Wednesday 12 December 2018

Javier Hernandez ends goal drought to rescue a point for West Ham against Bournemouth

West Ham United's Javier Hernandez celebrates scoring their equaliser with Pedro Obiang
West Ham United's Javier Hernandez celebrates scoring their equaliser with Pedro Obiang

Matt McGeehan

Javier Hernandez scored his first goal since October as West Ham and Bournemouth drew 1-1 at the London Stadium.

Asmir Begovic denied Marko Arnautovic from point-blank range after 14 minutes and Bournemouth took the lead against the run of play through Ryan Fraser after 71 minutes.

The Hammers equalised immediately, as substitute Hernandez pounced to extend their unbeaten run to seven games. Bournemouth are now unbeaten in five in the league.

However, worryingly for David Moyes' men, playmaker Manuel Lanzini went off with a knock in the second half and it is a year since West Ham last won successive Premier League games.

The Hammers' current unbeaten sequence began with the 3-3 Boxing Day draw at Bournemouth, who equalised controversially that day when Callum Wilson netted from an offside position. The striker's every touch was booed here.

The sides had shared 23 goals in the past five meetings, with the Cherries' morale boosted by last week's defeat of Arsenal, despite the FA Cup exit at Wigan.

The visitors reverted to the same XI which began the Gunners game.

But it was West Ham who started the brighter as Aaron Cresswell shot wide and Mark Noble volleyed on to the roof of the net.

Arnautovic thought he had given the Hammers an early lead when he met Pablo Zabaleta's cross, but Begovic somehow tipped over.

Begovic was then alert to use his feet to dispossess Arnautovic as the Austrian found space at the edge of the area.

Lanzini and Arnautovic were combining well, but Bournemouth held firm.

The visitors had few forays forward and their best chance appeared likely to come from a set-piece. Adrian scrambled clear as Simon Francis tried to turn a free-kick goal-bound.

Lewis Cook was lively and shot wide from the edge of the area as Bournemouth belatedly began to keep the ball in the attacking third.

The Hammers proved defensively sound and resumed on the attack. Lanzini was key to their best work and might have scored, but Begovic flapped Zabaleta's cross out of his reach.

Zabaleta should have shown more conviction when Arnautovic laid the ball off for him, before Steve Cook recovered well to prevent Arnautovic shooting.

West Ham were forced into a change, Hernandez on for Lanzini, who went straight down the tunnel for treatment.

Cheikhou Kouyate required attention after a robust Cook challenge and Bournemouth took the lead following the delay.

Substitute Junior Stanislas threaded a fine pass through for Fraser to get behind Zabaleta and the Scot slid the ball past Adrian.

West Ham were level moments after the restart as Angelo Ogbonna's long pass was headed on by Kouyate and then Hernandez.

Arnautovic had a shot blocked and the ball fell for Hernandez to tuck in his first goal in more than two months.

Adrian saved from Stanislas, who was excellent late in the game, as the points were shared.

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