AFC Bournemouth 1 West Ham United 3

Dimitri Payet and Enner Valencia inspire a sensational record-equalling come-from-behind victory on the south coast
AFC Bournemouth 1 West Ham United 3
Barclays Premier League, The Vitality Stadium, Tuesday 12 January 2016, 7.45pm

West Ham United’s extended their Barclays Premier League unbeaten run to a record-equalling eight matches with a sensational 3-1 come-from-behind win at AFC Bournemouth.

After falling behind to Harry Arter’s first-half strike at a blustery Vitality Stadium, Dimitri Payet and Enner Valencia took centre-stage as the Hammers turned the game on its head in the last 23 minutes.

First, the France midfielder curling in a magnificent free-kick before providing a cross for Valencia to volley in a second with 16 minutes to go. The Ecuador forward then capped an unforgettable final quarter of the game by sending a dipping set piece of his own arrowing past Artur Boruc with six minutes remaining.

On a cold evening on the south coast, West Ham were frozen out for much of the first half, particularly when midfielder Arter sent a dipping right-foot shot past Adrian after 17 minutes. That goal came minutes after centre forward Andy Carroll was forced off with a hamstring injury which will require further investigation on Wednesday.

Carroll’s injury added to the frustration felt after West Ham had passed up two decent chances to open the scoring within 15 seconds of the kick-off.

A long ball forward was headed into no-man’s land by Simon Francis, allowing Michail Antonio to pounce, but his poked effort was saved by the legs of Artur Boruc. The ball rebounded into the path of Mark Noble, but the Hammers captain could only side-foot over the top from 25 yards.

Before he went off, Carroll also beat two home defenders and raced down the left flank before crossing low for Antonio, only for a Francis to clear over his own crossbar – a run which led to his early withdrawal.

From then on, Bournemouth took control, with Arter collecting a pass from Andrew Surman before losing the attentions of Pedro Obiang and beating Adrian with a dipping right-foot shot from 22 yards – the sixth time Bournemouth have scored from outside the penalty area this season.

Having gone ahead, and roared on by a vociferous home crowd, Eddie Howe’s side went in search of a second goal, and could easily have got one. First, new signing Benik Afobe headed right-back Adam Smith’s cross over when it looked easier to score, Arter’s pass was dummied by former Hammer Junior Stanislas, and left-back Charlie Daniels was denied by Adrian’s left hand.

As half-time approached, Bilic altered the shape of his team, West Ham finally warmed up and went close on three occasions. Substitute Nikica Jelavic was denied when his cross was deflected and Boruc clawed wide, before James Tomkins hooked James Collins’ header over from the resulting Dimitri Payet corner.

Payet himself then went closest when his rising, rasping left-foot shot was tipped over the crossbar by the Poland goalkeeper.

Into the second half and, with the wind at their backs and roared on by 1,400 vociferous travelling fans, West Ham kept up the pressure on the Bournemouth goal, but initially could not find a way past the giant Boruc.

Then, another surging Antonio run was ended by Adam Smith’s foul tackle, and Payet stepped up to curl an unstoppable 30-yard free-kick into the top left-hand corner. The only sour note came when the No27 was booked for celebrating with the peerless Claret and Blue Army.

Seven minutes later, West Ham were ahead. Payet wriggled free on the right side of the Bournemouth penalty area before crossing for Valencia to emphatically volley in from ten yards.

With Bournemouth seemingly devoid of ideas of how to make a comeback of his own, the comeback was completed when Antonio was again fouled six minutes from full-time and Valencia stepped up by curling home another sensational set piece.

At the final whistle, the players went to the Hammers supporters and celebrated another hard-earned by fully-deserved away victory.

With five wins and just two defeats from eleven away league matches, West Ham rose to fifth in the table ahead of Saturday’s trip to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United.
AFC Bournemouth: Boruc, Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Surman (c), Gosling, Arter (Murray 80), Ritchie (Iturbe 50), Stanislas, Afobe (Grabban 72)
Subs not used: Federici (GK), Distin, Pugh, O'Kane
Goal: Arter 17
Booked: Smith
West Ham United: Adrian, Tomkins (Jenkinson 61), Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Obiang, Noble (c), Antonio, Payet (Song 78), Valencia, Carroll (Jelavic 14)
Subs not used: Randolph (GK), Reid, Oxford, Cullen
Goals: Payet 67, E Valencia 74, 84
Booked: Payet
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Attendance: 11,071 (1,393 Away)