- Romelu Lukaku scored against the Hammers again
- Lukaku set one up for Ross Barkley
- Everton keeps its third clean sheet of the season
Every team has its boogey opponent, and for West Ham, it’s Everton and Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku scored against the Hammers for the seventh straight match, and he set one up for Ross Barkley as well, as Everton got back to winning ways at Goodison Park.
West Ham owned the first dangerous moments of the match, with Pedro Obiang rifling over from near the penalty spot under pressure in the 11th minute, while Dimitri Payet had an attempt pushed wide by Joel Robles moments later.
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The Hammers carved up Everton in midfield early on, causing Ronald Koeman to pace nervously on the sidelines while offering some agitated thoughts to his players. Everton had a moment of danger down the other end as Romelu Lukaku led a break down the left. His pull-back fell to no one, but the ball wasn’t cleared before Gareth Barry nearly curled in a stunner, just firing over the crossbar from distance. Replays showed a shot from Yannick Bolasie struck the arm of a sliding Mark Noble, but no penalty was given.
As Everton collected themselves at the back and built forward, Lukaku had a big chance on 21 minutes, in on goal on a ball threaded through the box, but he couldn’t collect with his right foot and the chance was lost. An even better chance was spurned on 25 minutes as Ross Barkley collected on the spot from Bryan Oviedo, and a touch right opened things up, but Adrian produced a stunner of a save to keep Barkley out on the deflection.
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The rest of the first half was uneventful, but Everton struck first after the break through the main man Lukaku. A poor clearance saw the ball fall to Seamus Coleman in the box. His shot was blocked and sent off to the right, but Yannick Bolasie crashed the rebound and poked it to Lukaku standing all alone directly in front of net who nodded home with his head for his 50th league goal for Everton.
Andre Ayew came on past the hour mark in place of the booked Obiang for his first appearance since the season opener when he injured his hamstring. West Ham nearly had an equalizer with 20 minutes left on a beautiful curler from Noble, but Robles kept it out with an acrobatic leaping save.
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Everton doubled the lead with 15 minutes to go and effectively ended the game. Lukaku was again involved, holding the ball on the end line to the right, and as Barkley snuck in at the far post, Lukaku effortlessly flicked the ball over the defensive line at the feet of Barkley, and the 22-year-old blasted the ball into the back of the net on the volley.
The win for Everton is its first since September 17th and moves the Toffees up to 18 points, one point back of Chelsea in fifth with the Blues set to play later Sunday. For West Ham, Slaven Bilic and company remain on 10 points, stuck in 16th position.