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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 29 March, 2020

Perez at the double for West Ham, while Bournemouth secure long-awaited win

The Hammers were 3-1 winners against Cardiff, as Eddie Howe’s side saw off Huddersfield.

Perez scored twice for West Ham tonight.
Perez scored twice for West Ham tonight.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

JOE RALLS’ PENALTY miss proved costly for Cardiff City as Lucas Perez scored twice to help West Ham to a 3-1 Premier League win at London Stadium. 

Having replaced the injured Marko Arnautovic late in the first half, Perez followed up his first Premier League goal since January 2017 with a second just five minutes later to put the game beyond Cardiff. 

Things would have been different, however, had Ralls converted from 12 yards in the 35th minute, with Lukasz Fabianski pulling off a comfortable save from the midfielder’s tame strike. 

And although the loss of Arnautovic seemed to have derailed West Ham’s chances, replacement Perez took centre stage before Michail Antonio wrapped up the points just after the hour, meaning Josh Murphy’s late header was no more than a consolation for the visitors. 

West Ham’s dominant start looked set to be rewarded when Arnautovic burst beyond Cardiff’s defence and hammered a low strike past Neil Etheridge, only for Sean Morrison to make a crucial block. 

Arnautovic was involved at the other end 10 minutes later, with his clumsy challenge on Junior Hoilett giving referee Graham Scott little choice but to award Cardiff a penalty, but Fabianski got down to his left to keep out Ralls’ effort. 

Arnautovic’s hopes of atoning for his error were cut short as he was forced off with a hamstring issue prior to half-time, and Perez made his mark four minutes after the restart, prodding in from close range. 

Perez swiftly doubled his tally with a cool finish through Etheridge’s legs, with Antonio’s header from Robert Snodgrass’ corner completing West Ham’s 12-minute burst. 

Superb saves from Etheridge prevented Angelo Ogbonna and Grady Diangana adding further gloss, and Murphy had the final say when he headed home following a goalmouth scramble in stoppage time.

Meanwhile, Callum Wilson scored his eighth Premier League goal of the season, as well as assisting another, as Bournemouth ended a run of four straight defeats with a 2-1 victory over Huddersfield Town.

AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town - Premier League - Vitality Stadium Eddie Howe celebrates Bournemouth's win. Source: EMPICS Sport

England striker Wilson headed Bournemouth into the lead when he connected with a free-kick from Ryan Fraser, who has provided more assists than any other Premier League player this season with seven.

Wilson then returned the favour, providing a pass that allowed the Scottish midfielder to drive home Bournemouth’s second of a game that they did not have all their own way.

Terence Kongolo pulled a goal back for the visitors before half-time but for all their running and hopeful balls into the penalty area, Huddersfield lacked the sort of clinical finish that Wilson has delivered so often for Bournemouth this season, helping the Cherries pick up all three points.

Huddersfield’s Florent Hadergjonaj squandered an early chance from a corner and his miss was punished when the unmarked Wilson arrived in the box to powerfully head home Fraser’s free-kick, the 26-year-old beating goalkeeper Jonas Lossl to his left.

Joshua King went close with two chances to score Bournemouth’s second before Wilson burst into the Terriers’ half with 22 minutes played and, finding himself surrounded, squared the ball to Fraser, who steered a shot through the legs of the advancing Lossl.

Asmir Begovic made a trio of saves to preserve Bournemouth’s two-goal advantage, the best coming from a close-range Laurent Depoitre header.

However, the home side’s goalkeeper was beaten by a looping Kongolo header after his defenders failed to clear an Aaron Mooy cross seven minutes before half-time.

Bournemouth had Begovic to thank for coming to their rescue when Charlie Daniels’ poor defensive header fell to Mooy, whose low drive was well saved by the Bosnian keeper, and that proved to be Huddersfield’s best chance to equalise despite dominating after the break.

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