West Ham manager Slaven Bilic admitted AFC Bournemouth were better in every area from the first minute after the 3-4 defeat at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.
The Croatian expressed his disappointment after a seven-goal thriller at Upton Park, after the Hammers were put to the sword by a Callum Wilson hat trick.
“Firstly, I have to congratulate Bournemouth, they deserved it,” said Bilic. “We weren’t good at all. It was the same last week against Leicester.
“We virtually lost the game in the first half because we were poor – they were doing the basics much better than us. I know it was hot but it was hot for them as well. They were closing us down, putting us under immense pressure and won every second ball.
“On top of that we made catastrophic mistakes, and when you make mistakes like that, your confidence goes down.
“In the second half it went up when we got a penalty. We had that momentum and at that moment we were in a better position than them. But they scored a good goal and when Jenkinson was sent off the game was virtually over.”
The visitors raced into an early lead with a brace from Callum Wilson, who snaffled both goals from mistakes by Aaron Cresswell. The Cherries even wasted ample opportunities to extend that lead during the first half.
Bilic’s half time team talk seemed to do the trick, as the Hammrrs clawed their way back from two goals down to all square in the space of 15 minutes, thanks to a Mark Noble penalty and a instinctive finish from midfield powerhouse Cheikhou Kouyate.
But the newly promoted side are made of stern stuff, as substitute Marc Pugh finished expertly before Wilson claimed the match ball from the spot following a red card for Hammers right-back Carl Jenkinson.
Bilic made an early change mid way through the first 45 minutes, bringing off Angelo Ogbonna for James Tomkins.
“Taking off Ogbonna was not because of an injury,” said Bilic. “It was a tactical decision. To be fair, all four of them could have come off. Our defenders made some bad mistakes and I had to change something.”
This was Bournemouth’s first win against West Ham in five competitive meetings. The Hammers’ season is unlikely to get easier any time soon, as Liverpool provide the next test for Bilic’s boys.