Everton dominated West Ham United and beat them 2-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday, as the pressure eased on Marco Silva.
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Bernard gave them an early lead and although the Toffees missed several glorious chances after that, Gylfi Sigurdsson sealed the win in stoppage time with a magnificent strike.
With the win Everton move on to 10 points for the season, while West Ham remain on 12 points.
3 things we learned
1. Everton dig deep and fight for Silva: The Toffees were told by Silva ahead of this match that it was a ‘must win’ in their season. My goodness, did they take those words to heart. Silva’s side fought hard from the start, tracking back and pressing West Ham out of the game. They should have won by three or four but a victory after four-straight PL defeats is exactly what Silva wanted. Great reaction after a tough few weeks as they set the tone and there was a renewed sense of urgency. With games against Brighton, Norwich, Saints, Tottenham and Leicester coming up, Everton need three wins from their next five, at least, to get themselves fully back on track. This was a good start.
2. Hammers attack lackluster: Sebastien Haller had an off-day and the way West Ham’s attack is set up around him, that was bad news for the Hammers. Felipe Anderson and Pablo Fornals were woeful and the introduction of Andriy Yarmolenko only improved things slightly. Back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Everton has seen most of West Ham’s early-season optimism evaporate. Now it is Manuel Pellegrini who will be under pressure.
3. Neither team ready for top seven: Everton were wasteful and West Ham were shaky at the back, as neither team looks ready to push for a top seven finish this season. Leicester, Wolves and even Crystal Palace look better set, right now, to push for European qualification but there’s no doubt Everton and West Ham have the quality to be in the top 10. Taking that next step will be the toughest part.
Man of the Match: Theo Walcott – His energy on the flank epitomized this Everton display as he hit the bar and came close to scoring. Walcott was fired up and along with Bernard and Richarlison, Everton’s attack was dynamic and didn’t allow West Ham to settle.
The Hammers started slowly as Manuel Lanzini curled a free kick wide and Everton flew out of the traps.
Angelo Ogbonna deflected Theo Walcott’s curling shot wide as the Toffees attack looked lively, and Tom Davies was then denied in superb fashion. A corner to the back post found the Englishman but Roberto somehow clawed away his effort.
Moments later Roberto was beaten, as Bernard wriggled free in the box, looked to be going nowhere but somehow snuck home an audacious effort at the near post to put Everton 1-0 up.
Richarlison then struck the foot of the post after Alex Iwobi‘s perfect through ball as the Toffees were rampant in the first half. West Ham were reduced to long balls over the top as Pablo Fornals almost got on the end of one of those.
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Andriy Yarmolenko came on at half time to try and give the Hammers some momentum in attack.
Yerry Mina‘s tame header was saved by Roberto, while at the other end Fornals volleyed wide after a poor clearance from Jordan Pickford.
Lucas Digne sent a free kick wide then Roberto denied another Mina header as Everton pushed for a second. Walcott smashed an effort from distance off the crossbar and Yarmolenko’s free kick was saved by Pickford as the Hammers barely threatened.
Iwobi then missed a glorious chance to seal the victory as Djibril Sidibe played him in but the Nigerian forward hit his shot right at Roberto as the home fans couldn’t believe it. Moments later Mina headed home a corner but the referee blew his whistle for a foul in the box, and then Walcott’s cross was somehow deflected over by a combination of Issa Diop and Roberto.
Pickford came up big for Everton with a fine save late on as Ogbonna’s shot deflected off Mina and the England goalkeeper somehow pushed the ball away.
Then substitute Sigurdsson fired home a fine strike from distance to cap off a fine performance from Everton.