West Ham United 0-1 Everton
West Ham United’s hopes of a top-four finish to the season were dented by a well-drilled Everton side who snaffled the Premier League points thanks to a first-half goal from Dominic Calvert-Lewin at the London Stadium.
Having made his mark at Goodison Park, David Moyes embraced the challenge provided by his former club: “I have great respect for Carlo Ancelotti and great respect for Everton so that all makes it a big day,” the Scotsman enthused.
“We’re both fighting for Europe and I hope West Ham can make it, so we’ve got to keep playing well and give ourselves that chance.
“You’ll see two sides who know the importance of winning the game. They’ll realise if they beat us they have a chance of getting above us and we know we can put some distances into them, but we’re also looking above us and looking to catch those teams.”
Moyes went with the same starting eleven which had served him so well against Burnley at Turf Moor a week previous. The top four now a real possibility – a different type of pressure than bestowed upon the East Londoners in recent seasons.
Early exchanges were crisp, but with genuine opportunities coming at a premium. Indeed, it was twenty-three minutes before the first shot on target, but Everton’s Calvert-Lewin made the most of the chance, firing an angled right-footed strike low beyond Lukasz Fabianski after Ben Godfrey had played him in.
Fabianski flipped over Gylfi Sigurdsson’s dead-ball attempt as the Merseysiders went for a quick kill. Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard’s whipped effort was a whisker away as the home side finally offered a threat of their own.
Fabianski again rescued the home side, producing an unorthodox save to thwart Richarlison, while Said Benrahma headed wide when it appeared easier to score after Pablo Fornals had picked him out arriving at the far post.
Fornals’ strike was rebuffed by Tom Davies, while Coufal agonisingly hit the foot of a post and substitute Jarrod Bowen somehow failed to convert the follow-up as West Ham stepped up the tempo after the restart.
The Hammers second half toil perhaps merited better, but it was Everton who finished the stronger. Lingard tracked back to deny Richarlison after Everton had broken from deep, while substitute Joshua King headed against an upright.
Coufal’s wayward effort rather summed up West Ham’s frustrations. They remain well-placed to secure European football ahead of next season but will view this as a massively missed opportunity following defeats for rivals, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
West Ham United return to Premier League action on Saturday, May 15 when they face Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium (8pm).
West Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Aaron Cresswell (Capt) (Ryan Fredericks 59’), Vladimir Coufal, Said Benrahma (Andriy Yarmolenko 73’), Manuel Lanzini (Jarrod Bowen 43’), Jesse Lingard, Craig Dawson, Pablo Fornals, Issa Diop, Tomas Soucek, Michail Antonio Subs not used: Darren Randolph (GK), Fabian Balbuena, Angelo Ogbonna, Ben Johnson, Ademipo Odubeko, Conor Coventry
Booked: Tomas Soucek (foul), Jesse Lingard (dissent)
Everton: Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Allan, Richarlison (Joshua King 84’), Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Gylfi Sigurdsson (Fabian Delph 85’), Lucas Digne, Yerry Mina (Mason Holgate 62’), Ben Godfrey, Seamus Coleman (Capt), Tom Davies Subs not used: Robin Olsen (GK), Abdoulaye Doucoure, Alex Iwobi, Niels Nkounkou, Bernard, Andre Gomes
Booked: Allan (foul)
Goals: Dominic Calvert-Lewin 23’
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: Dan Cook and Simon Long
Fourth Official: Craig Pawson
VAR: Darren England
Assistant VAR: Peter Kirkup