Everton’s one moment of magic was more than enough to boost its European hopes with a 1-0 win over West Ham all but doomed their former manager’s top-four hopes on Sunday in London.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin slotted a terrific goal from Ben Godfrey’s incisive assist an Everton held David Moyes’ possession-bossing and unlucky Irons without a shot target.
That’s not to say that West Ham didn’t come close at London’s Olympic Stadium, clipping the post amongst other near misses.
West Ham is now just a point ahead of sixth-place Liverpool, who holds a match-in-hand on the Irons, and Everton would climb level with the Irons by winning its match-in-hand. Tottenham is two points back of West Ham, while Leicester and Chelsea hold five- and six-point advantages, respectively on the Irons.
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Three things we learned from West Ham – Everton
1. West Ham suddenly in European danger: David Moyes has rightly engineered Premier League Manager of the Year talk but it could all feel so flat as three losses-in-four (including a completed season sweep by Newcastle) has the Irons virtually out of the top four discussion despite a simple run-in. And with Brighton underappreciated and still in the mix to go down (at least at the time of posting), there are still chances for lost points before West Brom and Southampton finish the fixture list.
2. Toffees pick up the pieces as defense leads the way: Yes, there was plenty of good fortune in this win, but Carlo Ancelotti has his men well-positioned to seal European competition before a tough final day at UCL Final-preparing Man City. Ben Godfrey was very good and Allan is joined by the veteran calm of Gylfi Sigurdsson in a midfield that is complicated to unbalance. Seamus Coleman’s presence doesn’t hurt much, either, and Lucas Digne is marvelous.
Everton is away to Villa on Thursday before Sheffield United visits Sunday and Wolves come around four days later. Nine points there could be enough for the Europa League without anything from Man City on Championship Sunday.
3. Calvert-Lewin the truth: Ancelotti will obviously want to keep hold of Richarlison, but if a big offer arrives he may look to his prototypical center forward as a righteous focal point of Everton’s attack. Calvert-Lewin just turned 24 in mid-March and has 21 goals across all competitions including 16 in the Premier League. That’s despite dealing with a couple of injuries that have him clearly a bit off his best.
Man of the Match: Ben Godfrey
Showed his offensive flair by getting forward a few times and, of course, producing a terrific assist to Calvert-Lewin, but he was an animal in his own third as well. Four tackles, three clearances, and 7-of-8 tackles won sums up his day about as well as this video.
West Ham – Everton recap
The Toffees took the lead through Calvert-Lewin, who got the better of Craig Dawson to race onto Ben Godfrey’s through ball.
Gylfi Sigurdsson sent a terrific free kick tumbling over the top of the wall, but Lukasz Fabianski was quick to react and conceded a corner.
Said Benrahma was very lively and his diving header just missed leveling the score line in the 39th minute.
It looked nailed on for 1-1 when Vladimir Coufal beat Jordan Pickford but hit the post and the rebound bounded to Jarrod Bowen, who was airborne and couldn’t turn the rebound home.
West Ham was generally the team more likely to score in the second half but could not find any answers as the Toffees managed the match.