No Cherry on the cake
Saturday saw us visit the South coast to take on AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, somewhere which has not been a happy hunting ground for the Irons since the days of Dimitri Payet. And the bad luck continued to haunt us, but not the result this time. Unfortunately, our keeper Fabianski picked up an injury in the first half after taking a goal kick when he immediately waved to the side line for attention. It appeared he pulled a muscle and had to leave the pitch to be replaced by Roberto. More about the latter in a supplementary blog.
Although it was reported that he left the ground after the match on crutches, with the up and coming international fixture mid-October it is hoped that he will only miss a couple of games. Fingers crossed.
As for the match itself, we played really well, controlling the game for large spells and it was little surprise when we took the lead after 11 minutes. Anderson clipped a ball into the box towards Haller who brilliantly controlled the ball and flicked it inside to Yarmolenko. The Ukrainian easily turned his marker Ake, who looked poor throughout, and curled a super shot beyond the reaches of the Cherries keeper Ramsdale and ran towards the travelling West Ham fans to celebrate. This is his third goal of the campaign and he is looking on fire at the moment and was my man of the match, shading the ever impressive Declan Rice who appeared to be everywhere on the pitch.
Unfortunately, the lead was short lived. A speculative cross into our box was miss-controlled by Ake but it fortunately fell into the path of Joshua King who slotted home. However the referee's assistant flagged for offside and the referee awarded a free-kick to West Ham. However, after a VAR review, King was ruled onside and the goal counted. We certainly don't seem to be getting the VAR rub of the green so far.
Unfortunately the second half didn't start well for the Irons with our nemesis Callum Wilson firing home an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box after a good run by Solanke to put Bournemouth 2-1 up. Things looked to go from bad to worse not long after when Ake fired in from a corner after the ball dropped at his feet. Again ,the referee's assistant flagged and his time VAR worked in our favour and the goal was wiped out as Solanke was in an offside position and interfering with play.
Both sides went close, Wilson being stopped by Roberto when one-on-one and Yarmolenko curling another effort just wide.
Lanzini replaced Fornals (thought he had a decent game) mid-way through the half to add a little more creativity to the midfield. Irons still had plenty of the play and in fairness looked the more threatening. In the 74th minute Yarmolenko swung a sweet cross field ball from the right to Felipe Anderson who spotted Cresswell bursting into the box who met Andersons deft header and buried the ball into the net off a slight deflection to get the Irons level and subsequently earn them a point.
FINAL SCORE 2-2
Before the game I would have taken the draw but I felt that we did more than enough to win and looked very good in spells. This win put us third in the Premiership, until Leicesters 5-0 drubbing of Newcastle on Sunday afternoon, and we remain unbeaten since the opening day drubbing by Manchester City. Things are certainly looking up and we should be confident of defeating Palace at home next weekend.