|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Enner Valencia strikes twice as West Ham hit back to beat Bournemouth
Ben Fisher at Vitality Stadium
Date Published Tuesday 12 January 2016 21.57 GMT
The teams ran out on to the field to the soundtrack of Kanye West’s Power and the scene felt more akin to a Bournemouth nightclub but in the end there was no cause for celebration.
Eddie Howe’s squad were boosted by three new signings this month for almost £20m – Benik Afobe, Juan Iturbe and the returning Lewis Grabban. Only four years ago Bournemouth shattered their transfer record on the striker Matt Tubbs, now at Portsmouth, for £800,000.
This was supposed to be the start of a new era but Dimitri Payet’s magical display stole the show, leading to his manager, Slaven Bilic, labelling the Frenchman a bargain at £10.7m. Payet, making his first start since November due to injury, capped a fine display with an unstoppable free-kick which found its way into Artur Boruc’s goal and sent West Ham on their way to a third straight league victory.
“West Ham fans love a player with a bit of magic and he has more than a bit,” said Bilic. “I do not know why people are so surprised because he came from one of the biggest clubs in Europe [Marseille]. Maybe we are giving him more responsibility but he is enjoying it and we are enjoying him. He is deciding the games, he is doing things that are very hard to do in football and he is bringing the whole team 20 yards up without even kicking a ball.”
West Ham started the game with intent and played Bournemouth at their own game: hassling, pestering and pressing. Howe’s new £9m record signing Afobe was so keen to hit the ground running, he flew into the opposition half before the referee, Martin Atkinson, had even blown his whistle. Inside the first minute Bournemouth’s captain, Simon Francis, failed to clear Mark Noble’s high ball and his header landed at the feet of Michail Antonio, whose effort was kicked away by the feet of Boruc before the West Ham captain Noble fired the rebound over.
Andy Carroll, in search of his third goal in three league matches, saw his evening end prematurely – the former England striker suffering a pulled hamstring after 15 minutes. “It is a bad situation for us,” said Bilic, without putting a timescale on Carroll’s possible return.
Carroll’s early exit seemed to give Bournemouth the impetus to kick on. Andrew Surman passed the ball inside to Harry Arter, who veered away from Pedro Obiang before sending a low drive – too powerful for the palms of the West Ham keeper Adrián – into the bottom corner. Bournemouth were now in the groove. Matt Ritchie played a short corner with Adam Smith and the full-back crossed for Afobe, who nodded just over. Arter then dummied for Daniels, whose thumping left-foot shot forced a smart stop from the West Ham keeper.
Just after Afobe wasted an opportunity when clean through on goal West Ham forced Boruc, a free transfer in the summer, into another fine save. Payet slid a pass through for Nikica Jelavic, Carroll’s replacement, whose shot from a tight angle deflected off the defender Steve Cook and goalwards only for Boruc’s strong left hand to intervene. Payet then left Boruc’s fingertips stinging after an acrobatic save.
So much of West Ham’s success this season has stemmed from Payet and the winger began to take centre stage again. Payet was in a destructive mood and scored his sixth goal of the season with a right-foot free-kick after 67 minutes. Eight minutes later he turned provider for Enner Valencia, crossing for the Ecuadorian to lash home from inside the box.
“When he makes a mistake in training that by his standards he should not have done he is crazy and he is angry at himself,” said Bilic. “That is what makes him a leader and a player that says, ‘OK, we are down, I have to step up’ and he came out second half and said it is going to be all about me.”
After 84 minutes Valencia sealed West Ham’s fourth straight victory, sending his set piece, from an area not dissimilar to where Payet had previously prevailed, past a hapless Boruc.
Bournemouth hope they have found a gem of their own in the on-loan Roma forward Iturbe, although he had a difficult evening. “It is difficult for Juan to come into that environment and I think we have work to do with him to get his fitness up,” said Howe. “I do not think we can expect too much from him too early.”
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS
Bournemouth (4-1-4-1): Boruc 6; Smith 6, Francis 5.5, Cook 6, Daniels 6; Surman 6; Ritchie 6 (Iturbe 49 6), Gosling 6, Arter 7.5 (Murray 80), Stanislas 6.5; Afobe 6.5 (Grabban 71 6)
Subs not used: Federici, Pugh, Distin, O’Kane
Scorer: Arter 17
Manager: Eddie Howe 5
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Adrian 5; Tomkins 6 (Jenkinson 61 6), Collins 6.5, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 6; Obiang 6, Noble 6.5; Antonio 7.5, Payet 8 (Song 78), Valencia 8.5; Carroll 6 (Jelavic 15 6.5)
Subs not used: Randolph, Reid, Oxford, Cullen
Scorers: Payet 67, Valencia 74, 84
Manager: Slaven Bilic 7.5
Referee: Martin Atkinson 7
Stadium: Vitality Stadium