Everton beat West Ham United 2-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday, as the Toffees stretched their unbeaten run in the Premier League to five games.
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Roberto Martinez’s men edged a tight encounter with the Hammers, who suffered their first loss in seven matches.
Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring midway through the first half, but substitute Mauro Zarate equalized for the Hammers just after the break. However, Leon Osman’s late goal sealed a win for the Toffees who are now in eighth on 17 points, just two points off the top four.
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Lukaku gave the home side the lead after 26 minutes in slightly controversial fashion. Ross Barkley’s shot deflected off Winston Reid and the James Collins before falling to the feet of Lukaku who tapped home, but he looked to be just offside. Regardless, Everton led 1-0.
Everton were bossing possession and were completing 90 percent of passes as West Ham struggled to get a foothold in the game. That said, Carl Jenkinson surged down the right and whipped in a great cross which Andy Carroll scooped over as the Hammers looked to make it 1-1. Before half time Lukaku scored again, but this was correctly ruled offside as Barkley chased a through ball beyond West Ham’s backline.
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Just after half time West Ham brought on Zarate and the Argentine forward had an instant impact as he equalized 10 minutes into the second half. His shot deflect off Phil Jagielka and looped up and over Tim Howard to make it 1-1.
Everton almost retook the lead but James McCarthy’s curling effort whistled just over as the Toffees pushed hard. In the closing stage Kevin Mirallas went in late on James Tomkins, then a shoving match ensued which resulted in both players being booked.
After that exchange Everton took the lead with Osman scoring the winner on his 400th appearance as he slid home Samuel Eto’o’s perfect cross. 2-1 to the Toffees. However the Hammers gave it a real go towards the end as USMNT ‘keeper Howard pulled off a tremendous save from Collins to ensure Everton won and stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches.
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, McCarthy, Osman, Barkley (Besic, 80′), Mirallas (Eto’o, 66′), Naismith (Atsu, 89′), Lukaku.Subs: Robles, Eto’o, Besic, Atsu, Browning, Garbutt, Ledson
Goals: Lukaku (26′) Osman (74′)
West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Jenkinson, Collins, Nolan, Tomkins, Noble (Jarvis, 52′), Amalfitano (Vaz Te, 82′), Cole (Zarate, 51′), Carroll
Goal: Zarate (56′)