Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United were dealt a Hammer blow by Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Losing out by two goals at the Vitality Stadium thanks to strikes from Callum Wilson and Joshua King.
Join us as we crunch all the statistics from the Hammers’ second defeat in the last five matches against the Cherries, none of which they’ve won, and their first loss of the month in any competition. One that saw them drop from ninth to tenth in the PL table and their victors move just a point behind them, staying in 12th place.
The first team stat we’re going to be analysing from the south coast is possession, the share of the overall ball possession that each team enjoyed throughout the match. And it was a very one-sided affair in terms of keeping the ball.
However, it wasn’t dominated by the team you might have expected had you glanced at the 2-0 scoreline, in fact, it was Pellegrini’s men who claimed the bigger share by some distance. They recorded an impressive 61.5 per cent possession to Howe’s boys’ 38.5%, but there’s no prizes for guessing who made better use of theirs.
When it comes to our second stat, number of shots recorded, things didn’t quite match the scoreline either as the encounter, from a stats-perspective, very much came down to which team made the most of what they were given.
The Cherries still enjoyed more efforts overall than the Irons, though there’s only one attempt in it, with a 10-9 margin. 19 shots on the afternoon would suggest an affair packed full of goalmouth action, however, this was far from the case with a combined total of just three clear-cut chances created for the whole 95 minutes.
Shots on target
At half-time in Bournemouth, no shots on target had been reported, from either the hosts or the visitors and fans were bracing themselves for a bore 0-0 draw in the bitter conditions. After a, dull at best, first half.
But luckily, the attacking aspect of the match came to life after the break and by the time Simon Hooper’s full-time whistle had been blown, there had been five shots on target. Crucially, four of them were contributed by the home side, including their two strikes and a mere one by the away side in what has been dubbed by many as their worst team display of 2018/2019 thus far. It was a tame effort by substitute Javier Hernandez that proved easy pickings for Artur Boruc, late in the game.
Pass completion percentage, our next statistic, gives us an idea of how well the match in question flowed by measuring how often a pass reached its intended recipient. Not-too-often, the case on Saturday.
The guilty party for this weren’t the East Londoners, their 83.3% enough for them to win pass completion but not any points to add to their tally of 31 so far, but an out-of-sorts, heading into the encounter, Bournemouth side. They managed to keep the three points in Dorset with a measly 76.3% of their passes having been completed.
It may surprise you to learn that, in a meeting where goalmouth drama was at times scarce and would not be a regular occurrence until the latter stages, there was an above-average 12 key passes on show for the 10,495 inside the Vitality.
This is somewhat baffling when you consider the number of such figures as shots on target and clear-cut chances, it seems the creative midfielders and those behind them did their jobs on the day, just not the out-and-out attackers. Here, we find a rare even split between the mid-table outfits, both pulling 12 key passes out of their hats.
In contrast, something there weren’t too many of at all in the eighth Premier League clash between the Cherries and the Hammers in history is our third-from-last team stat. Corners won.
The home side could win just two all afternoon and the away side didn’t do much better, with a measly three. This would have disappointed Howe no end as he looked to his players to capitalise on the fact that their opponents have conceded the most goals from set-pieces in the league this season. Meanwhile, Pellegrini’s men lacked the quality to utilise such options as Andy Carroll from their trio of the type of set-piece.
As is always the case when we crunch and carry out an analysis on the post-match stats, our final two figures focus on the respective defences and goalkeepers of the two teams. Measuring the workload they were forced to handle and how they dealt with it.
First up is the defences, the hosts and the visitors lining up with tradition back fours, with clearances made to take an in-depth look at. There was a huge difference between the back-lines in this respect, with the home one clearing the ball on 27 occasions and the away one just 16. This is reflective of how close they managed to get to each other’s goals.
Last but not least, it’s the turn of the two goalkeepers, Cherries shot-stopper Artur Boruc, in to take the place of Asmir Begovic for the first time and make his first league start in nearly two years. And his fellow Polish international, Signing of the Season contender for the Hammers, Lukasz Fabianski.
As expected, a lack of shots on target yielded a lack of saves for either to make with just four overall, but the Hammer was the busiest party. He had three stops to complete, one of them a Save of the Season contender as he somehow tipped Wilson’s accurate effort onto the post in the 71st minute. Just the one for Boruc on an easy return to PL action for him.
So, now that all the team stats from just a second loss on the road in six games for Pellegrini’s team have been well and truly crunched and analysed. Will we be reflecting on more positive stats for West Ham come seven days’ time? After the Emirates FA Cup round-four trip to AFC Wimbledon? Join us once again, then, to find out.
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