Aaron Cresswell

Nothing to separate entertaining Bournemouth, West Ham United

Leave a comment

Two would-be Top Seven teams both delivered attacking quality on Saturday, but West Ham United will be happier as it delivered a late equalizer in a 2-2 with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Andriy Yarmolenko scored early and helped set-up Aaron Cresswell‘s late goal, and Felipe Anderson was also a driving force for the Irons.

But Bournemouth will feel aggrieved by the chalking off of a Nathan Ake goal by VAR, one that would’ve made it 3-1.

Callum Wilson and Joshua King scored the goals that counted as the Cherries now sit seventh on 11 points, one point behind third-place West Ham.


Three things we learned

1. Yarmolenko at his very best: Last week’s star show led to another for the Ukranian playmaker, who took the fine work of Sebastien Haller to set him up and raised it to the next level. He worked a very good center back in Nathan Ake to score, and could’ve had two or three assists on the day. With Haller, Manuel Lanzini, and Yarmolenko, the Irons have game changers.

2. VAR stings Cherries: Bournemouth’s Ake thought he had a goal to go with an assist, and the Cherries would’ve had a 3-1 lead had VAR not noted that Ryan Fredericks was hip-to-hip with a just offside Dominic Solanke as the ball took the slightest of turns off the West Ham defender. It’s an offside that probably never gets called without video, as Solanke was in the sightline of Irons goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez but not making a play on the ball.

3. Wilson scores, but will rue miss: Are these the sort of missed chances that keep Callum Wilson from breaking into the England mix? The striker scored once, yeah, but his 1v1 chance belted into Jimenez’s thigh from close range is one which should’ve really decided the match.

BONUS. Fabianski injury a big concern: Roberto Jimenez has plenty of experience between the sticks, but Lukasz Fabianski limping off heavily could be a major prob for the Irons. He was one of their best players last season, and West Ham looks up for a Top Seven challenge. Slim margins between star keepers and adequate ones.

Man of the Match: Yarmolenko


West Ham took a deserved lead following its bright start, as Sebastien Haller settled the ball and laid off for Yarmolenko. The Ukranian turned Nathan Ake — no east feat — and curled a gorgeous ball around a helpless Aaron Ramsdale.

VAR took a look at a potential Bournemouth equalizer which had been blown dead for offside. Ake’s trap of a cross was kept onside, and King’s classy finish hit the scoreboard after a minute’s review.

The next moment was an injury, as West Ham star backstop Lukasz Fabianski was banged up and the Irons introduced well-traveled Spanish backstop Roberto Jimenez. The backup allowed four goals to Oxford United at midweek.

Felipe Anderson had a scissor kick well-saved by Ramsdale on the edge of first half stoppage to keep West Ham from taking what would’ve been a fairly well-earned advantage.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Wilson belted a shot past Jimenez, after the referee played advantage following a foul on Dominic Solanke outside the 18. Perhaps the defense and keeper shifted off, but Wilson did not. 2-1 after 29 seconds of the second half.

Ake made it 3-1 in traffic, but would it stand past VAR? No, a razor-thin call went against the goal scorer, whose shot hit West Ham’s Ryan Fredericks on its way past Jimenez. Solanke was ruled to be offside.

Yarmolenko’s curling effort nearly leveled the score line in the 64th, but just missed the far post.

The in-form Ukranian then sent a gorgeous pass over the fray for Anderson to head on Ramsdale, who was wise to the effort.

Jimenez denied Wilson 1v1, an unreal opportunity denied by indecision and sturdy goalkeeping.

Cresswell delivered West Ham’s equalizer, scoring tighter to goal than his pristine free kick last week. It was a Yarmolenko cross headed back into the fray by Anderson.

West Ham surges past tame Manchester United

Leave a comment

Manuel Pellegrini‘s West Ham United passed a big test, moving into the Top Four with a decisive 2-0 defeat of struggling Manchester United at London’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scored on either side of halftime to send West Ham fourth with 11 points.

Man United remains eighth with eighth, and lost Marcus Rashford to injury.


Three things we learned

1. Healthy Yarmolenko a big asset: Injuries short-circuited Andriy Yarmolenko’s first year at West Ham after they did the same to his only campaign at Borussia Dortmund, so it’s been easy to forget that the Ukraine playmaker is pacey, creative, and lethal. His lunging finish to beat De Gea in the first half was simply one moment of a match full of good ones, as he fooled Harry Maguire in the process. Three shots, a key pass, and a goal from the right-sided wide man. Good stuff.

2. Pogba import underscored as Rashford adds to injury woes: With Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba already out, the non-contact injury that sent Marcus Rashford to the tunnel is a scary thought for a United team incapable of creative work through the middle. Andreas Pereira was a danger out wide, and Daniel James has proven himself a handful, but a long-term injury to Rashford would heap pressure on young Mason Greenwood. Without Pogba pulling the strings inside — forget Martial’s early season wizardry — this team is in big, big trouble.

Not great, Ed.

3. Technique on return: Aaron Cresswell had a free kick from the right of the 18, with the wall lined up to stop any ideas of a near post effort. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work. The West Ham left back swept a piece of technical beauty over the wall, spinning it into the upper 90 despite the best efforts of David De Gea. Sensational.

Man of the Match: Yarmolenko.


[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Andreas Pereira’s industrious run up the right forced a hard obstruction out of Angelo Ogbonna, who collected a yellow card.

Andriy Yarmolenko was bright early, and linked up with Felipe Anderson to curl a shot into the arms of David De Gea in the 20th minute.

Marcus Rashford drove into the box then was thrown-off by the oncoming Declan Rice and bobbled his dribble, allowing the West Ham man to take the ball away.

De Gea had to make a save on a half-hit Mark Noble strike which was re-directed by Victor Lindelof.

Yarmolenko scored before halftime, Noble and Anderson working the ball inside for the Ukrainian to cut past De Gea through traffic. Beautiful stuff, and it forced a rare mistake out of Harry Maguire.

The second half started well for United, with Juan Mata missing a sliding effort at the back post set up by Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay bundled a shot to Lukasz Fabianski in the 57th.

That’s when Rashford limped off following a non-contact injury.

Yarmolenko set up Anderson for a near post drive that De Gea foiled in the 62nd.

Cresswell made it 2-0 from a free kick in the 84th, De Gea somehow getting a hand to the left-back’s piece of technical beauty.

AT HALF: Cresswell’s sensational free kick keeps West Ham in it

Leave a comment

Manchester City has been having its way with West Ham United, but it hasn’t stopped the Irons from putting up a pretty thing for the home fans.

Aaron Cresswell brought forth the bubbles at the London Stadium with a sensation swooping free kick that left Ederson’s dive pushing air and adding to the aesthetics.

[ WATCH: West Ham-Man City ]

What a goal, which unfortunately came after West Ham was the last team to touch two shots into its own goal.

It’s 2-1 City at the break, with the visitors’ second goal standing as their 100th for the season.

West Ham 2-1 West Brom: Big Andy leads comeback win

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
Leave a comment
  • Carroll scores first goals since April 1, 2017
  • First brace since Jan. 21, 2017
  • McClean scores for Baggies
  • West Brom winless since August
  • West Ham out of the drop zone

Unique hairstyles and towering headers: That’s what Andy Carrol does, and the big Englishman beat Ben Foster twice to keep West Bromwich Albion winless since August following a 2-1 loss to West Ham United at the London Stadium.

James McClean put the Baggies ahead, but the lead would not last and West Brom remains in the drop zone with 16 points, five points behind the 15th place Hammers.

The match was also notable for an ugly incident in which West Brom’s Jake Livermore, incensed by something in the crowd, climbed into the stands.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Ham came flying out of the gate, with plenty of pressure down the right and an early Manuel Lanzini yellow card, but the visitors came closest to opening the scoring on an audacious Salomon Rondon chip that just passed the cross bar.

The Irons took five of the first six shots, but the Baggies scored the opener when Rondon set up James McClean on a counter attack. Alan Pardew‘s Baggies had a look at their first win since August.

West Brom was cagey in pursuit of the win, and the Irons’ central midfield had problems with the Baggies’ superior numbers.

Carroll had trouble getting free up top, but the Baggies gave him an opening in the 59th minute. He hammered a Cresswell cross to the left of Foster to make it 1-1 in the 59th.

Arnautovic was denied by a charging Foster, and Angelo Ogbonna then made a timely intervention after Oliver Burke beat him for pace to a delightful through ball from Rondon.

Yet Carroll was there deep into stoppage time to send bubbles into the air when he hammered a shot behind Foster from an acute angle after an Arnautovic cross eluded Javier Hernandez.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Liverpool

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Hammers 4-2-2 in last 8 vs. Reds
  • Liverpool won last tilt 4-0
  • Reds lead all-time 69W-37D-28L

Liverpool looks to build on a pair of clean sheets when it visits the London Stadium to face Slaven Bilic and desperate West Ham United on Saturday (Watch live at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds blanked Huddersfield Town last weekend before shutting out Maribor in the UEFA Champions League. West Ham has scored more freely than either opponent this season.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

The Irons haven’t won in three-straight Premier League matches, but did pick up a significant League Cup win over Spurs last week. That win made a late concession to draw Crystal Palace on Saturday sting even more.

Klopp said Philippe Coutinho is out but Sadio Mane may be able to come off the bench. Georginio Wijnaldum could also make an appearance if need be.

What they’re saying

West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell on rebounding from Palace““We know it’s frustrating at times. If you’re a fan sitting there you can understand why and we certainly fully understand. We need to come together as one. We’ve been working hard week in and week out to put it right. We want to generate that atmosphere, against a team like Liverpool, and put it right.”

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp on who will take the next pen“I really understand it’s a big story but in the past it is not to change. We will never try to get penalties, but when we have them in future we will score from the penalty spot, 100 per cent. We only have to make sure [we are] not getting this story all over the season because it’s a good opportunity to score when you have a penalty. The boys are all able to do it. As I said, (Milner’s) penalty was really, really good, but it was a brilliant save and that’s something we have to respect as well.”

Prediction

If West Ham’s men are still playing for their boss, they stand a good chance at getting a point or better against a banged up Liverpool. If the effort’s there, the Hammers just may scoot away with a 2-1 win.