride, and whilst the crowd was a little flat and the football less than dynamic early on, the home side were in control, slowly choking their opponent to submission by keeping the ball in the Bournemouth half and forcing them as deep as possible.

The chances didn't exactly flow, but West Ham were the only team creating them. Soucek met a Cresswell cross but headed just over, and then a flurry chances came from the right channel as Bowen played a great pass down the line to Johnson and the right back found Benrahma in the box. His effort was blocked, as was Downes's follow-up, leaving Cresswell to snap a shot at goal on another rebound, one that was saved well by Neto.

Two minutes later, Cresswell was creating again, curling a great pass around the back of the defence for Scamacca to run onto. He was forced wide, but found Soucek's run with a lovely pass, only for the Czech midfielder to waste his chance. The flag went up, but replays showed it to be a very tight call.

At the other end, West Ham dealt well with anything that came their way. Not only that, but Zouma and Kehrer were finding lovely passes out of defence and into midfield. None of those tentative, almost pointless passes we saw in struggling build-up early in the season, but aimed and targeted passes with pace that found good movement ahead of them.

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But whilst it remained 0-0, the Hammers needed to stay sharp. Sloppy moments could be punished, as proved by Southampton and Liverpool last week, and Bournemouth nearly profited in a similar fashion.

Soucek passed square across halfway, but failed to see Solanke behind Rice. The striker made a quick interception and then drove at goal, but was forced wide by Kehrer and shot straight at Fabianski. It was enough to injure the forward, who was soon replaced by Kieffer Moore.

As the half looked to be fading away without West Ham taking advantage of their control, they had luck shine down upon them.

A corner flew at Kehrer, who was in a touch of space about 6 yards from goal and bang centre. It evaded a head just in front of him and struck the arm of the defender and ricocheted away.

Soucek craned his neck back and powered the ball forward at goal once more, somehow aiming it perfectly to loop towards the far corner, even though the midfielder was going away from goal as well as the ball. It got the slightest flick from Downes in front of goal, and a stronger one straight after from Zouma to put it into the corner and give West Ham a well deserved 1-0 lead, and a goal from a set-piece, too.

They had earned it, but the replays showed how clearly it hit Kehrer's arm. The referee and VAR will have decided that it would not be worthy of ruling out the goal as a bit happened afterwards, but I think most fans would agree those should be given as handball.

Gary O'Neil, another ex-Hammer and now Bournemouth caretaker manager, was fuming with the officials as he left the pitch, but his side were a goal down and nothing would change that now.

In the break, he was forced to take his goalkeeper Neto off, too. Two key starters injured in the first half and a late and controversial goal will have done nothing to please the Bournemouth manager, but his side didn't improve for time in the changing room.

In fact, West Ham took even more control of the game, and the next 20 minutes were as easy a spell in a game as West Ham have had this season. Bournemouth just looked a level below where they needed to be, but remained in the game by defending doggedly, whilst West Ham should be disappointed not to have scored in this spell.

It is a minor problem on a night of very little. The game ended with West Ham having controlled most of it, but without scoring from open play. They should have.

Benrahma buzzed, loosing off a few efforts from outside the area and looking threatening on the wing, although he didn't produce enough with it.

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What should have been produced was a red card for Jefferson Lerma, who jumped through the air with his studs out to try tackle Scamacca, only to smash his foot into the Italian's shin. He was lucky the striker tried to get to the loose ball, rather than exaggerating the foul.

And he was even luckier to see a referee making his decisions based on what happened, rather than what Lerma did. It was very bad officiating, a real misunderstanding of why those fouls are red cards. It's not because of the damage done on each incident, but the risk of such a tackle.

West Ham still buzzed, Bowen having a shot blocked on the edge after good work by Scamacca, and then Rice firing in a nice volley that Travers saved well.

Bournemouth came to life from the 65th minute onwards. It wasn't until about 10 minutes later that they were suddenly on top.

West Ham just seemed to drop deeper and deeper, which gave Bournemouth the impetus they needed. A big long freekick deep into the box found Moore's head, and the Welshman fired it back into the middle. Lerma won the header, but it was weak and drifted wide from a very good position.

Bournemouth stayed on the front foot, but couldn't really find anything to turn the menace from territory into any actual serious threat. They just didn't look anywhere near good enough.

Fornals and Coufal were thrown on for Downes and Bowen to bring energy to a flagging side, joining earlier sub Antonio.

It was two of those three who combined for the late goal. Antonio slid Coufal down the right side and towards the byline. Just on the edge of the box, the right back chipped in a cross and Zemura slid to block it. Unfortunately for the Bournemouth player, it hit a trailing hand, and whilst the referee ignored it, VAR forced him to the screen on the side and a penalty was given.

Up stepped Benrahma, smashing it into the corner and scoring his first goal of the season, securing all three points and moving the Hammers into the top 10.

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Manager's Rating

David Moyes 7/10
His team dominated, Downes's role was really clever. But then he let them tire and the game drift.

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Player Ratings

Lukasz Fabianski
Barely more than a spectator, but there when called upon and sharp.

Ben Johnson
Some of his play on the ball was disappointing, if not unexpected, but he was beaten on the outside a few times when he shouldn't have been and is far from putting his stamp on the position.

Aaron Cresswell
Another assured performance from Cresswell. Looks on top of his game lately. Calmly in control, without having to excel, he just did his job.

Kurt Zouma
Scored a goal, defended well and did his job. Just a good performance, in the right place at the right time often, made a couple good interventions to snuff out attacks, whether that was getting to the ball first or getting his body in to stop attackers passing him.

Thilo Kehrer
Struggled with Moore in the second half, the big Welsh striker pinning himself on the smaller centre back. Kehrer got aggressive and gave away fouls. But he passed nicely and defended calmly under pressure.

Declan Rice
Cruised through the game at a class above the Bournemouth midfield.

Tomas Soucek
Really solid defensive display, and a great assist for the first goal. Let down a little by a few sloppy passes, but a strong performance.

Flynn Downes
An interesting role, Downes was almost the most defensive player, even though he was ahead of Rice and Soucek. His job seemed to be about putting pressure on any midfielders dropping into the defence to play out, putting pressure on Lerma especially.

Jarrod Bowen
Sparkled in moments, but could have done more and will be frustrated with how quiet he was in the second half.

Said Benrahma
First league start since August, and a first goal of the season. Threatened often without producing that final ball, but he was lively and a problem for Bournemouth. No better word than emphatic to describe that pen.

Gianluca Scamacca
Some nice touches and passing, but didn't threaten goal enough. Worked hard, just not falling for him today.


Michail Antonio
(Replaced Scamacca 73) Busy and was good for the penalty.

Vladimir Coufal
(Replaced Bowen 87) Can't ask more than that. Three minutes of football, penalty won and game decided.

Pablo Fornals
(Replaced Downes 87) Not really involved in his cameo.

Alphonse Areola
Did not play.

Darren Randolph
Did not play.

Angelo Ogbonna
Did not play.

Manuel Lanzini
Did not play.

Conor Coventry
Did not play.

Emerson Palmieri
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Ben Johnson, Aaron Cresswell, Kurt Zouma, Thilo Kehrer, Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, Flynn Downes, Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma, Gianluca Scamacca.

Goals: Kurt Zouma 45 Said Benrahma 90                .

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

AFC Bournemouth: Neto (Travers 46), Fredericks (Zemura 57), Mepham, Senesi, Smith, Cook, Lerma, Christie, Billing, Tavernier, Solanke (Moore 45).

Subs not used: Stacey, Stephens, Pearson, Rothwell, Stanislas, Anthony.

Goals: .

Booked: Lerma (55), Smith (70).

Sent off: None.

Referee: David Coote.

Attendance: 62,447.

Man of the Match: Kurt Zouma.