West Ham 1 - 1 Bournemouth



Ward-Prowse rescues West Ham after Phillips’ debut error aids Bournemouth

It may not have been the ideal debut for Kalvin Phillips, but in the end it was a point well-earned for West Ham. Having gone behind to ­Dominic Solanke’s early opener, a goal that came thanks to a glaring error from their new arrival, James Ward-Prowse’s second-half penalty was enough to secure a hard-won draw.

As they emerged from the flurry of bubbles before kick-off, both sides set out to end a two-match winless run in the league. The visitors found themselves in a trickier spot after back-to-back defeats, while the hosts looked to shake off ­

consecutive draws, though Bournemouth had at least barrelled through two rounds of the FA Cup in the interim. Andoni Iraola’s side have been among the league’s streakiest this season, having started so sluggishly, burst into form and then hit a brick wall against Tottenham and Liverpool. It looked like they might find victory again here, but West Ham had other ideas.

Having finalised his loan from Manchester City last week, David Moyes wasted no time in handing Phillips his first West Ham start. After so long sitting on the shelf at City, an acclimatisation period to shake off the cobwebs was to be expected. Less expected was the goal that came after only three minutes, Phillips caught dawdling on the ball by Ryan Christie, dispossessed on the edge of the area and only able to watch as Solanke rolled in his 15th goal of the season. “It’s not a goal we concede too often,” Moyes said afterwards. “We gave them a leg up right away and it meant we had to go on and show how we could perform and we probably weren’t at the level tonight to do that.”

After 10 days without a game thanks to their early exit from the FA Cup, West Ham struggled to clank into gear. There were slips, misplaced passes and attacks that sputtered away to nothing, with their only shot on target in the opening half an hour, a curling effort from Phillips, resulting in an easy save for Neto.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, brought the frantic pressing that has come to characterise their game under Iraola, breaking up passing moves at source. They should have made it 2-0 on the 35-minute mark, Christie winning the ball high up the pitch once more and threading it to Solanke who, having slipped in Antoine Semenyo to his right, could only watch as Alphonse Areola rushed off his line to make a desperate save.

It was a frustrating debut for Kalvin Phillips. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA


Jarrod Bowen had a chance to put things right when he was picked out by Ward-Prowse, but he failed to find a way past Neto from close range. As West Ham pushed for an equaliser before half-time, the game opened up, with Solanke striding forward from deep and finding Semenyo again only for his shot to take a wicked deflection and sail over. The hosts found themselves pinned back at the half-time whistle, Moyes turning on his heel and jogging down the tunnel without a backwards look. He had little reason to be happy with what he had seen and, when the teams re-emerged, he had made an adjustment in midfield, Edson รlvarez staying deep while Phillips and Tomas Soucek pushed higher up the field.

West Ham shook themselves awake in the second half, Soucek thumping a header wide after a trademark free-kick from Ward-Prowse. Mohammed Kudus, back from an unsuccessful Africa Cup of Nations campaign with Ghana, reset the mood when, with 60 minutes on the clock, he went past Lloyd Kelly out wide and had his heel clipped.

Having initially played on, Tim Robinson, the referee, was called over to the monitor after a short VAR check and duly awarded the penalty. Ward-Prowse, uncannily accurate from 35 yards let alone 12, made no mistake. “I think it’s a penalty, but I don’t agree with the process,” said Iraola. “It’s the type of penalty where the referee sees, live, there is contact, he takes a decision because he thinks it’s not enough to be a pen … normally in these kinds of plays the VAR doesn’t get involved.”

Bournemouth did not allow themselves to be steamrollered even as West Ham gained momentum. Christie dragged just wide from the edge of the area, while Areola had to be alert as the visitors sent in low crosses from both flanks. West Ham had their chances, too, but neither side could force a winner. Iraola can be pleased with his side’s frenetic energy, Moyes with the way his players rolled up their sleeves for the fightback. Phillips, who was given an encouraging cheer as he made way in the second half, will just be glad his first outing for his new club did not end in a chastening defeat.


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