The England striker recalled to the starting line-up after two weeks out with a hamstring injury, lashed home Ryan Fraser’s deflected cross on the half-volley, eight minutes after the break. Callum Wilson‘s stunning strike helped Bournemouth register a deserved victory over in-form West Ham at Vitality Stadium.
Joshua King sealed only the Cherries’ second win in 10 league and cup games in second-half stoppage time, firing David Brooks’ low cross past the helpless Lukasz Fabianski.
Nathan Ake thought he had opened the scoring when he nodded home Fraser’s teasing delivery midway through the first half, but Wilson was ruled to be in an offside position when the cross came in.
The Hammers struggled to break down Bournemouth’s resolute defence, although they did go close to an equaliser when Andy Carroll somehow blazed over from a point-blank range not long after the restart. Eddie Howe’s team move level on points with 11th-placed Everton, while West Ham drops a place to 10th.
Wilson comes up trumps for Cherries
Bournemouth had collected only seven points from their previous 12 league games going into Saturday’s fixture – the worst form in the division – but they produced a clinical display for their first league victory since a 2-0 triumph over Brighton just before Christmas.
Wilson was instrumental in helping Howe’s charges come from behind to beat West Ham at the London Stadium in August, and the 26-year-old set the Cherries on their way to three valuable points and their first double of the season.
The striker, who has been linked with Chelsea in the January transfer window, connected superbly with Fraser’s left-wing centre to thump home his sixth goal in as many Cherries appearances against the Hammers.
The former Coventry man almost doubled his personal tally with 20 minutes remaining, but his low effort from the edge of the box struck the foot of Fabianski’s post. Strike partner King eventually put the result beyond doubt in the dying stages, his smart finish from David Brooks’ square pass sparking jubilant scenes in the home dugout.
Wilson’s return to form and fitness comes at a crucial time for Bournemouth, who host Chelsea next before tough away games against Cardiff and Liverpool in February.
Hammers struggle without Arnautovic
Prior to this game, only Premier League leaders Liverpool and a resurgent Manchester United had collected more points than West Ham since the beginning of December. Manuel Pellegrini’s team were without talismanic forward Marko Arnautovic, who was left out of the visitors’ squad after being the subject of a potential £35m move to China.
The Hammers struggled to fashion clear-cut openings without the Austria international, registering only a single shot on target over the course of the 90 minutes. Samir Nasri almost opened his account for the club in the first half, prodding inches wide of Artur Boruc’s right-hand post, moments after Felipe Anderson saw his shot blocked.
But Carroll wasted the visitors’ best opportunity, firing over the crossbar from a yard out as Bournemouth – with Boruc, preferred to Asmir Begovic in goal, making his first Premier League appearance since May 2017 – held on to register their first ever clean sheet against the Hammers in 13 attempts, dating back to 1929.
Carroll has not scored in the league since April 2018, but Pellegrini will be desperate for the ex-Newcastle man to rediscover his scoring touch – particularly if Arnautovic ends up leaving.
Source: BBC News