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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the London Stadium

All-square in the Harry Redknapp derby, but West Ham look second best against Bournemouth

West Ham United (0) 1 Ward-Prowse pen 62

AFC Bournemouth (1) 1 Solanke 3

West Ham recovered from shipping a dreadful early goal to claim a share of the spoils - though this was not a night that shed any light on how the Irons are manging to occupy sixth place in the Premier League.

Mohammed Kudus was great and James Ward-Prowse bagged a second-half equaliser from the spot, but there was precious little for home fans to get too excited about.

The hosts badly missed the injured Lucas Paqueta.

The visitors looked more comfortable for the most part and had the better of it as the Irons' decidedly underwhelming start to the new year continued.

A disastrous start to life in a Hammers shirt for Kalvin Philips made it an uphill battle - especially as the mood in a far-from-full London Stadium was not particularly energising.

The England midfielder, desperate to revive his career, let alone his season, after a moribund time at Man City so far, was put under pressure by a pass from Kurt Zouma and a player closing down on him, but his attempted backpass to Alphonse Areola was ill-advised with an in-form Dominic Solanke lurking.

When the Cherries striker intercepted to put the loose ball away, it seemed a linesman's flag had come to the Irons' rescue, but replays showed the pass 'forward' had come from the hapless Phillips.

At least the Hammers' loan signing received sympathetic applause from home fans when he was withdrawn from the action midway through the second half.

That third minute goal helped settle Bournemouth into their comfortable rhythms and their slick probing promised more. Yet it was sloppiness from the Hammers which nearly gifted them a second goal too - Solanke given too much room to lay the ball off for Antoine Semenyo in acres of space inside the area. Luckily, Areola was equal to it and his fine save kept the Irons alive.

There were a few signs of better things to come when Jarrod Bowen darted to the near post to get on the end of a wicked Ward-Prowse cross from the left, but the effort was smother.

Kudus, back from a forgettable Africa Cup of Nations stint with Ghana in Ivory Coast, was the pick of the home bunch and his cross was almost converted by Tomas Soucek.

The Hammers got back into it on the hour when a VAR prompt persuaded ref Tim Robinson to award a penalty after Kudus had tumbled under a shove from Lloyd Kelly. Ward-Prowse drilled the spot-kick down the centre.

But it was not to be a prelude to better things, as the game petered out.

Hammers: (4-3-2-1) Areola - Johnson, Mavropanos, Zouma, Emerson - Phillips (Ings 68), Soucek, Alvarez - Kudus (Cornet 90+6), Ward-Prowse - Bowen

Cherries: ($-2-3-1) Neto - A Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kelly (Kerkez 78) - L Cook, Christie - Semenyo (Sinisterra 68), Scott (Kluivert 68) Tavernier (Faivre 90+2) - Solanke


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