West Ham United 2-0 Everton
Premier League, London Stadium, Saturday 21 January 2023
West Ham United needed a player to step up against Everton, and Jarrod Bowen did just that.
A clinical double from the No20 saw the Irons win 2-0 at London Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the Hammers bid a fond farewell to Joint-Chairman David Gold, who passed away on 4 January at the age of 86 before kick-off.
When play began, Bowen nipped in to net the opener on 34 minutes and then doubled the lead with another poacher’s finish just seven minutes later.
A run of seven league without a win ended thanks to Bowen, who had announced with partner Dani Dyer that the couple are expecting twins on Friday.
While goals had been a common feature in historic meetings between the sides - Everton put six past Shaka Hislop in 1999, and the Hammers edged a five-goal thriller at Goodison Park in 2016 under Slaven Bilic – the last five league fixtures between Everton and West Ham had all been decided by a single goal.
And after it took 27 minutes for either goalkeeper to be worked - Jordan Pickford tipping Saïd Benrahma’s strike over the bar - you got the impression it would be more of the same, as West Ham met Everton for the 149th time in their history.
Bowen though had other ideas. His first came with 34 minutes on the clock. A deep cross from Emerson was flicked on by Kurt Zouma, and Bowen poked the Hammers ahead, albeit not until VAR Andre Marriner had checked referee Stuart Attwell's initial decision to award the goal.
The second arrived from the opposite flank, the right. Antonio’s cross deflected off James Tarkowski and was rifled home by Bowen first time, with no review required this time.
The Hammers were two goals ahead at the break - a position they had not enjoyed in a Premier League game since thumping Norwich City 4-0 at Carrow Road in May 2022 - but there was still work to be done in the second half.
Knowing the importance of a win too, Everton pushed forward in the second period, with Frank Lampard making two changes at the interval and adding an extra man in midfield.
As the Toffees improved, Dominic Calvert-Lewin might have prodded home a goal but could not reach Alex Iwobi’s cross.
The Claret and Blue Army might have allowed any anxiety to slip onto the pitch, but admirably kept up their vocal support for their team instead, roaring approval at their efforts.
And that support was so nearly rewarded when Emerson swapped passes with Benrahma and only saw his well-struck shot tipped onto the crossbar by Pickford.
They then welcomed Danny Ings, who made his Irons debut with 70 minutes played in east London.
The new No18 was quickly into the action to the Claret and Blue Army’s delight, his pressing welcomed by the home support, who saw his decoy run to create space for Rice, and the skipper’s effort somehow angle a hair's breadth wide of the right post.
Ings kept pressing too. Relentlessly. He won the ball high up the field and found Benrahma, although the Algerian’s cross evaded Bowen, who, for a moment, looked set to complete his hat-trick. From another Ings pass, Bowen then saw Conor Coady deny him a third late on.
A third goal would have been the icing on the cake for the Hammers, but a 2-0 win, one that takes the Irons up to 15th, was well-received by the home support; the applause from a record crowd at the London Stadium sounded on the final whistle, just as it did before kick-off in memory of late Joint-Chairman David Gold.
West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Aguerd, Emerson (Johnson 81), Rice (c), Paquetá (Souček 70), Benrahma (Downes 81), Bowen, Antonio (Ings 70)
Subs not used: Areola (GK), Cresswell, Fornals, Lanzini, Kehrer
Goals: Bowen 34, 41
Everton: Pickford, Coleman (c) (Davies 46), Coady, Mina, Tarkowski, Mykolenko (McNeil 46), Onana, Gueye, Iwobi, Gray, Calvert-Lewin
Subs not used: Begovic (GK), Holgate, Vinagre, Price, Gordon, Maupay, Simms
Referee: Stuart Attwell