AFC Bournemouth 3-3 West Ham United
Premier League, Vitality Stadium, Saturday 26 December 2017
West Ham United twice led and trailed once before settling for a dramatic 3-3 Boxing Day draw at a rain-soaked AFC Bournemouth.
There was action and controversy aplenty at the Vitality Stadium, with the Cherries’ added-time equaliser arguably both offside and converted by the right arm of Callum Wilson.
After consulting with his assistant, however, referee Bobby Madley awarded the goal, meaning West Ham took a point from the game instead of all three, but remain outside the Premier League’s bottom three.
Earlier, the Hammers went ahead through James Collins’ header, fell behind to goals from Dan Gosling and Nathan Ake, went back in front through Marko Arnautovic’s opportunist brace, before being pegged back by Wilson’s debatable 91st-minute leveller.
Much earlier, David Moyes’ side took an early lead for the second time in four days but, just as happened at home to Newcastle United on Saturday, they were unable to maintain their advantage.
This time it was Collins, recalled to the starting XI and handed the captain’s armband, who opened the scoring, nodding home Aaron Cresswell’s near-post corner inside seven minutes.
Both teams then proceeded to create presentable chances, with Joshua King poking wide twice for Bournemouth and Andre Ayew slamming a yard past the post for West Ham.
Adam Smith then forced Adrian to tip over the top with a long-range effort before Dan Gosling levelled just before the half-hour mark, slamming into the net after Ryan Fraser’s free-kick had been headed into King by Collins.
The game’s first major moment of controversy arrived five minutes later, when Simon Francis caught Cheikhou Kouyate in the face with the base of his boot. The Senegal midfielder needed lengthy treatment, but referee Madley deemed a yellow card to be sufficient punishment.
Into the second half and Manuel Lanzini screwed a shot wide before Bournemouth went ahead for the first time in the match when a partially-cleared corner was crossed low into the penalty area and through a forest of legs to where Nathan Ake converted from close range.
The Cherries then poured forward in search of a match-clinching third, but found Adrian in inspired form.
The Spaniard saved superbly from Gosling, Jordon Ibe and substitute Benik Afobe to keep his team in the game.
Then, with nine minutes to go, West Ham equalised almost out of nothing, with the wet conditions playing their part.
Asmir Begovic collected a routine back pass before slipping as he attempted to clear upfield, allowing Arnautovic to slam into the unguarded net from 20 yards.
And the Austrian looked to have won it with a minute of normal time on the clock, firing in after Begovic had spilled a shot from substitute Chicharito following good work from Arthur Masuaku.
But it was not to be as Wilson grabbed a point for the Cherries with his dubious late intervention.
AFC Bournemouth: Begovic, Francis ©, S.Cook, Ake, Smith, Gosling, L.Cook, Ibe, Fraser (Pugh 86), King (Afobe 65), Wilson
Subs not used: Boruc (GK), Hyndman, Mahoney, Mousset, Simpson
Goals: Gosling 29, Ake 57, Wilson 90+1
Bookings: Francis, L.Cook, Ake
West Ham United: Adrian, Zabaleta (Rice 79), Collins ©, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku, Obiang (Carroll 60), Kouyate, Ayew (Chicharito 61), Lanzini, Arnautovic
Subs not used: Hart (GK), Reid, Quina, Sakho
Goals: Collins 7, Arnautovic 81, 89
Bookings: Zabaleta, Collins, Cresswell, Ogbonna
Referee: Bobby Madley