West Ham recovered from an early Kalvin Phillips error to secure a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth at the London Stadium.
Phillips, making his debut after completing a loan move to the London Stadium from Manchester City, picked out Dominic Solanke with an attempted back pass in the third minute after being put under pressure from Ryan Christie. Solanke made no mistake to give Bournemouth the lead, punishing Phillips’ error.
With only his second-ever touch of the ball in a West Ham shirt, Kalvin Phillips registered an error leading to a goal, as many as he had made in his whole Premier League career before tonight (one error in 65 games).
The goal stunned West Ham with Bournemouth much the better side in the first half, but they failed to extend their advantage with Hammers goalkeeper Alphonse Areola producing a superb one-handed stop to deny Antoine Semenyo just before the break.
It proved to be a costly miss as West Ham, despite their lacklustre performance, got back into the game in the 61st minute. VAR intervened after Lloyd Kelly had brought down Mohammed Kudus in the penalty area. Referee Tim Robinson didn’t initially give the spot kick but reversed his decision after being sent to the screen before James Ward-Prowse levelled the scores.
Phillips was replaced after 68 minutes by striker Danny Ings but West Ham failed to kick on after the equaliser as the game fizzled out somewhat, with both sides settling for a point. The Hammers stay sixth, while Bournemouth move up to 12th.
How West Ham spared Phillips’ blushes…
Phillips couldn’t have made a worse start to his West Ham career. He was far too casual in dealing with Kurt Zouma’s poor pass and, under pressure from Christie, his attempted back pass picked out Solanke, who capitalised on the error to give Bournemouth a third-minute lead.
The offside flag initially went up to rule the goal out but VAR clearly spotted that Phillips played the ball to Solanke for his second goal against the Hammers this season.
West Ham: Areola (8), Johnson (6), Mavropanos (6), Zouma (5), Emerson (6), Alvarez (6), Phillips (5), Ward-Prowse (7), Soucek (6), Kudus (8), Bowen (7).
Subs: Ings (6), Cornet (n/a).
Bournemouth: Neto (7), Smith (7), Senesi (7), Kelly (6), Zabarnyi (7), Christie (8), Cook (7), Tavernier (7), Scott (7), Solanke (7), Semenyo (7).
Subs: Kluivert (6), Sinisterra (6), Kerkez (n/a), Faivre (n/a).
Player of the match: Ryan Christie.
The goal took all the wind out of the home side’s sails. Bournemouth were forcing errors from the hosts and winning every second ball. West Ham, who started four central midfielders in Phillips, Ward-Prowse, Tomas Soucek and Edson Alvarez, had no answer with the frustration from the home fans building.
Bournemouth’s best chance to extend their lead came when Alvarez gave the ball away to Christie, who found Solanke on the edge of the box. Solanke could have shot but instead squared the ball to Semenya, who was free on the right but his shot was too close to Areola.
It was a huge let-off for West Ham and they twice came close to equalising late in the first half, with Bowen glancing a Ward-Prowse delivery straight at Neto and Soucek heading Mohammed Kudus’ cross wide.
David Moyes reshuffled his pack after the break with Ward-Prowse playing as the second striker, and they were thrown a lifeline when Kudus was clumsily brought down in the area by Lloyd Kelly.
- Kalvin Phillips made his West Ham debu. He was one of four changes to the West Ham side who drew 2-2 with Sheffield United last time out in the league. Phillips cames in alongside Ben Johnson, Mohammed Kudus, who returned from AFCON duties with Ghana, and Edson Alvarez. Vladimir Coufal drops out because of suspension, while Maxwel Cornet and Danny Ings dropped to the bench. Pablo Fornals, who has been linked with a Deadline Day move to Real Betis, was not in the squad.
- Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola made four changes from the side that were 5-0 winners over Swansea City in the FA Cup. Neto returned in goal in place of Mark Travers. Adam Smith started at right-back ahead of James Hill, while wingers Marcus Tavernier and Antoine Semenyo also came in for David Brooks and Luis Sinisterra.
Referee Tim Robinson did not award the spot-kick on the pitch, but he overturned his decision once he had checked the replay.
Ward-Prowse stepped up to blast the penalty down the middle as Neto dived right to salvage a point for the hosts.
Analysis: Moyes’ midfield experiment a mistake
Sky Sports’ Laura Hunter:
“David Moyes’ pre and post match commentary was telling. ‘We’ve had to rejig,’ he said before kick off, in reference to Kalvin Phillips’ inclusion. ‘Hindsight is a wonderful thing,’ he conceded after the full-time whistle.
“The teamsheet looked imbalanced from the off. Four central midfielders and no striker. Of course Moyes has been hamstrung by injuries and absences in recent weeks, but attempting to crowbar four midfielders into the starting XI caused more harm than good against high-pressing Bournemouth.
“Phillips looked lost. Edson Alvarez was scrappy and ineffective. Tomas Soucek and James Ward-Prowse were better, but ever-changing shape restricted their influence. Debutant Phillips registered an error leading to a goal with only his second touch in a Hammers shirt – it was all a bit messy and confused.
“That will be the first and last time we’ll see that midfield concoction this season, or ever. Question is, where does Phillips fit now? West Ham’s central trio – Alvarez, Ward-Prowse and Soucek – have forged good connections in the first half of this season. Why disrupt it?”
FPL stats: West Ham vs Bournemouth
|Solanke | Ward-Prowse
|Ward-Prowse (3), Solanke (2), Alvarez (1)
Managers happy with a point
West Ham boss David Moyes:
“Quite happy with a point. We didn’t play well. We fought back, but overall we could have played much better. A couple of games recently we’ve not played as well as we’d have liked.
“We tried to fit the players in who we had. Hindsight is a great thing, it probably didn’t work as well. We tried it, and that’s how it came. Mo [Kudus] had his moments, but he got us something to win the penalty kick. It looked as if we needed a game – we’re better playing every three days it seems.”
Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola:
“This is a difficult stadium to come, and to get a point is nice. I think also that if anyone deserved to win today it was us. We had the most clear chances. We have to go with one point, it’s not what we wanted with how the game went, but we still have to give it value.
“You have to be really clinical in these kinds of games to win it. They will find momentum and put you under pressure. We had good moments but didn’t score the second and that’s the reason we didn’t win today.
“We weren’t so ruthless in the end. We’re doing good things but we need to punish this position.”
Analysis: Things can only get better for Phillips
Sky Sports’ Oliver Yew:
“David Moyes threw Kalvin Phillips in at the deep and to a certain extent it backfired but having not made a single start in the Premier League this season for Man City, the England international was always going to take time to get up to speed.
“He endured a nightmare start to his West Ham debut, playing the ball straight to Dominic Solanke to score Bournemouth’s opener. His struggles continued during the first half and an off-the-pace Phillips was eventually replaced in the 68th minute by Danny Ings.
“However, Phillips’ lack of sharpness was probably understandable considering his bit-part role at Man City over the last couple of years.
“What is important now is how the 28-year-old improves from here. He’s been crying out for minutes, particularly as he tries to win a place in England’s Euro 2024 squad this summer.
“After his first start against Bournemouth, he will be hoping more follow and that he can build and improve quickly.”
Opta stats: West Ham extend unbeaten league run…
- West Ham extended their Premier League unbeaten run to six games (three wins followed by three draws), their longest run without defeat since September 2021 (7).
- The Hammers’ three draws in a row is their longest streak of Premier League stalemates since another three in April 2017.
- Bournemouth have now gone three games without a win in the Premier League (D1 L2), after winning six of their previous seven (D1).
JWP: Disappointed not to win
West Ham midfielder James Ward-Prowse:
“Credit to Bournemouth, they’re a good team. They’ve had a good season so far. It was a difficult test and we didn’t give ourselves the greatest platform at the beginning of the game.
“Disappointed not to win the game, but it’s a good sign we’ve not played our best and still got something. It’s not great when you gift the opposition goals.
“Maybe a little bit of rustiness for sure, but that’s something we can work on.”
Solanke: Bournemouth can go great places
Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke on TNT:
“We love to press high and put the opponent under pressure high up the pitch. A point here is never a bad thing, but when you look at the chances early in the game we could have scored a couple. Overall it’s a good point.
“We can go great places. Our run just before Christmas proves that. Our confidence was sky high. We’ve had a couple of tough games recently but we believe. We’ve got a great manager and a great team.
“We’re fighting every game.”
Up next for West Ham is a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 2pm.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth are also in action on Sunday when they host Nottingham Forest; kick-off 2pm.