Toffees too strong for Hammers at Goodison

Arthur Masuaku challenges Theo Walcott


Everton 2-0 West Ham United
Premier League

A goal in each half was enough to send West Ham United to defeat at Everton on Saturday.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men were second best for large portions of the Goodison Park contest and could have few complaints over the final outcome.

Bernard opened the scoring for the hosts after 16 minutes, jinking clear inside the area before sliding past Roberto from a tight angle.

Richarlison and Theo Walcott hit the woodwork for the home side and it took until the very end for them to seal the points, as Gylfi Sigurdsson fired an unstoppable shot into the top left hand corner of the net.

A foul on Felipe Anderson 22 yards out provided the Hammers with the first chance of the afternoon, but Manuel Lanzini’s fourth minute free-kick was always sneaking past the right hand post.

Everton then got onto the front foot and Tom Davies should really have given them an eighth minute lead when a corner from Bernard flicked off a Hammers head at the near post and dropped to Davies at the far. It looked a certain goal from so close in, but Roberto made an excellent block.

The Toffees did move in front eight minutes later though, with Bernard the goalscorer. The little Brazilian made an unchecked dart into the box to collect Walcott’s pass. He cut back onto his left foot, nudged past Arthur Masuaku and squeezed past Roberto from a seemingly-impossible angle.

Everton were making all the running by now, and Richarlison was the width of the upright away from doubling the advantage on 22 minutes, striking against the base of the near post after being fed inside the area by Alex Iwobi.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men could count themselves fortunate to get back to the dressing rooms just one goal down and the boss responded by making a half-time switch, introducing Andriy Yarmolenko for Felipe Anderson.

Pablo Fornals saw a couple of chances fall his way early in the second period, first scuffing wide from a central position after Yarmolenko crossed from the right, then volleying past the left hand post at the Hammers looked to punish Jordan Pickford for a loose kick.

At the other end, Yerry Mina twice tested Roberto with headers from corners, before, on 65 minutes, Walcott thundered a 25-yard effort against the underside of the crossbar and out.

Everton were still creating the better chances, but still couldn’t put the visitors away and 13 minutes from time Roberto kept his side in the contest, standing tall to deny Iwobi after the former Arsenal man was sent clear on goal by Djibril Sidibe.

With seven minutes left, the Hammers went so close to an equaliser when Sebastien Haller climbed high to meet Jack Wilshere’s corner and nod down to Angelo Ogbonna. The defender’s shot took a nick off an Everton man as it headed towards goal, but Pickford reacted to keep the ball out.

Everton’s decisive second finally arrived two minutes into added time when Sigurdsson sized up a shot from the edge of the box and found the top left hand corner with his perfectly-placed curling effort.

Everton: Pickford, Sidibe, Keane, Mina (Holgate 90+4), Digne, Davies, Gomes, Walcott (Kean 86), Iwobi (Sigurdsson 87), Bernard, Richarlison
Subs: Lossl, Baines, Baningime, Calvert-Lewin

Goals: Bernard 16, Sigurdsson 90+2

Booked: Davies, Gomes

West Ham United: Roberto, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Rice, Noble (Ajeti 73)), Lanzini, Fornals (Wilshere 63), Felipe Anderson (Yarmolenko 46), Haller
Subs: Martin, Zabaleta, Balbuena, Snodgrass

Booked: Diop

Referee: Paul Tierney