Cherries Frustrate Hammers Again
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 21 Jan 2018 13:48:00
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After booking their place in the next round of the FA Cup with an extra-time victory over Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night, West Ham United wanted to make it three wins from three but weren't quite able to do so. A 1-1 draw with AFC Bournemouth in Stratford on Saturday afternoon means they are still unbeaten in 2018.

David Moyes decided he would stick with the team that won 4-1 at Huddersfield Town last weekend, as he looked to end the Cherries' own spell of recent good form.

Memories of the 3-3 draw in the reverse fixture were still fresh in the home side's minds and they started the game looking as if they had unfinished business with their opponents.

They had a chance to go ahead early on when Aaron Cresswell's freekick was helped towards goal but Manuel Lanzini was unable to get a telling touch.

The pressure from the Irons was relentless as they went close ten minutes later but Mark Noble's attempted volley went over the bar.

The hosts then looked odds on to finally break the deadlock but Marko Arnautovic's effort was terrifically kept out by goalkeeper Asmir Begović.

Eddie Howe's side weathered the early storm and had a chance to go in front themselves when a short corner surprised the home side but unfortunately for them, Lewis Cook's curling effort went wide of the post.

Although the visitors showed more purpose in the second-half, West Ham were still creating their fair share of chances.
 
Lanzini was one of the stars of the show at The John Smith's Stadium last weekend and he clearly wanted to add to his tally here but despite latching onto Cresswell's superb ball, he didn't make the most of the opportunity and fired over the bar.

Arnautovic has been scoring for fun recently and could have got onto the scoresheet here just past the hour mark but was unable to release the ball quickly enough.

Lanzini's game came to a premature end on 64 minutes, as he appeared to suffer a hamstring injury and that meant Moyes was forced into a first change, so he decided to bring on Javier Hernández to replace the midfielder.

The visitors produced a shock result against Arsenal last weekend and were keen to build on that. They went ahead on 72 minutes when substitute Junior Stanislas set up Ryan Fraser who slotted the ball into the net past the backpedalling Adrián.

However, it didn't take the hosts long to respond as, 64 seconds later, they were back on level terms as the ball fell invitingly for Hernández to knock into the net, giving Begović little chance.

The Hammers seemed to get their rhythm going again and pressed for a winner but, as the game headed towards a conclusion, it looked likely that both sides were going to have to settle for a point.

Cresswell seemed to have a problem as five minutes of stoppage time were added and was replaced by Sam Byram. 

In his post-match interviews, the manager revealed that Cresswell was only taken off as a precaution due to cramp. Minutes later, Moyes decided to make use of his final change when Declan Rice made way for Cheikhou Kouyaté soon after.

West Ham take a break from Premier League action next weekend, as they face a trip to The DW Stadium to face Wigan Athletic in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.

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