Action-packed as Cherries draw with Hammers
- Stuart Attwell
AFC Bournemouth and West Ham kept the pulses racing to the end of an energy-filled 2-2 draw at Vitality Stadium.
Andriy Yarmolenko scored inside ten minutes to give the visitors a strong start, but the Cherries were soon back level after Joshua King scored in the box, a strike ruled out for offside at first but awarded after consultation with VAR.
The second half started with a bang, Callum Wilson firing home with a delicious finish seconds after the restart, though with the game action-packed Aaron Cresswell brought the Hammers level with 15 minutes to go.
There were late chances but no further goals as the teams served up another exciting match to continue their positive starts to the season.
Eddie Howe kept the same line-up as started away at Southampton eight days ago, and there were also returns to the bench for skipper Simon Francis and summer signing Arnaut Danjuma, the pair in the squad for the first time in the Premier League this season.
Kicking-off under cloudy conditions, King soon had an opening six yards from goal, however, referee Stuart Attwell blew for a push by the Norwegian and the ball went dead before a finish could come in.
Ten minutes into the contest and West Ham had the lead through Yarmolenko. Sebastien Haller brought down a high ball played into the area and fed to his team-mate, the Ukrainian receiving with his back to goal before turning sharply and firing a powered effort beyond the 'keeper to open the scoring.
Seven minutes later and the Cherries had the ball in the net - and a couple of minutes later their equaliser was confirmed.
King was at the heart of the action again, sweeping home after Ake played the ball into his path, his strike was initially ruled out for offside but VAR intervened and after some waiting the decision was overturned and the goal stood.
The game ebbing from end to end, Dominic Solanke flicked a near-post header marginally over the angle from a corner, while Cresswell was given a shooting chance from a free-kick which he struck over.
Next Hammers skipper Mark Noble shot into the side netting, the away side pushing before the break, but not before his 'keeper, Lukasz Fabianski needed to be replaced after appearing to pull a muscle while taking a goal kick.
The energy continued, Pablo Fornals with space in the area but Jack Stacey bravely blocking, only for the ball to fall to Felipe Anderson. The Brazilian's acrobatic effort was heading in but excellently saved by Aaron Ransdale; the teams heading in level for their half-time talks.
West Ham took the restart but within 30 seconds the Cherries were in front, Wilson the scorer.
Solanke was the architect, stepping past players before passing to King who zipped first time to his strike partner who brought the ball out of his feet beautifully before slicing home with a clean half volley for his seventh in seven games against the Hammers.
The Cherries pushed forwards again, Callum W
ilson played through towards goal and drawing his low pass back for Billing who hit it first time but saw his effort deflect just wide.
From the corner the ball dropped for Nathan Ake who volleyed home from close range, the Cherries defender sped off in celebration but moments later the goal was in question and eventually ruled out by VAR for an offside, Solanke straying beyond the line and interfering with play.
Bournemouth's attacking thrust continued, Harry Wilson working it to Diego Rico who crossed onto the head of Callum Wilson, but the striker couldn't quite get over the ball and his effort flew a yard or so above the crossbar.
Approaching the midway point of the half and it was West Ham back on the attack. Yarmolenko was given the chance to open up with a left-footed shot, but he placed his shot a ball-width wide of Ramsdale's far post.
Jack Stacey's fantastic ball then picked out Callum Wilson who smartly stepped inside of his man and fired in a shot which Roberto managed to parry away. Solanke soon heading wide at the near post following another dangerous Rico corner.
The next goal was going to be crucial and but for a terrific Ramsdale save, West Ham would have had it. Yarmolenko's centre was perfect for Anderson close in, his header down was good but the Cherries 'keeper athletically kept it out and Ake cleared.
Harry Wilson played in namesake Callum Wilson but the striker couldn't convert a one-on-one and minutes later West Ham were level.
Yarmolenko was again at the thick of things, crossing for Anderson who headed down into the path of Cresswell who smashed home from 12 yards, via a deflection, to level proceedings.
Suddenly it was the hosts back on the offensive, Rico linking up with Callum Wilson again from the flank but the striker's shot, taking on a bouncing ball, was at the 'keeper and saved.
Arnaut Danjuma came on for his Premier League debut and soon Simon Francis was also back in the action for the first time since Boxing Day, Lewis Cook also introduced as Howe gave his final rolls of the dice.
King went down in the box, loud appeals for a penalty ringing out from the stands, but waved away by the referee, three minutes signaled as injury time in the match.
The game finished with both sides having to settle for a point but perhaps both feeling as though they could have secured all three.