Never mind the quality, count the incidents. Joshua King scored a hat-trick as Bournemouth finally won a Premier League game in 2017 at the ninth attempt, in all likelihood banishing their faint relegation worries.
King is in red-hot scoring form, having netted eight goals in seven games, but at first he had seemed likely to be the villain of the piece, missing an early penalty. But then Eddie Howe’s team did everything the hard way in theis match, coming from behind to lead, then going ahead again after conceding an 83rd-minute equaliser. Oh, and they also failed again from the penalty spot after converting all seven penalties they had previously been awarded in league games this season.
Michail Antonio put West Ham ahead 48 seconds after King had missed Bournemouth’s first penalty. King later made amends before Benik Afobe’s penalty was saved by Darren Randolph. King scored a controversial second before Andre Ayew tied it up at 2-2. But with two such porous defences on show, that was never likely to be the end of the scoring – Bournemouth have conceded 38 goals in their past 16 league games, while West Ham have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven – and King had the final word.
King’s miss came after nine minutes when Sofiane Feghouli found himself on the wrong side of Charlie Daniels as the full back charged into the West Ham penalty area. Feghouli grabbed desperately at Daniels’ shoulder, bringing him down and giving referee Bobby Madley the simplest of decisions to award a penalty. King, though, placed his shot well wide.
And how the home side paid for King’s miss as West Ham went ahead 48 seconds later. Harry Arter’s pass was intercepted by Feghouli and played into Antonio, who turned and hit a low left-foot shot that rolled gently past Artur Boruc and just inside the far post.
Undaunted, Bournemouth twice came close to levelling in the 29th minute. First Ryan Fraser’s low 25-yarder forced a diving save from Randolph and then the goalkeeper had to fingertip a header by Steve Cook over the crossbar.
But the visitors failed to heed the warning, and King tied the scores after 31 minutes. The defence failed to clear an attack from Bournemouth’s right and King was able to hook the bouncing ball over the head of Jose Fonte and volley in with his left foot.
After 36 minutes came Bournemouth’s second chance from the spot, although this was much less clear-cut, Fonte making only the slightest contact with Marc Pugh, who fell as if shot. This time Benik Afobe tried his luck, but Randolph easily saved his under-hit shot.
The Cherries eventually went ahead through King’s second goal of the match after 48 minutes but there was controversy as West Ham appealed that Afobe had handled in the build-up. Cook’s header from Fraser’s free kick had certainly struck Afobe’s arm on its way to King – who had been offside when the kick was taken. King decided to score first and ask questions later, and referee Madley allowed the goal to stand after consulting an assistant.
Afobe should have sealed the points, nodding over when unmarked from Adam Smith’s cross, and instead West Ham equalised after 82 minutes with the best goal of the game. Pedro Obiang spotted the run of substitute right back Sam Byram, who squared for fellow sub Ayew to sidefoot home.
But in the final minute Ayew gave the ball away in midfield, Jack Wilshere fed Pugh and although Randolph blocked Wilshere’s shot when the ball came back to the on-loan Arsenal midfield player, King was on hand to score.
AFC Bournemouth (4-4-1-1): Boruc; A Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Fraser, Gosling, Arter, Pugh; King; Afobe (Wilshere 85).
Subs not used: Allsop, Gradel, B Smith, Ibe, Cargill.
West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Randolph; Kouyate (Byram 78), Fonte, Reid, Cresswell; Obiang, Noble (Snodgrass 58); Feghouli (Ayew 58), Antonio, Lanzini; Carroll.
Subs not used: Adrian, Collins, Masuaku, Fernandes.
Referee: R Madley