Payet sparks Hammer time to ruin Arter's day
Bournemouth 1 West Ham 3
Published 13/01/2016 | 02:30
Bournemouth have spent £18m on three players during the past week but this game was ultimately decided by surely the best £10m investment throughout the whole of last summer.
Having trailed 1-0 until the 67th minute, the wizardry of Dimitri Payet sparked West Ham's comeback.
Not only did Payet score a breathtaking free-kick to equalise but he then single-handedly created West Ham's second for Enner Valencia before Valencia himself produced a brilliant set-piece to seal a 3-1 victory. It extends West Ham's unbeaten run to nine games, although the sight of Andy Carroll limping off after 15 minutes took some of the gloss.
The extent of the damage was unclear but the fact that the focus for attention was the same left leg on which Carroll underwent knee ligament surgery back in February prompted alarm.
His departure had a tangible impact on his West Ham team-mates after a bright start and Bournemouth suddenly assumed almost complete control.
Andrew Surman passed to Harry Arter in space deep inside West Ham's half and, having shown quick feet to cut inside Pedro Obiang, the Ireland hopeful shot from 25 yards at Adrián's goal. It was a low dipping effort but badly misjudged by Adrián, who could only palm the ball inside his own post.
West Ham appeared almost in shock at the two sudden setbacks and Bournemouth had a flurry of chances to put the game beyond them. Adam Smith's precise cross delivered new signing Benik Afobe with a free header from the edge of the six-yard box but he directed the ball over.
Afobe then soon had a second clear chance but his hesitation when one-on-one with Adrián suggested some debut nerves.
After the break, both teams continued to create chances, with Payet again the instigator for West Ham only for Valencia to waste an excellent opportunity. If West Ham were to equalise, it became evident that Payet would himself have to deliver the decisive touch and he did so spectacularly in the 67th minute.
He stepping up to curl a wonderful 30-yard free-kick that sailed above the wall before grazing off the bottom of the crossbar and then nestling into the top corner.
Payet was not finished and evaded two challenges before crossing for Valencia to volley West Ham into the lead.
Valencia then settled the match with a brilliantly instinctive free-kick to beat Artur Boruc at his near post. (© Daily Telegraph, London)