Dimitri Payet wanted to repay the fans for their magnificent support towards him and stole the show once again as he scored a wonder goal and showed a great piece of skill to help set up Enner Valencia for the second goal.
Payet was starting his first game since the 1-1 draw with Everton back in November after spending two months on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
But the French star looked like he had never been away with another outstanding display and immediately paid tribute to the fantastic support he has received from the Hammers fans while he made a return to full fitness.
Payet continued his recovery from injury with another superb display at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium tonight, as he helped West Ham United recover from a goal down to secure a crucial 3-1 victory, and move up to fifth in the Barclays Premier League.
“These fans are very, very good with me”, he said, “and very, very important to me, and [I want to say] thank you very much.”
Payet equalised with an outstanding free kick which curled into the top left hand corner, after Michail Antonio was brought down just outside the area.
He revealed he was encouraged to go for goal by Aaron Cresswell, who was standing with him over the ball.
“Cress said to me ‘Shoot!’ so I shoot.” he said modestly, with the team-mates who see him score similar free kicks in training every day.
The Frenchman’s appreciation of the Hammers fans was even more evident after his goal, as he rushed to celebrate with the travelling supporters, slapping the West Ham crest on his shirt, a celebration considered worthy of a yellow card by referee Martin Atkinson.
That only seemed to get Payet more fired up. Seven minutes later, he jinked past two Bournemouth defenders with a brilliant piece of skill on the right hand side of the area, and squared the ball across the six yard box for Enner Valencia to fire the ball into the roof of the net.
But Payet could be well satisfied with his night’s work, having recorded his sixth goal and fourth assist of what is already a superb debut season with West Ham.
“I’m very happy because I don’t play for two months”, he said. “I’m very happy I can play, and [get a] good goal, good assist. It’s my job. I’m very happy.”
With West Ham recording their fourth consecutive win and more players coming back from injury, Payet is confident that the team can grow even stronger in the second half of the season.
“I’m happy [to] play for the team”, he said, “because [it’s] a good team, good mentality, [we] work very hard and I continue work hard for win lots of games.”