West Ham claim rudimentary win over Bournemouth after two controversial VAR calls

Two controversial VAR calls gave West Ham a 2-0 win over Bournemouth at London Stadium.

VAR put Kurt Zouma’s first goal since November 2021 on hold despite a clear handball from Hammers defender Thilo Kehrer.

And Said Benrahma converted a penalty in stoppage time after VAR detected a handball against Bournemouth substitute Jordan Zemura.

The crucial moment of the game came when Kehrer lobbed a Jarrod Bowen corner kick into the air before it was cleared by Chris Mepham, headed back by Tomas Soucek and finally lined over Zouma’s head.

Stockley Park’s word was that because the handball was not deliberate and did not lead directly to the goal, it was allowed to stand.

Bournemouth caretaker boss Gary O’Neil was angry at the decision, and the former West Ham midfielder was booked for his protests.

Then Vladimir Coufal’s cross hit Zemura’s hand as he slid to block, with Benrahma securing the win from the spot.

It was Benrahma’s third goal of the season.

West Ham moved up to 10th place in the top half for the first time this term.

It was a fierce finish to both halves of a match as West Ham struggled to find a way through the mass of bodies in the Bournemouth defence.

Benrahma fired an early free kick into the side of the net and Soucek headed in Aaron Cresswell’s cross.

Flynn Downes had a shot on goal blocked by a slide from Mepham and Cresswell’s shot was deflected by goalkeeper Neto.

Bournemouth could have taken the lead when Lukasz Fabianski spilled the ball in a scuffle in the mouth of goal, but recovered to deny Dominic Solanke.

The striker was offered another chance thanks to a deflected pass from Soucek, but Kehrer deflected it wide of the goal and Fabianski saved his shot.

Solanke’s evening came to a premature end when he limped off shortly before half-time, and moments later West Ham had the upper hand when Zouma marked his 200th Premier League appearance with a rare goal.

Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil was booked for his protests following the opener

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Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil was booked for his protests after the first match

(AFP via Getty Images)

Moyes has recently complained that too many calls went against his side, but the Scot certainly got lucky this time.

Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto had been struggling with a muscle injury during the first half and was replaced at half-time by Mark Travers, whose last appearance was Liverpool’s 9-0 thrashing that saw Scott Parker sacked.

Travers was immediately tested by a long-range volley from Declan Rice that he parried with the palm of his hand.

Bournemouth pressed for an equalizer but West Ham held their ground before Benrahma’s penalty secured their fifth successive home win in all competitions for the first time since moving to the London Stadium.

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