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Joshua King scored a hat-trick as Bournemouth boosted their Premier League survival hopes by beating West Ham to secure a first win in 2017.
King had missed an early penalty for the Cherries when he fired wide of the post, and 48 seconds later West Ham took the lead when Michail Antonio swept a low shot into the bottom corner.
Bournemouth were given another chance from the spot after Marc Pugh was fouled but again failed to convert it as Benik Afobe’s effort was saved by Darren Randolph.
But the hosts did not let their heads drop and were level when King hooked the ball over his marker before volleying home. He then made it 2-1 with a close range finish just after the break.
Andre Ayew had looked to have earned West Ham a draw with a placed finished late on but King stole the points when he lashed into the roof of the net after Randolph had denied substitute Jack Wilshere.
The win moves Bournemouth six points clear of the relegation zone.
Win makes up for Mings ‘injustice’?
Bournemouth were clearly aggrieved earlier this week when defender Tyrone Mings was handed a five-match suspension for violent conduct in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United last week.
Mings had appeared to stamp on Zlatan Ibrahimovic but Bournemouth defended their player fully in a strongly worded statement, while fans held banners in support of their player during the game against West Ham.
The sense of injustice may have provided the catalyst for Bournemouth to put in an impressive attacking display – despite the two missed penalties – and they fully deserved the win, simply for their never-say-die attitude.
But as good as their attacking was, Mings’ absence was felt.
Bournemouth should have been far more comfortable than they were in the closing stages as West Ham offered little in attack but when the visitors did push forward they found sizeable gaps to exploit.
Captain Simon Francis was a little rusty on his return from injury and the Cherries will need him to get up to speed quickly as they look to pick up the points to cement their Premier League status for next season.
Almost a tale of two penalties
Bournemouth had the best penalty-scoring record in the Premier League prior to this game, successfully converting all seven they had been awarded.
However, they looked anything but a side proficient from the spot in this game.
The Cherries were first awarded a penalty inside 10 minutes when Sofiane Feghouli fouled Charlie Daniels and King stepped up to take it, but uncharacteristically placed his effort wide of the post.
King could perhaps have been excused for his miss after having to endure a lengthy delay as Mark Noble was booked for an infringement, but Bournemouth’s second penalty was simply poor.
Pugh’s trickery won it and King unsurprisingly stepped aside as Afobe took on the responsibility, but he placed his effort low and too close to Randolph.
Those misses could have come back to haunt Bournemouth but a man-of-the-match performance by King spared their blushes.
West Ham’s England hopefuls impress?
Gareth Southgate is expected to announce his England squad next week for the upcoming friendly with Germany and World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, and some of those hoping for a call-up were in action at the Vitality Stadium.
Andy Carroll, in particular, will be hoping to prove he has the form and fitness to be handed another international chance.
Carroll has certainly been impressive since the turn of the year, scoring four goals in his last six games, but the striker was largely anonymous against Bournemouth, although he did come through the game unscathed and played the full 90 minutes, suggesting his fitness is where Southgate will want it to be.
While Carroll was quiet, his team-mate Antonio was hugely impressive. The forward’s turn of pace and strength was an effective outlet for much of the game and he will be hopeful of receiving an England recall next week.
Man of the match – Joshua King
What they said
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: “Relief is the overwhelming feeling. It always is in those circumstances – a mixture of emotions but the main one is relief.
“It sums up the Premier League really – the ups and downs are extreme but I think we played well. Yes we missed two penalties and I was surprised to see Joshua miss it but his strike partner took the next one. There’s nothing wrong with that.
“We had a lot thrown at us and it sums up the run we have had, but the lads dug deep and it was a great winning goal.”
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: “In the end, definitely we deserved to get something out of the game but they played well and played with great aggression.
“They missed two penalties too so we were lucky we were only down by one goal. We had situations to go two up but didn’t take them so we are disappointed.
“At that moment we went for the third goal, we lost too many players on that side and left it too open and you can’t give them space on the counter attack.”
Former England defender Martin Keown on Match of the Day
Joshua King has been typical of the way Bournemouth have been playing lately, and he showed great character to recover from an awful penalty miss to put in a brilliant performance. It takes an awful lot to do that.
It is always a joy to watch Eddie Howe’s teams play, and you could see how united they were in the celebrations at the end. They’ve got a big game coming up against Swansea next, but you feel they are now going in the right direction.
Not quite on the spot – the stats
- Bournemouth registered their first ever Premier League home win against a team from London (W1 D3 L5).
- Bournemouth have won a league-high nine penalties this season, more than any other Premier League side has. Their only misses of those nine were both penalties today.
- There were just 48 seconds between Bournemouth’s first missed penalty and West Ham’s opening goal.
- Michail Antonio has netted more Premier League goals than any other West Ham player since his debut in September 2015 (17).
- Joshua King has netted seven goals in his last five top-flight games.
- King has become the first Bournemouth player to hit double figures in a top-flight league campaign (11).
- Andre Ayew has been directly involved in three goals in his last three top-flight games (two goals, one assist) after scoring one and assisting none in his previous 12 with West Ham.
- Both of Bournemouth’s Premier League hat-tricks have come against West Ham United (Callum Wilson last season and Joshua King this season).
It’s another home game for Bournemouth next as Swansea visit on 18 March (17:30 GMT). West Ham, comfortably in mid-table in 11th, host Leicester on the same day (15:00 GMT).