Pablo Fornals

Everton dominate West Ham

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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.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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.

Watch Live: Everton v. West Ham

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Everton host West Ham United at Goodison Park on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the Toffees have called this a ‘must win’ game to get their season back on track.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE

Marco Silva‘s men have lost four Premier League games on the trot and fans are starting to increasingly call for the Portuguese coach to be fired.

As for West Ham, Manuel Pellegrini‘s men have had a topsy-turvy start to the season but look set for a sustained push for a top seven finish this season.

In team news Everton make five changes from the team which lost at Burnley last time out, as Djibril Sidibe comes in to replace the suspended Seamus Coleman.

West Ham have Declan Rice in midfield after he struggled with illness over the international break, while Robert Snodgrass is back on the bench. Pablo Fornals and Arthur Masuaku come into the starting lineup for the Hammers.


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League Cup: Man Utd survives scare; 3 PL sides lose to lower-tier foes

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Chelsea and Liverpool cruised, but only one other Premier League side one… and it was the one playing another top-flight rival.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 7-1 Grimsby Town ]

A day after Tottenham fell to Colchester United, League One sides Oxford United, Burton Albion, and Sunderland all took down PL foes in the League Cup to book fourth round berths.

Manchester United 1-1 (5-3 penalties) Rochdale

Sergio Romero made a save in the second round of kicks and that’s all Manchester United needed to avoid an embarrassing upset at home to League One’s Rochdale.

The combined age of goal scorers at Old Trafford before penalties was 33, as Paul Pogba returned to the United XI but couldn’t spare his men blushes despite a dominant performance.

Mason Greenwood, 17, scored off a Jesse Lingard assist in the 68th minute, seemingly capping a dominant performance that lacked finish.

But 16-year-old defender Luke Matheson scored eight minutes later to ratchet up the pressure at Old Trafford, and Daniel James and Juan Mata came off the bench for the Red Devils (who also handed a debut to 19-year-old left back Brandon Williams).

Oxford United 4-0 West Ham United

Elliott Moore‘s second half goal gave the League One side a 55th minute lead over Manuel Pellegrini‘s in-form Irons, and well-traveled striker Matt Taylor turned the hopes of a “cupset” up to 11.

By the time Tariqe Fosu made it 3-0 against a very decent West Ham side including Issa Diop, Jack Wilshere, Pablo Fornals, and Pablo Zabaleta, it was academic.

Shandon Baptiste added to the Kassam Stadium jubilation with a stoppage time finish.

Burton Albion 2-0 Bournemouth

Oliver Sarkic delivered the goods for the underdogs, who took an early lead against Eddie Howe‘s in-form Cherries. Nathan Broadhead later scored in a match which was thrice (!!!) stopped by floodlight failure, as the Brewers stunned the Cherries.

MK Dons 0-2 Liverpool

Playing at the back for a very young Liverpool, James Milner gave the Reds a lead they would not toss aside at Stadium MK.

Milner assisted on Ki-Jana Hoever‘s second half goal, as the second-choice Reds XI was given a decent challenge by Paul Tisdale’s side.

 

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-3 Aston Villa

Conor Hourihane and Jota scored in the first 33 minutes, as Villa continued to heap misery on Brighton’s poor run of form in the only all-Premier League match of the day. Hayden Roberts pulled one back in the second half, but that’s all the Seagulls could muster and Jack Grealish restored a two-goal lead for Villa before the match was finished at the Amex Stadium.

Sheffield United 0-1 Sunderland

Max Power — yes, that’s really his name — gave the Black Cats a ninth minute lead over the Premier League’s Blades.

Wolves 1-1 (4-2 pens.) Reading

Bruno Jordao scored his first Wolves goal, as American center back Matt Miazga returned to the Reading lineup after an injury spell cost him four matches and an international break with the USMNT.

But Reading kept pushing for an equalizer and got a deserved one when Lucas Boye scored in the ninth (!!) minute of stoppage time to force penalties.

Miazga was one of only two Reading players to score in the session, as Wolves escaped with their League Cup lives.

West Ham issue update on Javier Hernandez’s future

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Mexico star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez could be leaving West Ham United in the final days of the European transfer window.

Hernandez, 31, was left out of the Hammers’ 18-man squad for their 2-0 win against Norwich City on Saturday and he’s been linked with a $9.7 million transfer to Sevilla in La Liga.

Various reports suggest that he has handed in a transfer request to force through the move ahead of the transfer window shutting in the other European leagues on Monday, Sept. 2.

Speaking to reporters after the game, West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini said Chicharito was injured and admitted he could leave in the next few days.

“Javier was not in the squad because he is coming back from an injury,” Hernandez said. “In 48 hours more the window will be closed. If he stays he will be an important player for us.”

Hernandez scored on his only start this season for the Hammers, but with Sebastian Haller grabbing three Premier League goals and his style of play better suited for West Ham, the writing is on the wall for Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer.

If he stays at West Ham he will be a bit-part player this season, and at Sevilla he would play regularly and also feature in the Europa League.

He’s scored 16 goals over the past two and a bit seasons at West Ham, but has failed to nail down a regular starting spot and after his blistering spell at Bayer Leverkusen his return to England hasn’t gone as expected.

The Hammers have Haller, Albian Ajeti, Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson, Michail Antonio, Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini as attacking options, so if Hernandez leaves they will be just fine.

This move will work out well for everyone.

Premier League Preview: West Ham v. Man City

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  • Man City aiming for three-peat
  • West Ham debuts for Fornals, Haller
  • City have 7-straight wins v. West Ham

West Ham United host Manchester City on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the London Stadium, as the Hammers aim to spring an upset on the opening weekend of the season.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

Pep Guardiola and Man City are coming off the back of winning the FA Community Shield, as they look to get started on the right path this season. These two teams have already met in preseason, with City beating West Ham 4-1 in the PL Asia Trophy in China.

As for former Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini, he has loaded up his West Ham attack with Sebastian Haller and Pablo Fornals in line to make their debuts this weekend.

City have outscored West Ham 17-1 on their four previous visits to the London Stadium and it has been a happy hunting ground for Guardiola.

In team news City will be without Leroy Sane who has undergone ACL surgery on his right knee, while West Ham will be without skipper Mark Noble who has a dead leg.


Projected lineups

West Ham: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Balbuena, Masuaku; Rice, Wilshere; Anderson, Fornals, Antonio; Haller

Man City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, David Silva, De Bruyne; Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling


What they’re saying

Pellegrini happy with West Ham’s summer: “I’m happy because we’ve completed the squad in the way I wanted: we have two players in each position – good players. I always think that the best way to deliver good performances from players is to have competition for their positions in the starting eleven, so we’ve done all that we needed to do.”

Guardiola on the goals for this season: “Tomorrow is trying to win, playing well, making mistakes to improve for the next time and trying to do that and play better in the next game. That is the only way to arrive in April or May, to try and have success. Sometimes you have a good result, but you don’t play well. You don’t have success. The key point from our point of view is always to play better, individually and collectively. That is the only secret we have. Understand the game, make the players feel they need each other.”


Prediction

Man City may be a little sluggish due to a lot of their players linking up with the team later in preseason, but they should take care of business quite comfortably. West Ham have upgraded their attack this offseason and there is a renewed sense of belief in east London that they can break into the top six. City will win this, 3-1.