Hammers Dig in for Bournemouth Point
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 29 Sep 2019 13:34:00
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After both teams had unbeaten records in September, AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United were keen to try and steal a march on one another but neither were able to, as Saturday afternoon's encounter at The Vitality Stadium ended in a 2-2 draw.

Despite having to be replaced in the final minutes of last weekend's 2-0 home victory against Manchester United, Ryan Fredericks was fit to be included in the starting line-up, as Manuel Pellegrini named an unchanged side from that game, meaning Arthur Masuaku obviously didn't come into the manager's thinking in terms of selection, after the defensive mistake he made in their Carabao Cup defeat to Sky Bet League One side Oxford United on Wednesday night.

Manuel Lanzini had recovered from a foot injury but he had to settle for a place on the bench, as the manager decided to stick with Pablo Fornals.

Once both teams had sussed each other out, West Ham started to dictate matters. They went ahead in the tenth minute as Andriy Yarmolenko evaded the attentions of Nathan Aké to unleash a left-foot effort past Cherries' goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale after he was played in by Sébastien Haller.

Eddie Howe's side needed to respond quickly and unfortunately for the travelling support, they did just that when Josh King thought he had equalised but the linesman immediately flagged for offside. However, as decisions often do these days, VAR was in operation and after a lengthy period of time, the goal was given.

When the Hammers were given a free-kick up one end, their goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski inexplicably went down in the area at the other with what was confirmed after the match as a hip injury. He had to be replaced by Roberto Jiménez Gago.

Either side could have taken a lead into half-time, with Bournemouth playing a pressing game and West Ham trying to get in behind. Just before the break Felipe Anderson thought he had found an opening but Ramsdale was on hand to make a great save from the Brazilian's volley.

Try as they might, although both sides had good chances to grab the advantage, after four minutes were added due to the various incidents the scores remained level at the break.

Within twenty nine seconds of the restart, the Cherries went in front as Callum Wilson notched his customary goal against the Irons.

The travelling support were delighted to see a decision go in favour of their side as Aké thought he'd added his name to the scoresheet but he was denied when an offside decision was confirmed by VAR.

On 67 minutes Pellegrini made his first tactical change with Lanzini replacing Fornals.

The Wilson "duo" combined well on 73 minutes and Callum found himself through on goal but Jiménez Gago was out quickly to block his weak effort.

Play switched immediately to the other end and West Ham equalised as Anderson's exquisite header set up Aaron Cresswell, who smashed the ball past Ramsdale.

A minute later, Pellegrini shuffled his pack again and introduced Jack Wilshire in place of captain Mark Noble.

In the closing stages, Declan Rice could have insured all three points were on their way back to the East End but Ramsdale had to be alert to preserve the point.

In the end, there was nothing to choose between the two teams but it was a decent point nevertheless.

The Hammers are back in action on Saturday when they face a London derby in Stratford with Crystal Palace the visitors for the late kick-off.

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