West Ham United 1-1 Everton

Manuel Lanzini's superb strike was cancelled out by Romelu Lukaku's cool finish
West Ham United maintained their sixth place position in the Premier League table with a 1-1 draw with Everton.

Argentine Manuel Lanzini opened the scoring with an absolute peach of a finish, curling the ball majestically into the top corner.

However the Hammers were pegged back by perennial thorn-in-the-side Romelu Lukaku who ran onto Gerard Deulofeu’s through-ball to round goalkeeper Adrian and slot home coolly.

During an unseasonably mild November day both sides approached the game in a positive manner. The first chance of the game fell to the hosts as Dimitri Payet, not for the first time this season, opened the defence up with seemingly little on.

He burst into the box and fed Victor Moses whose shot flew narrowly wide of Tim Howard’s near post.

Moments later the Hammers again went close. A well worked free-kick between Aaron Cresswell and that man Payet fashioned a second chance for Moses, this time a leaping header skimmed the roof of the net.

West Ham’s third chance came courtesy of the Frenchman yet again. His deep free-kick found James Tomkins lurking at the back post, his effort was hooked off the line setting up a counter attack for the Toffees.

Arouna Kone sprinted downfield and played in strike partner Romelu Lukaku, just as he was about to pull the trigger, Manuel Lanzini put a foot in top stop the powerful forward.

The breakthrough came on the half-way mark and what a sublime finish it was. Moses cutback caused havoc in the box which the Blues’ defence could only scramble into Manuel Lanzini’s feet.

The Argentine drove forward and looked to have taken a touch too many however the explosive winger showed unnervingly composure to pick out the top corner through a crowd of players. How the Boleyn Ground faithful enjoyed it.

With two minutes remaining of the first half, one of football’s most recent cliché’s – a Romelu Lukaku goal against West Ham – was yet again witnessed. The Belgian ran on to Deulofeu’s defence splitting pass and kept his composure admirably to round Adrian and roll it home.  

Everton started the stronger of the two halves in the second period and went close to making their advantage count as Ross Barkley fired a free-kick narrowly wide.

The atmosphere was notably subdued when star man Payet had to be replaced through injury. The Frenchmen took one knock too many and received a standing ovation as Enner Valencia came in for him.

The Ecuadorean, making his first appearance at the Boleyn since suffering an injury in July, quickly set about reminding the West Ham faithful what he can do by beating Coleman before delivering an exquisite ball. Unfortunately it whistled inches over Moses and Carroll. Even more unfortunate was when a strong challenge ended with Valencia being carried off by a stretcher, Mauro Zarate slotted in on the left.  

The Hammers came closest to scoring their second of the afternoon through Winston Reid who climbed highest to connect with Moses’ arrowed corner, again the roof of the net bustled. 

Into the final ten minutes and with a draw looking like the most likely of outcomes two heart in mouths moments occurred. First, Jenkinson burst forward 60 odd yards before shooting from the edge of the box. It would have been the most the most exquisite of goals yet Howard was equal to it.

The American launched it forward and ball somehow found its way Lukaku who prodded just wide from a tight angle. All in all, an exciting game of football which both teams could take positives from.

West Ham United: Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell, Noble ©, Kouyate, Payet (Valencia 49) (Zarate 65), Moses, Lanzini, Carroll (Jelavic 85)

Substitutes: Randolph, Ogbonna, Antonio, Cullen

Goals: Lanzini 30

Everton: Howard, Stones, Coleman, Funes Mori, Galloway, Barry ©, McCarthy, Deulofeu (Lennon 79), Barkley, Lukaku, Kone (Mirallas 60)

Substitutes: Robles, Gibson, Naismith, Osman, Holgate

Bookings: McCarthy, Funes Mori

Goals: Lukaku 43

Referee: Paul Tierney