Cherries Blossom Against Hammers
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 11:49:00
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West Ham United were keen to make amends for the defeat at Liverpool a week ago but unfortunately, AFC Bournemouth had other ideas, as they came from behind to beat Manuel Pellegrini's side 2-1 in Stratford on Saturday afternoon.

Pellegrini made three changes to the side that played at Anfield last weekend, as Ryan Fredericks, Declan Rice and Michail Antonio weren't even in the squad, so Pablo Zabaleta, Robert Snodgrass and Javier Hernández filled in, while Aaron Cresswell was included amongst the substitutes.

The game started and both sides were intent to play at pace. It was the Hammers however, who created the first chance when Felipe Anderson crossed for Hernández but the striker couldn't get a good connection on the ball to put it away.

Pellegrini's men played some wonderful football at times in the first-half and this was emphasised in the 26th minute when Anderson and Marko Arnautovic combined before the club's record signing set up Hernández but he again failed to beat Asmir Begovic.

All of the early pressure from the hosts could have quite easily counted for nothing when Callum Wilson found himself with only Lukasz Fabianski to beat but the Pole was alert to the danger and made a good save.

On the half-hour, the Mexican was in the thick of the action again, as he was tripped by Nathan Aké.

Initially referee Stuart Attwell ignored the appeals from the home end but after long consultations with his assistant, the penalty was awarded.

Although Mark Noble was selected in the starting line-up, it was left to Arnautovic to try and beat Begovic and he made no mistake to register West Ham's first goal of the season.

The hosts could have increased their lead just six minutes later when the Austrian picked up possession and went for goal himself instead of playing in Hernández.

West Ham left the pitch for the break hoping that they could build on their impressive first-half showing.

No sooner had the second-half got underway before Fabianski had to make a vital save from David Brooks to deny the Cherries the chance of an early equaliser.

The Hammers could have benefited on 54 minutes as Aké almost sent the ball past his own keeper but the danger was eventually cleared.

It wasn't long before Howes' side were back on level terms. On the hour mark, Wilson was able to collect possession and evaded tackles from both Zabaleta and Fabián Balbuena before beating Fabianski with ease.

The visitors soon turned the match on its head as just six minutes later, Steve Cook's superb diving header gave Fabianski no chance.

A minute later, the Irons' boss made his first change as he replaced Hernández with Andriy Yarmolenko.

The new signing almost made an immediate impact but was unable to find the back of the net with a powerful header.

Pellegrini then threw on his last two substitutes, as Noble and Snodgrass made way for Lucas Pérez and Carlos Sánchez.

West Ham were trying their best to see if they could salvage something from a match which they had largely dominated for most of the first period and Pérez nearly did so but unfortunately, his header went inches wide.

Attwell's final whistle was greeted by loud boos from the majority inside the stadium with the East Londoners still rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.

It looks like being an identical start to last season if Pellegrini's men don't get anything from The Emirates Stadium as they take on Arsenal in their first London derby of the campaign next Saturday.

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