David Moyes says he “can’t take the credit” for West Ham’s emphatic victory over Bournemouth as his second spell in charge got off to the best possible start.
Captain Mark Noble scored twice with Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson also netting in what was the Hammers’ biggest Premier League win in more than a decade.
Victory was West Ham’s second in six matches, while the defeat sees Bournemouth slip into the relegation places in 18th.
Moyes replaced the sacked Manuel Pellegrini on Sunday, returning to the club he led to Premier League safety at the end of the 2017-18 season.
“I don’t think I could have had a better start,” he said. “But I can’t take the credit, the players take the credit with their attitude and commitment, it felt as if they could give the supporters something. They played really well.
“We’ve only had a couple of days with them and I tried to make it as simple as I could. In truth, I don’t know most of the players but I tried to use every bit of time, I had a conversation with them all and spoke to one or two individuals.
“It’s the first game and [it] felt I didn’t have enough time to work with the players – that’s why it’s difficult to take any credit.
“It was about being brave on the ball, trying to regain confidence, trying to regain the trust from the crowd.”
Noble opened the scoring inside 20 minutes with the help of a deflection before Haller’s bicycle kick doubled the Hammers’ lead.
Noble scored his second 10 minutes later from the penalty spot after being brought down by Harry Wilson, before Anderson rounded off the win.
West Ham were lucky not to end the match with 10 men after Aaron Cresswell was sent off for a reckless challenge on Ryan Fraser, only for the video assistant referee (VAR) to downgrade the dismissal to a yellow card.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said his side have experienced “a really difficult run”.
“We’ve been knocked quite a lot this season with the injuries and the run that we’ve had. We had players playing who were not 100% fit,” he added.
“It’s not an excuse. The players gave everything but they were not in the best physical condition to play. At this level you get found out.
“It’s our first time in the relegation zone for a long time, but that might be a good thing for us. It will change the mindset.”
Moyes magic returns to East London
In his first spell at the Hammers’ helm, Moyes lost his opening match in charge – away to Watford – and had to wait four games before finally getting a win on the board.
But it was the polar opposite second time around, a classy performance from the Hammers securing a statement win on home soil.
Moyes stamped his return by making four changes to the side which had lost to Leicester on 28 December under Pellegrini, and those changes proved pivotal with Noble and Robert Snodgrass the stars of the show from the off.
Noble had called for West Ham fans to get behind Moyes after his reappointment and the captain led from the front with his opening goal, wrong-footing Aaron Ramsdale with his deflected strike after brilliant play from Snodgrass.
The scorer geed up the crowd as the match got back under way, signalling to them to ramp up the volume, and they did exactly that when Haller found the back of the net seven minutes later, through an exquisite mid-air finish from Ryan Fredericks’ cross.
It marked the first time the Hammers had scored twice in a first half this season and Bournemouth had no answer as their hosts repeatedly thundered forwards, with Noble soon scoring his second after being tripped in the box by Wilson, sending Ramsdale the wrong way with his spot-kick.
West Ham did not quite have the same control of the second half as they did the first as the Cherries looked to claw something back, but if the three points had not already been sealed by now, Anderson’s second-half strike proved the final nail in the coffin.
The Brazilian effortlessly brought down Declan Rice’s weighted pass before a simple finish condemned Bournemouth to their 11th defeat of the season.
Cresswell looked to have produced the only blot on an otherwise blemish-free day for West Ham when referee Graham Scott showed him a straight red for a needless tackle on Fraser, but it was Scott who was left red-faced when VAR overturned his decision.
Bournemouth’s woes continue
Four changes were also the order of the day for Eddie Howe’s Cherries as they looked to start 2020 in better fashion than 2019 had ended – but it did not go to plan.
On a day in which the injury-hit club had recalled Sam Surridge and stuck him straight on the bench, Bournemouth lacked any sort of get-up-and-go against West Ham and are now staring down the barrel of relegation after winning just one of their past 10 matches in the top flight.
They had started brightly, however, controlling the opening passages of play with Diego Rico carving out opportunities for his side.
But Howe’s men were dealt a sucker punch when West Ham took the lead, and suffered another blow soon after when they had a penalty appeal reviewed, and then denied, by VAR following an Angelo Ogbonna tackle.
The wind was truly taken out of their sails when they went 2-0 behind, unable to do anything to deny Haller’s acrobatics, and then 3-0 down, although Rico did force Lukasz Fabianski into a decent save in the closing stages of the first half.
Howe’s half-time team talk looked to have made some difference as Bournemouth came out after the break in a higher gear, substitute Junior Stanislas looking to single-handedly drive his side on as they strung passes together and finally enjoyed more possession.
But they had very little to offer after West Ham’s fourth goal, despite Dominic Solanke hitting the post in the final minutes.
Man of the match – Mark Noble (West Ham)
- West Ham earned their biggest Premier League win since November 2007, when they beat Derby 5-0 at Pride Park. It’s the Hammers’ biggest home win in the competition since September 2005 (4-0 v Aston Villa).
- Bournemouth have won fewer points over the past 10 Premier League games than any other side in the competition (4 – W1 D1 L8).
- West Ham were 3-0 ahead after just 35 minutes in this match, the earliest they’ve established such a lead in a Premier League game since May 2007 against Bolton (29 minutes).
- Bournemouth mustered just three shots in this match – it’s the third time this season they’ve had three or fewer shots in a Premier League match, more often than any other side.
- This is the first time West Ham have won consecutive Premier League games under manager David Moyes, with his last victory at the club coming back in May 2018.
- Mark Noble’s opener was his eighth goal from outside the box in the Premier League, more than any other West Ham player in the competition’s history (overtaking Frank Lampard on seven).
- Mark Noble has been directly involved in 78 Premier League goals for West Ham (45 goals, 33 assists) – no player has had a hand in more for the club in the competition (level with Paolo Di Canio).
- All 75 of Sebastien Haller’s top-flight goals in England, Germany and Netherlands combined have been scored from inside the box.
- West Ham’s Mark Noble has scored 26 penalty goals in the Premier League – only Alan Shearer (56), Frank Lampard (43) and Steven Gerrard (32) have netted more from the spot in the competition.
- West Ham’s Felipe Anderson scored his first Premier League goal since April, ending a run of 20 games and 28 shots without netting in the competition.
West Ham travel to Gillingham in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday (18:16 GMT) before a league trip to Sheffield United next Friday (20:00 GMT). Bournemouth face Luton in the cup on Saturday (17:30 GMT) and welcome Watford in the league on Sunday 12 January (14:00 GMT).