Hammers Give Cherries a Real Crushing
By Tom Dowsett
Thursday 02 Jan 2020 14:15:00
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In his second spell as West Ham United boss, David Moyes felt the effects of the "new manager" bounce at the first time of asking as West Ham United kicked off 2020 by claiming only their third home victory, thanks to a 4-0 trouncing of AFC Bournemouth on New Year's Day.

Moyes named a starting line-up which was more like the one that took to the field against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day. Aaron Cresswell and Angelo Ogbonna returned in defence, while Captain Mark Noble and Robert Snodgrass were brought back into midfield after being rested for the weekend's game with Leicester City. Manuel Lanzini and Carlos Sánchez dropped back to the bench.

The Hammers started this game in the bottom three and set about bouncing straight back up the table, as they wanted to show the new manager what they could do if they played to their potential.

After an initial early spell of pressure from Eddie Howe's men, the home side were tearing strips off their opponents and weren't giving them any time to settle.

Pablo Fornals was obviously keen to build on his goal against the Foxes four days earlier and Noble set him up to do exactly that. He tried his luck but unfortunately couldn't pull it off.

The first goal arrived on seventeen minutes and once the Irons had gone in front, they didn't look back.

Noble started the goalscoring off, as a great team move which also involved Felipe Anderson and Snodgrass set him up and thanks to a big deflection off Lewis Cook, it was 1-0.

The home crowd were really cheering their side on and the atmosphere nearly contributed to a second goal shortly after. Ogbonna got his head to the corner from Snodgrass but was unable to apply the finish.

Moyes couldn't have dreamt of a better start and it was further boosted when Sébastien Haller added his name to the scoresheet with a spectacular bicycle kick. Ryan Fredericks played him in and the Frenchman did the rest. The way things were going, West Ham were surely on their way to a first victory in front of their own supporters since 22 September.

Bournemouth didn't know what had hit them and the pressure showed no sign of relenting. Noble was really giving Harry Wilson a hard time before the winger, on loan to the Cherries from Liverpool, was penalised for a foul on the Hammers' "danger man" which left referee Graham Scott no choice but to award a penalty.

The skipper very rarely misses from twelve yards and he didn't let the opportunity for a brace pass him by either, as he confidently beat goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Howe's men, who like their hosts had come into this game off the back of defeat at the weekend, looked severely rattled but went close just before the break. Fortunately for the home faithful though, Diego Rico's powerful shot was excellently dealt with by Lukasz Fabianski.

For consecutive home matches, cheers greeted the half-time whistle with the Hammers just hoping they could hold on in order to claim what would be a valuable win.

The promising play that the Irons had been showing before the break continued after the restart. Haller and visiting skipper Simon Francis both went for the same ball but the Frenchman came away with possession and crossed towards Fornals. However, a last-ditch interception meant the move broke down.

Although the hosts continued to orchestrate matters, chance after chance came and went before they finally put the Cherries to the sword on sixty six minutes. Anderson latched onto a great pass from Declan Rice and left Francis in his wake before beating Ramsdale once again.

That proved to be the Brazilian's last contribution, as Moyes made his first change just two minutes later when Lanzini came on to replace him.

The VAR decisions seemed to be going in favour of the Irons in this game and they certainly benefited. Cresswell committed what was originally deemed to be a serious foul on second-half substitute Ryan Fraser but after a long delay, the video evidence overturned the on field decision and downgraded the card to yellow.

Moyes saw his side survive again when Dominic Solanke's header came back off the post and straight into Fabianski's grateful grasp.

With eight minutes of normal time to play, Moyes made a second change as Arthur Masuaku was introduced, taking the place of Snodgrass.

Although this was a dominant performance from West Ham, they still could, and perhaps should have had a few more goals. As the game drew to a close.

Lanzini could have scored a fifth but Ramsdale denied him brilliantly. Fornals and Masuaku also went close but unfortunately, they too were repelled by the promising English youngster.

It took Moyes five games to get a win when he first took charge of the East Londoners back in November 2017. However, this time he achieved it at the first attempt. Now, attention turns to the FA Cup and the trip to Sky Bet League One side Gillingham for Sunday's late kick-off.

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