Everton 3-1 West Ham United FT

Everton v West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
Goodison Park
Saturday 16 May 2009
Referee: Phil Dowd


Full-time - Everton 3-1 West Ham United 

93 mins - Referee Dowd blows the final whistle. West Ham's challenge for a place in Europe is over for this season. Let us not be too down on our luck, though, as the Hammers were as low as 17th in the Barclays Premier League table after losing to Aston Villa on 20 December. Next season, with a full pre-season of preparation behind them, the Hammers will make another concerted bid to reach the UEFA Europa League.

90 mins - Credit to the visitors, they have not given up. Ilunga wins a corner down the left. Boa Morte takes the kick, but it is headed clear. Everton break and Baines tests Green with a right-footed shot. Two minutes of added-time will be played.

88 mins - Boa Morte is booked for a foul on Baines just a yard outside the penalty area. The left-back curls the ball miles over the top and West Ham clear through Stanislas.

86 mins - On the plus-side, Collison has come through a full 90 minutes and Cole has returned from injury. West Ham force a corner, but the ball is cleared. Spector wins a free-kick 30 yards from goal. Noble takes the kick but spanks it high into the stand.

83 mins - The unlikely figure of Spector gallops down the right and lofts the ball into the centre, but it is too far in front of the rampaging Stanislas.

82 mins - Saha has scored seven goals in 27 appearances this season. Four of them have come in two games against West Ham. Neville is booked for a foul on Boa Morte.

80 mins - Saha is replaced by Vaughan to a standing ovation. Cahill is also going off as Jo makes his entrance.

79 mins - I nearly spoke too soon then! Saha is denied by a superb save by Green, who then regathers himself to claw Cahill's header out from under the crossbar.

78 mins - Moyes is going to bring on Jo and James Vaughan, so I'd suggest Saha will not be completing his hat-trick this afternoon.

76 mins - GOAL! Game over. Pienaar gets to the byline and cuts the ball back for Saha, who gets in front of Ilunga to tap into the net from no more than three yards.

74 mins - Stanislas is racing around the pitch in his bright red boots. His first name is actually Felix, not Junior. How's that for a fact?

72 mins - As things stand, West Ham's hopes of a top-seven finish have disappeared with Fulham winning at ten-man Newcastle. Stanislas tries to change all that by running 40 yards before forcing Howard into a scrambling save.

69 mins - Neville launches another absolutely atrocious shot from 30 yards. Fellaini is going off. He is replaced by Jack Rodwell.

68 mins - Stanislas is on for goalscorer Kovac.

66 mins - A big, big chance goes begging. Cole plays in Boa Morte but the Portuguese winger's shot is weak and too close to Howard, who saves easily. Seconds later, Cole has a chance himself, bringing down a long through ball, but the ball just rolls away from him and Howard again gathers.

65 mins - Cole does well to hold off Yobo and curl the ball across the six-yard box, but there is no-one there to apply the vital finish.

64 mins - Phil Neville slices a shot about 20 yards wide from long-range. Ironic cheers from the home fans. Stanislas is warming up on the touchline.

62 mins - Saha turns past Neill 30 yards out and shoots low, but the ball bobbles harmlessly wide. West Ham are coming back into this, but it is going to be difficult for them to maintain any momentum with only ten players on the field. All credit to them for trying, though.

59 mins - Pienaar takes the free-kick himself but it is too close to Green, who catches the ball in front of his face. West Ham break and Cole has a half-chance. The ball squirts out for a corner. Noble delivers and Upson heads it. West Ham's players go up in unison in appealing for a penalty for handball against Cahill. Replays are inconclusive.

57 mins - Weird. The ball flies at Kovac and he virtually catches it on the halfway line. Seconds later, Spector is booked for dissent after committing a foul on Pienaar. Neill reacts too and receives another lecture from Dowd.

55 mins - Upson has a chance to make amends, but he can only direct his header from Noble's free-kick into the arms of Howard.

53 mins - After a long delay, Saha finally takes the free-kick, but he balloons it into the back of the lower Gwladys Street end. Replays suggest that might have been an Upson own-goal. Yobo's shot appeared to be going wide before it hit the England defender's heel.

52 mins - Neill hauls down Pienaar on the edge of the penalty area. He receives a stern talking to from referee Dowd.

50 mins - Osman crosses and Saha heads goalwards, only for the ball to hit Spector and bounce off the near post and out for a corner. Green punches the ball clear but Osman wins another flag-kick, which Green claims above the head of Fellaini.

48 mins - GOAL! Boa Morte concedes a left-wing corner. Pienaar's kick eludes everyone and falls to Yobo at the far post. The Nigerian takes a touch before drilling a low shot past Green from six yards. Kovac had lost the big defender.

47 mins - Lucas Neill is playing centre-back now, with Spector at right-back. Cole is up front on his own with Collison on the left of a four-man midfield.

46 mins - West Ham get us underway again. Cole is immediately fouled by Yobo 35 yards from goal. Noble curls the free-kick harmlessly wide of the far post.

Cole and Jonathan Spector are both coming on. Still no sign of Robert Green, but I doubt he'll be one of those replaced! Tristan and Di Michele are the two players whose afternoon is over.

Half-time - Everton 1-1 West Ham United

Things are not exactly going brilliantly for West Ham elsewhere. Both Tottenham and Fulham are winning. Back here at Goodison Park, Carlton Cole is out warming up with fitness coach Antonio Pintus. Will we see the England striker after the break?

Cole is back in the dressing room, so there is a good chance he will be on after the interval. Four of the other substitutes - Walter Lopez, Junior Stanislas, Savio and Josh Payne - are out on the pitch.

47 mins - Noble gifts the ball to Pienaar 30 yards from goal. He finds Fellaini, who in turn finds Saha, but the Frenchman can only curl a weak shot well over from 20 yards. Green clears and Dowd brings the first half to a close.

45 mins - Di Michele is fouled on the halfway line. That should give West Ham a bit of respite.

42 mins - Everton have a free-kick 25 yards from goal after Boa Morte brought down Saha. Baines' shot hits the wall and is hacked clear.

40 mins - The sending off has forced Zola into a reshuffle. Kovac is now playing alongside Upson. In midfield, Noble. Collison and Boa Morte are playing behind Di Michele, with Tristan still up top on his own.

38 mins - GOAL! Saha calmly rolls the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to level the scores. To be fair to referee Dowd, Tomkins was unquestionably the last man, but the young defender made only minimal contact with the Australian.

37 mins - Penalty! After seven minutes of hardly threatening Everton have a penalty and West Ham are down to ten men. Cahill careered his way into the box before going down under a challenge from Tomkins. Saha will take the spot-kick.

30 mins - Everton are struggling to find their fluency again here. The goal seems to have knocked the stuffing out of them.

27 mins - That goal has completely silenced Goodison Park, save for the away fans, who are going completely mental in the sunshine. Those grey clouds have disappeared, by the way.

24 mins - GOAL! Out of absolutely nowhere, Kovac takes a pass from Noble and lets fly from about 35 yards. The ball swerves and arrows past Tim Howard. The goalkeeper was slightly unsighted, but that was unstoppable! Kovac's reaction to his first goal of the season is one of disbelief. He simply raises both arms to the sky and receives the adulation of his team-mates.

22 mins - West Ham are still struggling to maintain possession in the Everton half. Too often promising attacks are breaking down due to an overhit or misplaced pass.

19 mins - Osman goes close again, stinging Green's palms with a rising shot from the edge of the penalty area.

18 mins - The game is livening up. First, Neill steps in brilliantly to intercept Saha's attempted through ball to Pienaar. Seconds later, play switches to the other end, where Tristan fires a left-foot shot well over the crossbar from 20 yards.

16 mins - A big chance for Tristan goes begging. Kovac's long ball over the Everton defence found the Spaniard unmarked, but his first touch let him down and allowed Tim Howard to plunge on to the loose ball.

15 mins - Something needs to be done to stop Everton from controlling this game. West Ham simply cannot get out of their own half for longer than a few seconds. Zola is in deep conversation with Steve Clarke to find a solution. Tomkins is penalised for a foul on the edge of the penalty area. Baines and Osman stand over the free-kick. Osman clips the ball in and Upson heads it clear of the danger area.

13 mins - Osman should have just scored against West Ham for the fourth straight season. The midfielder had an age to pick his spot from Fellaini's knock-down, but can only poke a weak shot well wide of the near post from 12 yards.

11 mins - Pienaar goes very close with a searing angled drive from 25 yards. Green wouldn't have got anywhere near that, had it been on target.

9 mins - Fellaini's cross-field ball finds Pienaar, who cuts inside Neill's challenge before sliding the ball to Saha, who sends a low drive a few yards wide of Green's right-hand post.

8 mins - Everton are seeing a lot more of the ball in the early going. West Ham have hardly been out of their own half so far. Zola is out on the edge of his technical area to try and change that situation.

7 mins - Everton's fans aren't making much noise, to be honest. All you can hear are the West Ham supporters. There is low murmur elsewhere in the ground.

6 mins - Some intricate build-up play from the home side almost sees Marouane Fellaini get free, but Matthew Upson makes a vital interception.

5 mins - Boa Morte tries to play in Di Michele, but he delays his pass a split-second too long and the Italian is again caught offside.

3 mins - West Ham are employing a new 4-2-3-1 formation this afternoon, with Di Michele, Luis Boa Morte and Collison supporting Tristan. Noble and Kovac are sitting in front of the back-four. Well, not literally sitting, but you know what I mean...

2 mins - Radoslav Kovac lobs a first-time ball over the Everton back-four, but David Di Michele is offside.

1 min - We're off and running. Everton are first to threaten, but Jack Collison wins the ball back before Cahill fouls Mark Noble.

3pm - West Ham will attack the Gwladys Street end in the first half. Everton will kick-off through Louis Saha and Tim Cahill.

2.59pm - The sun is out at Goodison Park, but there are some threatening grey clouds overhead. It was raining about half-an-hour ago, so there should be a nice zip to the playing surface. This is Everton's last home game before the FA Cup final and their supporters are in high spirits, as you might expect.

2.57pm - The strains of 'Z-Cars' ring out over the PA system as the two teams take to the field. It really is a cracking tune, but it's no 'Bubbles' is it?!

2.55pm - West Ham's players have thrown t-shirts thanking the club's travelling fans for their support on the road this season into the crowd. The lucky supporters who caught them are now wearing their newest items of clothing.

2.50pm - Everton's player of the year award is handed to Phil Jagielka. Unfortunately for the England defender, he will miss the FA Cup final through injury. Both teams are back in their respective dressing rooms ahead of this afternoon's Barclays Premier League match. Elsewhere, Manchester United have drawn 0-0 with Arsenal at Old Trafford to secure the title. For West Ham fans, events at Newcastle United, who take on Fulham, and Tottenham Hotspur, who host Manchester City, hold more direct relevance as the three clubs vie for a top-seven finish.

West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola has welcomed Jack Collison back into his starting lineup at FA Cup finalists Everton this afternoon.

It is the first time the 21-year-old has started a Barclays Premier League game since he suffered a dislocated kneecap in the 1-0 victory at Wigan Athletic on 4 March.

The Wales international midfielder, who has appeared as a substitute in each of West Ham's previous two league matches, replaced Junior Stanislas, who dropped to the substitutes' bench after starting the Hammers' last six matches.

Striker Carlton Cole returned to the bench after recovering from the groin injury he suffered during England's 4-0 international friendly win over Slovakia at Wembley on 28 March.

Hungary Under-21 goalkeeper Peter Kurucz, on loan from Ujpest FC in his homeland, was also among the replacements for the first time as Robert Green's usual number two, Czech Jan Lastuvka, was ruled out through injury. Kurucz turns 21 on 30 May, the same date that Everton will take on Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Everton manager David Moyes made three changes to the team that drew 0-0 with Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park a week ago.

Dane Lars Jacobsen for replaced Luke Gosling, with Phil Neville switching to a midfield role. In midfield, Leon Osman replaced Jack Rodwell while, up front, Louis Saha came in for Brazilian Jo.

Osman has scored against West Ham in each of the last three seasons.

West Ham, who probably need at least a point this afternoon to maintain their challenge for a place in next season's UEFA Europa League, have won on just one of their last 12 visits to Goodison, courtesy of a 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory in December 2005.

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Noble, Kovac (Stanislas 67), Collison, Di Michele (Spector 46), Boa Morte, Tristan (Cole 46)
Subs: Kurucz, Lopez, Payne, Savio

Everton: Howard, Jacobsen, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Neville, Fellaini (Rodwell 69), Osman, Cahill (Jo 80), Pienaar, Saha (Vaughan 80)
Subs not used: Nash, Hibbert, Gosling, Castillo