Bournemouth v West Ham Boxing Day 2017 Analysis- Bobby Madley Robs WHUFC of 3 points?

That’s probably what most West Ham fans will feel at the final whistle- robbed of three points thanks a dubious late equaliser (both offside and handball) awarded by referee Bobby Madley who chose to overrule the decision of his assistant.

In hindsight though, a point was probably a fair result for the game. Bournemouth did create more chances and two of West Ham’s goals were effectively gifts by Cherries keeper Asmir Begovic, who would’ve been the most relieved person on the pitch after Madley chose to allow Wilson’s stoppage time goal.

It was a thrilling Boxing Day fixture between the Hammers, who were just outside the drop zone, and Bournemouth, who were just in it- 17th vs 18th. Despite West Ham’s poor form on the road, they would’ve fancied their chances against the Cherries, who had the second worst home record in the Premier League after bottom of the table Swansea

Arnie Bournemouth

For West Ham, James Collins took the place of Winston Reid in the back three, and also took the armband from the Kiwi international. Manuel Lanzini returned from suspension and with Michail Antonio sidelined, Andrew Ayew was again given a start. Kouyate and Obiang, despite being poor against Newcastle, were given another opportunity to continue their partnership in midfield thanks to the continued absence of Mark Noble.

Bournemouth effectively opted for four at the back with Simon Francis at RB and the pair of Smith and Fraser on the left flank. It was Francis who was found defensively wanting for West Ham’s opener. Cresswell beat the Bournemouth skipper, his man marker, as well as zonal marker Goslin to head in Cresswell’s corner in the 7th minute.

But Bournemouth who had started the better of the two sides, came close, with Joshua King wasting two very gettable chances on either side of Ayew shooting wide for the visitors. The goal Bournemouth were threatening to score, eventually came in the 29th minute. James Collins wasn’t able to head an attacking free kick very far out, and the ball bobbled to Gosling, who netted from close range.

West Ham were incensed when Madley chose not to send Francis off for what looked like a very dangerous studs up challenge to Cheikhou Kouyate’s face and took no action to King elbowing Obiang off the ball.

Bournemouth’s second goal was similar to their first- a set piece delivery into the box, West Ham unable to clear effectively, and a player, this time Nathan Ake, stabbing from home close range. At half time, the Hammers had only one shot on target.

Despite the twin introductions of Carroll and Hernandez, West Ham seemed to lack a real threat in the final third. Moyes was also forced to take off Zabaleta, with the veteran Argentine (also carded) repeatedly beaten for pace on his flank, and replaced him with Declan Rice.

The Hammers were gifted an equaliser by Begovic, who inexplicably slipped while attempting to kick, and the hard working Marko Arnautovic was first to the ball. Eight minutes later, Arthur Masuaku, again impressive on the left flank, had Francis on toast before crossing the ball in, and Begovic made a hash of claiming Hernandez’s effort, and again pounced Arnautovic for his second and West Ham’s third. Hernandez’s lonely picture in the box while Arnautovic was celebrating with the team, was a little disturbing though- the Little Pea desperately wants goals.

However there another twist to come- with Ake’s header taking a deflection off Wilson and past Adrian. Cherries manager Eddie Howe even mentioned post match that he had not expected the goal to be awarded. It was a gift for Bournemouth, but on the balance of things, perhaps a draw was a fair result.

Also- West Ham’s kit guys misspelt Arnautovic on the back of the Austrian’s jersey- it read “Arnoutovic”

Bournemouth 3 (Gosling, Ake, Wilson) West Ham 3 (Collins, Arnautovic*2)

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