Hammers run riot to give Moyes perfect start v Bournemouth
West Ham United 4-0 Bournemouth
West Ham United ran riot against Bournemouth as goals from Mark Noble (2), Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson gave new manager David Moyes an excellent start to his second tenure at the Club.
The Glaswegian had spoken of his desire to get the fans often leaping to their feet, and his new team remained true to his word in a team performance coated in style, verve, passion and quality.
A deflected Mark Noble strike gave West Ham the perfect start, before a spectacular bicycle kick from Sebastien Haller, plus a penalty won and converted by Noble, saw the Hammers record their first 3-0 half-time lead since March 2018.
Felipe Anderson's run and finish added the gloss to a resounding scoreline, and with 'olés' ringing around London Stadium by full-time, an exciting new era was ushered in with a first New Year's Day win since 2013.
Moyes had shuffled his backline ahead of the game. Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell returned to the starting eleven alongside Ryan Fredericks and Fabian Balbuena, while Noble and Robert Snodgrass started in a fluid four-man midfield.
Felipe Anderson pushed forwards to work closely in tandem with striker Sebastien Haller, but the whole side’s interplay hinted at a resurgence in confidence from the off; their passing was crisp, their movement ever-menacing.
Pablo Fornals enjoyed the Hammers’ first shooting chance after good work from Noble, whose driving run led to him laying off to the Spaniard. The playmaker’s curling effort from a tricky angle was just too high to truly threaten, but immediately spurred his team-mates on.
It seemed fitting that the skipper, whose ferocious running rarely ceased, should claim the first goal of Moyes’ reign.
Shortly after the quarter of an hour mark, a precise reverse pass from Anderson fed Snodgrass on the right. The winger’s pull-back towards the edge of the area found Noble, whose placed effort took a wicked deflection off Lewis Cook to wrongfoot Ramsdale in the Cherries’ net.
That lead was almost doubled moments later when Ogbonna rose highest to meet Snodgrass’ whipped corner kick, but the Italian defender was unable to guide it in while well-placed.
A second West Ham goal was coming – and promptly did so in style. Ryan Fredericks’ ball in from the right might have required many players to take a touch, but not the supremely athletic Haller, whose sumptuous, picture-perfect bicycle kick rippled the net behind the bottom corner.
If a Cruyff turn from Noble to beat his man didn’t further illustrate the side’s flowing confidence, it was prevalent in another driving run from the skipper, wrestling past Harry Wilson on the byline to get his body in between man and ball. When Wilson subsequently clipped his legs, the skipper picked himself up, dusted himself down – and promptly sent Ramsdale the wrong way.
The visitors’ sole attacking move of note came just shy of the half-time whistle, Fabianski comfortably positioned to beat away Rico’s rasper – notably, the Cherries’ first effort on goal in the match.
The second half started in a similar vein to the first, Haller a man on a mission as he wrested the ball from the sliding Simon Cook and delivered towards an awaiting Fornals – only for a Bournemouth toe to deny him a clear volley on goal.
Noise inside the ground continued to grow as Anderson collected Declan Rice’s raking pass, skipped past Francis and slid past Ramsdale, a well-taken effort marking the Brazilian’s final touch of the game.
The home team looked to have suffered an unfortunate blow when Cresswell's tackle inside the Bournemouth half saw the left-back initially dismissed, but upon review, Video Assistant Referee downgraded the initial verdict to a yellow card.
The Claret and Blue army's delight only continued to grow as Dominic Solanke's glancing header from close range clipped the inside of Fabianski's post and into the Hammer of the Year's awaiting arms.
The Hammers continued to push forwards; Lanzini, Fornals and Masuaku almost got in on the act when their late fizzing efforts - all at the end of flowing moves - were beaten away by young international Ramsdale.
A belated festive gift, or the perfect tonic with which to toast the New Year, this was an evening to cherish under the London Stadium lights.
West Ham United: Fabianski; Fredericks, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Cresswell, Noble (c), Rice, Snodgrass (Masuaku 82), Anderson (Lanzini 68), Fornals, Haller
Subs not used: Roberto, Diop, Zabaleta, Sanchez, Ajeti
Goals: Noble 17, 35 (pen), Haller 26, Anderson 66
Bournemouth: Ramsdale; Francis (c), S. Cook, Mepham, Rico (Stanislas 45), L. Cook, Lerma, Gosling, H. Wilson (Fraser 45), C. Wilson, Solanke
Subs not used: Boruc, Simpson, Surman, Billing, Dobre,
Booked: Rico, L. Cook