David Moyes has now beaten both of his former clubs this season. After he finally broke his duck at Manchester United last month, he now can boast consecutive away victories over Everton, due to West Ham United’s 1-0 triumph at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Scotsman was forced to make one change to his starting line-up. Vladimír Coufal was missing due to a groin injury so Ben Johnson took his place. It had been suggested that Mark Noble would not be involved and this proved to be the case so Moyes named youngster Harrison Ashby amongst his substitutes.
Everton went into this game unbeaten in front of their own fans but the visitors were keen to bounce back, following their home defeat to newly-promoted Brentford a fortnight ago and made a bright start, as they dominated the early stages.
Although they were clearly on top, the visitors were unable to find the killer touch in the area. The first real opportunity fell the way of Saïd Benrahma but the Algerian sent a volleyed effort over the bar after just ten minutes.
Rafael Benitez saw his side claim a point at Manchester United before the international break and they were working their way into this encounter and went close after twenty minutes but thankfully for those who had made the long journey from East London, goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański wasn’t troubled, as Abdoulaye Doucoure’s attempt went wide.
Doucoure’s effort sparked the hosts into life, as they grew into the game but fortunately, the Hammers’ defence was in the way of everything that the Toffees could throw at them.
Alex Iwobi had a golden chance to put the home side ahead however, he wasted the opportunity to the relief of the East Londoners. Soon after, the Nigerian again found himself in a good position but Fabiański was able to beat the effort away.
Minutes later, Everton saw another chance pass them by, as Doucoure just missed the target with a header.
The Irons could have taken the lead into the break but Tomáš Souček was flagged offside. The Czech followed up and beat home goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after the Toffees’ stopper had initially made a save from Jarrod Bowen’s low shot.
Before referee Stuart Attwell blew the half-time whistle, Bowen and Pablo Fornals both went close to giving their team the lead but they were denied by good defensive work from Benitez’ men.
Although the game remained goalless as the teams headed down the tunnel, it would be fair to say that this encounter was proving to be much better than last season’s corresponding fixture.
When the action recommenced, Angelo Ogbonna was alert to the threat that Iwobi was still posing and managed to get a crucial touch to prevent him from going close.
Shortly after, Jose Salomón Rondón was inches away from converting Andros Townsend’s cross past Fabiański but instead, the former Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion striker fired narrowly wide.
West Ham once again found their rhythm when Michail Antonio and Benrahma tried their luck but as was often the case in this game, there were bodies in the way.
Both teams were cancelling each other out in an effort to make a breakthrough and on seventy four minutes, the Hammers seized the chance. Antonio battled with Pickford and won a corner. Bowen sent a great ball into the direction of Captain Declan Rice and although he missed his header, thankfully Ogbonna was able to send a header of his own into the net to get the away end cheering.
Souček suffered an eye injury just five minutes later and had to be replaced. Moyes decided to bring on Craig Dawson. At the same time, Benitez introduced Anthony Gordon in place of Iwobi.
Both teams were still going all out to get a goal and it was the East Londoners who came closest to finding a second when Bowen broke away and sent a curling shot towards Pickford but the former Sunderland stopper made a superb save.
Moyes made a late double change with Manuel Lanzini being introduced for Benrahma in the eighty seventh minute and deep into stoppage time, he then made his final change, as Andriy Yarmolenko entered the fray for Bowen.
The victory means that the Hammers now have the best away record in the Premier League this season. Next up, they will hope to improve their fortunes in Stratford with three consecutive home games, starting with the UEFA Europa League match against KRC Genk on Thursday night.