As Wayne Rooney went a 10th game without scoring for Manchester United, an English striker did manage to score a hat trick on Saturday: Callum Wilson of Bournemouth.
It was a landmark treble for the player and his team — both newcomers to the Premier League.
In edging a wild encounter at West Ham 4-3, Bournemouth, for the first time in its 125-year history, scored goals in the top flight of English football — and won its first game.
It was just the kind of attacking enterprise that Rooney’s United was missing in its 0-0 draw with Newcastle.
Bournemouth, which came close to going out of business and dropping out of the fourth professional division in the last decade, had lost its first two Premier League games without scoring.
“In the first two games I think there were nerves, but today I felt we showed real confidence,” the 23-year-old Wilson, who was playing non-league football three years ago, told the BBC. “There’s a few things we need to brush up on but it’s a fantastic result and instils confidence into the team.”
Wilson sent Bournemouth into a 2-0 lead at halftime, but the visitors had to dig deep after Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate brought West Ham level after the break. Marc Pugh restored Bournemouth’s lead and Wilson completed his treble from the penalty spot after West Ham defender Carl Jenkinson was sent off for clipping Max Gradel in the box.
Modibo Maiga’s third for West Ham ensured it would be a nervy conclusion but the Premier League newcomers from a southern seaside town have their first points.
Now Bournemouth will hope to produce more of the free-flowing football that was the team’s hallmark in winning the second-tier last season.
“We have to maintain that attacking edge without being too open,” Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said.
At Old Trafford, United was solid in defense against Newcastle, not conceding for a third successive league game despite first-choice goalkeeper David de Gea not playing while a move to Real Madrid remains possible.
The problem is the lack of cutting edge up front for the 20-time champions, who only edged their first two league games 1-0.
Rooney, who had a goal disallowed for offside early, registered a shot on target for the first time this season but is still without a goal for United since April.
Manager Louis van Gaal, though, maintains that United is not in need of attacking reinforcements before the transfer window closes on Sept. 1.
“I am satisfied with the performance and not with the result — and that is different,” Van Gaal said. “We were unlucky with rewarding ourselves because we have created a lot of chances.”
Newcastle remains without a win in the first three games under Steve McClaren, a former assistant to Alex Ferguson at United.
Tottenham and Sunderland are also still searching for their first wins after draws on Saturday.
In a lively final 10 minutes at Leicester, Dele Alli headed Tottenham in front but it was quickly cancelled out by Riyad Mahrez, who preserved the hosts’ unbeaten start to the season.
“We need to compete better to the end,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “I am angry and disappointed.”
Former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe was on target, securing Sunderland’s first point of the season by canceling out Bafetimbi Gomis’ goal in a 1-1 draw with Swansea.
Crystal Palace has six points from a possible nine after Bakary Sako scored his first goal for the team to clinch a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
In Norwich, Xherdan Shaqiri marked his Stoke debut by setting up Mame Biram Diouf’s opener but Russell Martin equalized in one of several games that required drinks breaks due to the heat.
On Sunday, Chelsea goes in search of the first win of its title defense at West Bromwich Albion, while Everton hosts Manchester City and Southampton travels to Watford.