West Ham 1-2 Bournemouth 2018 Review & Analysis- 150th league win as Bournemouth manager for Eddie Howe

Few would’ve expected West Ham to beat Liverpool at Anfield on the opening weekend, but this was definitely seen as a winnable fixture when the lists were announced. It was against Bournemouth (who had strung together only 4 away league wins last season), was their first of the 18/19 at the London Stadium under Manuel Pellegrini (who had registered 5-1 and 4-0 wins over the Cherries when he was manager of Man City)

Unfortunately, it all went pear shaped for the Hammers in the second half, with the Cherries completing a stunning come from behind victory to give manager Eddie Howe his 150th league win in charge of the club.

Pellegrini seemed to have sent a stern message with Ryan Fredericks, Declan Rice and Michail Antonio, all of whom could’ve been said to have performed poorly against Liverpool, axed from the match day squad. In came Pablo Zabaleta, Robert Snodgrass and Javier Hernandez, with Pellegrini opting for an effective 4-4-2 formation.

Bournemouth were expected to give record signing Jefferson Lerma a debut, but he didn’t start in this fixture. The visitors also lined up in a 4-4-2, but they’ve had a level of continuity under Eddie Howe, with the players familiar with the system, and it showed in this game, especially in the second half.

The first major chance of the game went to the Cherries, with young David Brooks, who had impressed in pre-season and forced his way into the starting XI, setting up Callum Wilson, but Hammers keeper Lukas Fabianski made a good save. It was a 1 on 1 for Wilson, and a goal he should’ve scored.

At the other end, Nathan Ake appeared to have brought Javier Hernandez in the box, and referee Stuart Attwell, after deliberations with his assistant, opted to give the home side. Interestingly, the penalty taker was Marko Arnautovic (instead of Mark Noble), but the Austrian made no mistake with his spot kick, with his powerful effort giving Asmir Begovic no chance.

Arnautovic Taking a Penalty

There were a couple of other chances for the Hammers, but Arnautovic opted to go himself on both occasions instead of finding the likes of Hernandez and Anderson, who would’ve probably had a better chance at doubling the home side’s lead.

At half time, West Ham had 65% of the ball and had comfortably made more passes than Bournemouth. However they came out a bit flat after the interval, and Bournemouth pounced.

First it was Callum Wilson, who was effectively one Bournemouth player against FIVE West Ham players (yes a 5 on 1, I kid you not!), but still managed to score. Minutes later, the visitors earned a free kick, and Ryan Fraser’s pinpoint set piece was nodded in by Steven Cook to make it 2-1 to Bournemouth.

Cook Hammers

Pellegrini threw on Lucas Perez, Carlos Sanchez and Andriy Yarmolenko, but West Ham never quite managed to find the fluency they required, and Bournemouth were deserved winners at the final whistle. At the end, the Hammers had 61% possession and 494 passes (in comparison to Bournemouth’s 292), but as the old adage goes, it’s not how much you have the ball, but what you do with it.

Arsenal are up against for West Ham and their new manager Unai Emery, like Pellegrini, is under pressure after losing his opening two fixtures.

West Ham 1 (Arnautovic pen) lost to Bournemouth 2 (Wilson, Cook)

West Ham starting lineup: Fabianski; Masuaku, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Zabaleta; Snodgrass, Wilshere, Noble, Anderson; Hernandez, Arnautovic

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