David Moyes reaction: West Ham boss singles out ‘huge performance’ from star on-hand to deliver big win
David Moyes singled out one West Ham star for special praise after two controversial handball decisions earned the Hammers a 2-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth on Monday evening.
Kurt Zouma’s first goal since November 2021 was allowed to stand by the VAR despite a clear handball by Hammers defender Thilo Kehrer, while Said Benrahma converted a stoppage-time penalty after VAR spotted a handball against Bournemouth substitute Jordan Zemura.
The game’s pivotal moment came when Kehrer scooped Jarrod Bowen’s corner into the air before it was headed clear by Chris Mepham, nodded back by Tomas Soucek and eventually over the line via the top of Zouma’s head.
The word from Stockley Park was that because the handball was not deliberate, and had not led directly to the goal, that it was allowed to stand.
Bournemouth caretaker boss Gary O’Neil was angry with the decision, with the former West Ham midfielder booked for his protests.
Then Vladimir Coufal’s cross hit the hand of Zemura as he slid in to block, with Benrahma wrapping up the win from the spot.
And speaking after the game, Moyes told Sky Sports: “I thought we were good for periods, I didn’t think we were as good in the final third. We had good, long periods of controlling the game but couldn’t hit the target when we needed to. The performances are getting better but are still not taking enough chances.
“We looked like we were hanging on and that’s probably where Bournemouth came into the game. Kieffer Moore came on and changed the game for them and won a few free-kicks.
“I’ve not seen the first goal yet or the penalty kick. I think our performances deserved more than a scruffy set-piece goal and a penalty.
Benrahma shines on return to starting XI
Benrahma was back in the starting line-up after missing out at Anfield, with Moyes admitting he wanted the playmaker to give West Ham more going forward.
Moyes added: “Said Benrahma is a huge performance player and we’ve been on at him about his goals and crosses. He’s had a slow start and we hope he is going to get even better now.
“Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek have had slows starts as well and are starting to find their feet and we are trying to bring in new players. We started the season really well last season and were in the Champions League places and were doing well in Europe. This year we have started well in Europe and have been slower in the league.
“Being manager is such fine margins, I could have been stood here saying that we didn’t get the result we wanted because we didn’t take our chances. Now our league performances have started to improve and we are chasing down the teams above us in the league now.”
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