Three things we learnt from West Ham's late victory over Bournemouth
The fixture that served up one of the best early season clashes last campaign as Bournemouth won 4-3 at the old Boleyn Ground in its final season of service was set-up to be a show-stopper once again. The Hammers were playing their first ever Premier League game at their new home in the former Olympic Park, and Bournemouth, who stunned Upton Park last season with four goals to see off the Hammers in their first ever victory in the Premier League, arrived in East London determined to spoil the party.
It was a partisan atmosphere throughout the build-up, with the famous “Forever Blowing Bubbles” club anthem hammered out over the tannoy as cascades of bubbles were released into the vast cauldron that is the Irons’ new arena, but the atmosphere was somewhat subdued on this first showing compared to Upton Park, given the proximity of the fans to the pitch in the new ground.
Eddie Howe’s Cherries defended resolutely throughout the contest, but they were always up against it late-on after Harry Arter was dismissed for a second booking, and the home side, fully expected to earn an opening three points at their new dwelling, left it late to snatch the points; Michail Antonio, back in his favoured right-wing position, scoring with a header from Gohan Tore’s cross five minutes from time to send the home supporters wild.
So it was eventually a happy homecoming in their new ground for Slaven Bilic and his West Ham side, before a club-record attendance of 56,977 supporters, but what did we learn from the first ever game at the London Stadium as the Irons got their first points of the season on the board?