Said Benrahma put in a statement performance as he inspired West Ham United to a 2-0 win over Bournemouth on Monday night.
The Hammers moved up from 17th to 10th with the victory, their fourth of the season in the league and third in a row at the London Stadium, while Bournemouth have dropped down to 14th.
West Ham haven’t been great this season, seriously stagnating under David Moyes with some doubting the Scot’s future at the London Stadium. One of the biggest grievances from fans has been the Hammers’ attack, with only the bottom two scoring fewer than them this season – Kurt Zouma’s opener finally brought West Ham into double figures for the campaign.
The lack of potency in front of goal has been joined by a few questionable selections including the delay in bringing Gianluca Scamacca into the Premier League starting XI given West Ham’s needs. But in recent weeks a lot of West Ham fans have been calling for Benrahma to be given a real opportunity in the team.
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Prior to Monday night’s game, Benrahma had played in nine of West Ham’s 11 Premier League matches this season but the Algerian had amassed just 413 minutes with three starts and six substitute appearances – the most recent start coming at the end of August. But against Bournemouth Benrahma was given his opportunity, with Moyes aiming to make the most of the chances he expected his side to get.
“Maybe the chance for Said to show a little bit more, we’re hoping that we might have a little bit more in the final third where Said will be more needed,” Moyes told Sky Sports before the game.
“Said, individually, one-v-one he’s more than capable of making things happen.”
Whether you call it justifying Moyes’ decision or Benrahma proving why he should have been starting long before Monday night, it worked. The Algerian was superb at the London Stadium and gave the Bournemouth defence a really rough night even before he doubled the scoreline from the penalty spot. He wouldn’t have needed the goal be West Ham’s star man but it was an ending the Algerian definitely deserved, getting his first Premier League strike of the season.
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Completing 90 minutes in the league for just the second time this season, Benrahma had 67 touches of the ball against Bournemouth with only Declan Rice having more outside of West Ham’s defenders, while completing 89.5% of his passes. The Algerian made four passes into the opposition box, four into the final third, completed a match-high four take-ons and had six touches in the opposition box (another match high).
Benrahma’s goal also came with his eighth shot of the match, the joint-highest total for a player in a single Premier League game this season, alongside Aleksandar Mitrovic (vs Brentford), Lucas Paqueta (vs Southampton) and Diego Costa (vs Leicester). However, of those players only Mitrovic joins Benrahma in finding the net during the respective match. And Benrahma’s goal helped West Ham secure their fifth consecutive home win across all competitions, the first time they have hit such a streak since 2012.
“I thought he played very well tonight,” Moyes added after the game.
“It’s really consistency with Said. He’s got great talent, quick feet, can dribble which is not an easy thing and we don’t see lots of people nowadays who are dribblers but Said is one. It’s his end product, whether it be the finish or the cross or the shot which I’ve been on at him for a couple of years to improve.
“But if you look at his goals last year and his assists he’s been very good for us and I though he played well tonight. He’s been in and out a little bit but he’s somebody we really like.”