West Ham United 1, Bournemouth 0: Hammers' character delights Slaven Bilic after Michail Antonio proves worth at attacking end

 
Frank Dalleres
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West Ham United v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Antonio (centre) made amends for his display at Chelsea by scoring the winner against Bournemouth (Source: Getty)
West Ham United 1, Bournemouth 0

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic hailed his team’s character after they emerged from a gruelling week with victory in the first Premier League match at their new home, the London Stadium.


Winger Michail Antonio’s 85th-minute header snatched the points for the Hammers just moments after Bournemouth were reduced to 10 men by the sending off of midfielder Harry Arter.

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It was a third game in seven days for Bilic’s side, who lost their top-flight opener at Chelsea on Monday and drew at Romanian side Astra Giurgiu on Thursday in the build-up to this fixture.

“It’s very pleasing. It wasn’t a great game but we didn’t expect to play like we'd like to play with the players we have out,” said Bilic, who revealed striker Andy Carroll had joined his injured list.

“I’m delighted not only for the three points, but because we’ve done it against a team who like to counter attack. If you are talking about character and team spirit nobody can say we didn't deserve it.”

Bilic called Carroll’s latest setback “frustrating”, but added: “If you tell me it’s four to six weeks, and then he’s fit for the rest of the season, then I would take that.”

Antonio, hauled off at Chelsea for a torrid display at right-back, underlined his effectiveness at the other end by lurking at the far post to meet summer signing Gokhan Tore’s left-wing cross.

That came with the visitors at a numerical disadvantage, after Arter earned a second yellow card for felling Cheikhou Kouyate, having earlier fallen foul of a new crackdown on dissent towards officials.

“That’s the one that has to disappoint, the first booking,” said Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, whose side are bottom after two games.

“We know the rules, dissent will be yellow cards and that’s the one that burns. We need to be disciplined and keep 11 players on the pitch.”

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