West Ham pushed themselves into the top 10 of the Premier League table as they took down AFC Bournemouth, 2-0, Monday afternoon.
Kurt Zouma found the back of the net on a controversial header before Said Benrahma secured the win with his 92nd-minute penalty.
“It was a really good win, a bit harder than we would have liked it to be,” West Ham manager David Moyes said. “We didn’t finish it off. It was a bit nervy but thankfully the penalty finished it off. You always want a clean sheet. If you do that it gives you every chance of winning. I felt as if there was another goal in it.”
Just moments prior to Kurt Zouma’s goal, Thilo Kehrer seemingly touched the ball with his hands; the officials said the handball was accidental, allowing the goal to stand.
“There was a foul in the build-up [to Zouma’s goal] and it’s a blatant handball, his hands move towards the ball and change the flight of it,” Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil said. “I’m not surprised because it’s getting ridiculous. We’ve had 10 VAR checks since I took charge and not one has gone our way.”
Bournemouth falls to 14th place in the table after the loss.
“The first goal cannot stand,” O’Neil added. “It’s impossible for me that it’s a goal. His arm moves towards the ball and it impacted where the ball was going. I can’t understand how that would be given as his hand is in an unnatural position as it moved towards the ball. I also think there was a foul in the build-up to it as well which was more subtle.”
West Ham have played more matches than any Premier League side so far, with nine total matches in the month of October. This was match No. 7 overall out of nine this month.
“Obviously it’s frustrating, it’s not the first time and it feels like these decisions are going against us. It did hit his hand so it is frustrating,” Bournemouth defender Chris Mepham added.
Moyes only made one change heading into this matchup on Monday; he replaced Pablo Fornals with Said Benrahma following the 1-0 defeat at Liverpool. The roster was the same as the one that was featured in the mid-week loss away against Southampton.
Zouma’s first goal of the season came in his 200th Premier League appearance.
“We knew the importance of tonight,” West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen said after the match. The table looks a lot better now than it did at the beginning of the day. The main thing is to keep winning. Keep momentum high and pushing forward. We put a lot into the game. We dug in well, sometimes you have to suffer in a game. We didn’t start the season well enough. It was about us reacting from it. Sometimes it’s those rough patches as a team, you need need togetherness to get through. There are lots of points to play for before the break. After losing games at the beginning of the season it knocks confidence. I can’t fault the lads’ effort. We’ve got to keep aiming higher and higher.”
Bournemouth are back in action on Saturday, 29 October against Tottenham.
West Ham will look to keep climbing the table next Sunday, 30 October against Manchester United. They match up with Silkeborg on Thursday, 27 October in Europa Conference League group stage action.