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West Ham: Aaron Cresswell was Moyes’ unsung hero v Bournemouth

West Ham United bounced back from their midweek defeat at Anfield to secure a much-needed victory over Bournemouth on Monday night, with David Moyes’ side running out 2-0 winners to move themselves five points clear of the Premier League drop zone.

That triumph was not without controversy, though, with the visitors likely to feel somewhat aggrieved at the game’s key refereeing decisions, with Kurt Zouma firing the hosts ahead at the London Stadium just before the break despite a potential handball in the build-up by fellow Irons defender Thilo Kehrer.

The Hammers had seemingly been the dominant force in the match, having enjoyed 20 attempts at goal to their opponents’ five, although it would take until stoppage time at the end of the second half for the east Londoners to finally seal the points, with the lively Said Benrahma slotting home from the penalty spot after Jordan Zemura had been penalised for handball.

That late spot-kick ultimately wrapped up the win for West Ham after a somewhat nervy spell in the closing stages, with the Irons having now won their past five matches at home across all competitions.

Amid that eventual victory, one shining light was no doubt Benrahma, with the Algerian ace having made the most of his return to the starting XI after impressing in his left-wing berth. He notably completed four of his five attempted dribbles, while also showcasing a solid work ethic having won six of his 11 ground duels.

While the 27-year-old’s outing ‘lacked some end product‘ prior to his late strike – in the words of the Evening Standard’s Malik Ouzia – it was no doubt an encouraging performance from the former Brentford man, having been a truly “exciting watch” once again, according to Sky Sports reporter Ben Grounds (Live Blog, 24/10/2022, 21:28).

The fleet-footed forward was not the only standout figure against Gary O’Neil’s side, though, with defender Aaron Cresswell having also offered a real threat down the left flank, with his overlaps having been ‘key‘ to the aforementioned Benrahma making an impact, as per Ouzia.

The long-serving Englishman was heavily involved from his full-back berth as he recorded 91 touches on the night – the joint-most of any player for either team – while also enjoying an eye-catching pass accuracy rate of 93%.

The 32-year-old’s attacking intent is illustrated by the fact that he attempted 12 crosses in his 90-minute outing – completing four of them – having also gone close to getting himself on the scoresheet early on only to see his fierce effort denied by opposition goalkeeper Neto.

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West Ham United manager David Moyes applauds the fans

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Not only a threat going forward, the Liverpudlian machine also showcased his defensive strength by winning six of his eight duels, with his overall match rating of 8.0 (as per SofaScore) having been by far the highest for either team.

Such a performance has again served as a reminder as to just what a “consistently good performer” the former Ipswich Town man is – as described by journalist Henry Winter earlier this season – with the three-cap menace having once again proven himself an unsung hero for Moyes and co with a typically reliable display.

Article title: West Ham: Aaron Cresswell was Moyes’ unsung hero v Bournemouth

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