Carlo Ancelotti achieved his first win over David Moyes on Sunday afternoon and in so doing, dented West Ham United’s excellent home record, as Everton continued their superb away form by winning 1-0 in Stratford.
The team had performed well at Burnley last time out, so Moyes named an unchanged side, although Angelo Ogbonna had recovered sufficiently enough to make the bench which also included Andriy Yarmolenko, along with youngsters Connor Coventry and Ademipo Odubeko.
The home side had come from a goal behind to pick up all three points at Turf Moor and were keen to build on that result by achieving a first ever top-flight double over Everton but Ancelotti’s men were applying pressure early on. They earned corner after corner but the Hammers eventually managed to clear the danger.
Moyes saw his side pick up three points in the reverse fixture back on New Year’s Day but the Irons fell behind on twenty four minutes. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was a major threat when West Ham were knocked out of the Carabao Cup in September and he proved to be the same again here. He latched onto a great pass from Ben Godfrey and raced past Craig Dawson in order to beat goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański.
The Pole was given more work to do, as shortly after he had to tip Gylfi Sigurðsson’s free-kick over before he was tested once again when Richarlison fired a shot at him. Thankfully though, he managed to deal with the effort well.
Very little was going the way of the hosts up to this point but they did have a great chance to level matters on thirty nine minutes. Saïd Benrahma’s header beat goalkeeper Jordan Pickford but not the crossbar. The move was started following a great cross from Pablo Fornals.
Just before half-time, the home side were dealt another injury blow, as Manuel Lanzini left the pitch and was replaced by Jarrod Bowen who came on to make his 50th appearance for the club.
When referee Stuart Attwell blew for the break, West Ham were just hoping for a little bit more luck to go their way.
The hosts had made a better start to the second-half and could have been back on level terms just ten minutes after the restart. A great team move involving Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell set up Vladimír Coufal, who then headed the ball back to Fornals. The Spaniard then tried his luck but the effort was blocked and the chance had gone.
That was Cresswell’s last involvement in the match, as he then seemed to have picked up a muscle injury and was replaced by Ryan Fredericks.
Minutes after that change had been made, the East Londoners went close again but the woodwork came to Everton’s rescue. Fornals played in Coufal and the defender, who hasn’t yet opened his account for the club, saw his attempt hit the base of the post. Bowen was in the right place to pick up the pieces but was unable to beat Pickford.
With seventeen minutes still to play, Moyes decided to make his final change with Yarmolenko being introduced for Benrahma.
Everton later brought on former AFC Bournemouth striker Joshua King to take the place of Richarlison. King had an impressive record when facing the Irons as a Cherries player and he nearly added to that here but luckily for the home side, he could only hit the post following Calvert-Lewin’s cross.
Chelsea’s surprise win against Manchester City on Saturday meant that regardless of this result, the Hammers would remain in fifth place in the Premier League table. They will attempt to achieve their first ever top-flight win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday when they face the Seagulls at The American Express Community Stadium.