West Ham United 0-1 Everton
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s first half goal was enough to send West Ham United to defeat against Everton at London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Hammers huffed and puffed against the Toffees – and saw the majority of the ball – but were repelled by a fine defensive display from the Merseysiders, who blocked their route to goal.
Saïd Benrahma nodded narrowly over before the break, while Vladimír Coufal struck the upright in the second half, but there was no way through for the Hammers, who missed an opportunity to put daylight between themselves and the visitors in the Premier League table.
David Moyes named the same eleven which defeated Burnley six days previously, and his team started confidently in possession, looking to patiently probe away at the Everton defence to feed Michail Antonio in attack.
Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison’s running power in behind meant the hosts always had to be watchful of Everton’s threat, but they were unable to stop them from taking a 24th minute lead.
Ben Godfrey picked up possession in the right channel and fed a pass through for Calvert-Lewin, who was able to outrun Craig Dawson and finish accurately across Łukasz Fabiański, finding the bottom left-hand corner.
Although West Ham continued to see more of the ball, Fabiański was the busier goalkeeper before the break, also having to touch a well-placed Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick over the top, before reacting sharply to block a snapshot from Richarlison and springing up swiftly to beat the Brazilian to the rebound.
The ball wasn’t quite falling for the home side in the final third, although Benrahma was inches away from levelling six minutes before the interval, arriving unmarked at the back post to meet a Pablo Fornals cross with a header which beat Jordan Pickford as it travelled back across goal, but also just cleared the crossbar.
West Ham emerged positively for the second period and created an opening ten minutes after the restart when Michail Antonio released Aaron Cresswell down the left for the No3 to cross. Coufal nodded back to Fornals, and his low drive was blocked behind for a corner.
Then, with 61 minutes on the clock, the home side were only denied by the woodwork. Fornals spotted Coufal making an overlapping run in the right channel and played the ball into his path. The No5 struck for goal first time, low and hard across Pickford, seeing the ball bounce off the base of the post.
Jarrod Bowen tried to force the rebound home, but had to hurdle Pickford to get there and couldn’t adjust his feet in time to get it on target.
West Ham were doing the pressing – and ended the game with 69% possession – but Everton’s defensive work was miserly, preventing the home side from registering a single shot on target.
Indeed, Everton could well have added a second near the end when Josh King, only just on as a substitute, nodded Calvert-Lewin’s cross against the post.
In the end, their solid rearguard effort meant Calvert-Lewin’s first half strike was enough to keep his team within striking distance of the Hammers on a frustrating afternoon for Moyes’ men.
West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Diop, Dawson, Cresswell (Fredericks 59), Souček, Lanzini (Bowen 43), Fornals, Lingard, Benrahma (Yarmolenko 73), Antonio
Subs: Randolph (GK), Balbuena, Ogbonna, Johnson, Coventry, Odubeko
Booked: Souček, Lingard
Everton: Pickford, Keane, Mina (Holgate 62), Godfrey, Coleman, Allan, Davies, Digne, Sigurdsson (Delph 85), Richarlison (King 84), Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Olsen (GK), Doucoure, Iwobi, Nkounkou, Bernard, Gomes
Goal: Calvert-Lewin 24
Referee: Stuart Attwell