If this was the West Ham Utd party, there were a few VIP guests missing – Dimitri Payet, Aaron Cresswell, Sofiane Feghouli, Manuel Lanzini, Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll.
That party still went on without them but it was a lesser affair as a result – scrappy and unsatisfying.
The last of those names was a last-minute cancel. Andy Carroll could be out between four-to-six weeks with a knee injury, another injury blow for a player who, at last, had been able to string together a decent pre-season and looked sharp.
Without him, West Ham lacked purpose and direction in a game short of creativity and class. The team surged forward only to find their target man not there and so had to pass it among themselves, usually to little effect.
There were other names on the guest list as West Ham introduced the impressive, sun-soaked London Stadium to the world of Premier League football. A remarkable 56,977 other names, in fact. Some 13 shy of the capacity for this game.
They injected the oval with song and celebration and they even stood up in defiance of management’s strictures – a long-running war of attrition looks likely.
West Ham posted Enner Valencia and Cheikhou Kouyate up top but the fitful crosses from the likes of industrious Gokhan Tore and rejuvenated Michail Antonio were quickly absorbed by a Bournemouth side that, at times, offered more resolve that the Irons.
For long spells of the match, the occasion was greater than the football. The crowd tried to imbue the vast stadium with atmosphere but it was the large contingent of Cherries who hit the hardest – “It’s like the Emirates” they sang and, more wittily in the circumstances “Stand up if you want to stand.”
Much like the last game of the Upton Park era, no-one wanted the first game to end in a goalless draw but Bournemouth were well drilled and “both teams cancelled each other out,” according to Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe after the match.
It was, in the end, the new rules that changed the game. Harry Arter was sent off to two yellow cards (one for visible dissent) giving West Ham – who had been promising a more sustained assault – scope to test the steadfast Bournemouth defence.
Man of the match Michail Antonio headed home an effective Tore cross and frustrations of the afternoon were ended. Jonathan Calleri had a clear-cut, can’t-fail, one-on-one with the Bournemouth keeper as the last kick of the game. That he missed summed up the afternoon but at least the London Stadium saw a win.
Antonio had his troubles at Chelsea but he’s written his name into West Ham history now.
He said: “It feels amazing to be the first Premier League goalscorer at London Stadium and it’s one of those things I can always tell my kids.
“I had an interview last year and I was asked if I’d rather be the last goalscorer at the Boleyn Ground or the first goalscorer here – I said both, but this is a great feeling.
“It’s always great to be in history and especially so as the goal won us the match.”
Manager Slaven Bilic thought West Ham just shaded it . “The lads were brilliant,” he said. “We didn’t expect to play great football and play like Brazil and pass, pass, pass because, with the greatest respect, we were missing four of our most creative players.
“Against Bournemouth, a team full of energy and really good in terms of team spirit, we showed aggression and compactness and created a few chances. I didn’t expect more than that, but we scored from one of those moves, so I think we just deserved it.”