- Arter scores first PL goal for AFCB
- Payet, Valencia both score free kicks
- Payet gets goal, assist in 1st start since Nov.
Dimitri Payet got his first start since November for West Ham, and the French playmaker picked up right where he left off, grabbing a goal and assist to lead the Hammers to a 3-1 win over Bournemouth.
With the win, West Ham moves up to fifth on the Premier League table.
[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]
Things got off to a poor start for West Ham, as Andy Carroll was forced off after just ten minutes. With two goals in his last two Premier League appearances, the big striker went down with what looked to be a muscle injury and headed straight to the dressing room.
[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]
Things got worse for the Hammers as Bournemouth opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Harry Arter cut by one defender and fired a right-footed shot on goal, fooling Adrian and bouncing into the back of the net. The shot dipped right in front of the keeper, but Adrian still got a hand on it and should have done better to keep it out. It was Arter’s first career Premier League goal.
Benik Afobe got the start after signing with Bournemouth over the weekend, and the young striker nearly doubled the Cherries’ lead in his debut. Afobe took a great ball through from Junior Stanislas, but his first touch got stuck under his feet as he tried to dribble around Adrian, allowing the goalkeeper to come out and make a stop.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Just moments after Afobe’s chance, Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc was called into action to keep the match level. Nikica Jelavic had come on for the injured Andy Carroll, and the substitute sliced in a cross from the right wing. The cross took a huge deflection in front of goal, as Boruc made a brilliant reaction save with his right hand to keep West Ham off the board.
West Ham pressed more after the break, but it took a bit of brilliance from Dimitri Payet in the 67th minute to find an equalizer. Lining up a free kick from about 30 yards out, Payet bent his shot over the wall and perfectly into the top corner, hitting the underside of the crossbar before dropping into the net. Boruc stood no chance of making a save as the Hammers’ best player came through with a crucial goal.
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
Less than ten minutes later, it was Payet again, this time creating a goal as West Ham took the lead in the 75th minute. Payet slipped through two defenders with a silky nutmeg before playing a ball into Enner Valencia, who fired home into the roof of the net to put the Hammers ahead. It was Valencia’s first Premier League goal since February 2015.
Valencia wasn’t finished, as the Ecuadorian scored a free kick of his own in the 84th minute. From an outside angle, Valencia did wonderfully to dip his shot over the wall and in at the near post, capping off West Ham’s three-goal second half.