Ogbonna the unlikely match-winner as Hammers come good at Goodison

Everton v West Ham United – Premier League – Goodison Park – Report

Everton 0-1 West Ham United

Angelo Ogbonna’s second-half header proved decisive as West Ham United returned to Premier League winning ways at Everton.

Despite appearing a little flat ahead of the international break, David Moyes – returning to Goodison Park, where he enjoyed almost cult status during an eleven-year stint at the helm – insisted his West Ham side were playing the best football of his managerial career: “This is as good as I’ve had. This is right up there,” he enthused.

“By the time I reached year ten at Everton, I had real quality players, international players, and a balance with a team who understood me. But in year two at Everton, I didn’t have the same quality of player as I have now at West Ham.

“I think the football we are playing at the moment is right up there. Yes, there have been one or two blips, but we’ve played some really good football, we look exciting.

But in truth, this one will not live long in the memory. It was an intense opening from the Hammers – enjoying plenty of the ball, forcing Everton to defend deeply and in numbers. Michail Antonio appeared exasperated when shown an early yellow card from referee, Stuart Attwell – the whistler deeming the Hammers man theatrical after a coming together with Michael Keane.

The home side responded – Alex Iwobi a whisker away from Andros Townsend’s centre, while Abdoulaye Doucoure blazed over shortly after as the Toffees began to find their feet.

Pablo Fornals’ close-range attempt was blocked – Jarrod Bowen the architect. Meanwhile, Demarai Gray’s low cross eluded Iwobi as half-chances continued to come at a premium.

Doucoure nodded the wrong side of an upright. Immediately, Tomas Soucek was left frustrated by an assistants flag – this after the Czech midfielder had reacted the quickest after Jordan Pickford had clawed away Bowen’s initial effort.

Fornals perhaps should have done better – curling wide of the mark after picking up the pieces from Ben Johnson’s toil down the right, while Gray’s centre eluded a clutch of takers as the scruffy nature of the contest bridged the interval.

Iwobi’s turn and shot was deflected behind by Kurt Zouma, while Salomon Rondon’s glancing header went agonisingly close as Everton enjoyed renewed vigour.

Iwobi’s dragged another attempt across the face of goal, while Keane thwarted Antonio – neither side, at this stage, looking capable of breaking the seal.

But with just a quarter of an hour remaining, West Ham snatched the lead from an unlikely source. Ogbonna arrived unmarked to glance Bowen’s flag-kick beyond Pickford – Exactly what the games needed to shake it from its cumbersome slumber.

Pickford brilliantly denied Bowen the opportunity to kill the contest, clawing away the former `Hull City mans’ curling. left-footed attempt.

The results ended Everton’s perfect home record in the Premier League. West Ham United now turn their attention to the UEFA Europa League where they face Genk at the London Stadium on Thursday, October 21 (8pm). The Hammers return to Premier League auction on Sunday 24, when they host Tottenham Hotspur (4:30pm).

Everton: Pickford, Coleman (Capt), Godfrey, Keane, Digne, Allan, Doucoure, Gray, Townsend, Iwobi (Gordon 78’), Rondon Subs not used: Begovic (GK), Tyrer (GK), Kenny, Holgate, Mina, Gbamin, Davies, Dobbin

Booked: None
Goals: None

West Ham United: Fabiański, Johnson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice (Capt), Souček (Dawson 78’), Bowen (Yarmolenko 90+2′), Fornals, Benrahma (Lanzini 87’), Antonio Subs not used: Areola (GK), Ashby, Masuaku, Diop, Baptiste, Vlašić

Booked: Michail Antonio (simulation), Pablo Fornals (foul)
Goals: Angelo Ogbonna 75’

Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: Harry Lennard and Simon Long
Fourth Official: Martin Atkinson
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Adam Nunn

Attendance: 39,132

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]