Toffees Plunge Hammers Into Deeper Trouble
West Ham United had previously won three out of four matches against teams managed by Frank Lampard but on Sunday afternoon, they lost 1-0 to his Everton side at Goodison Park.
Before this encounter took place, the Hammers were in the relegation zone due to Aston Villa collecting four points since the Irons last played in the Premier League at Chelsea on 3 September. This defeat means they will remain in eighteenth place until they are back in action on October 1.
David Moyes made six changes from Thursday night’s win over Silkeborg IF, as Łukasz Fabiański was back in goal after being left out of the UEFA Europa Conference League games, as he replaced Alphonse Areola who dropped to the bench, together with Craig Dawson and Manuel Lanzini. Dawson’s place in defence was taken by Kurt Zouma; Emmerson Palmieri was back in the starting line-up, as were Pablo Fornals, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio. Maxwel Cornet was available from the bench, as was Gianluca Scamacca.
Everton were desperate for their first Premier League win, whereas the visitors wanted to follow up their recent successes in Europe. It would be fair to say that although there was not much action to speak of in the first-half, it was West Ham who had the better opportunities. Bowen was set up by Vladimír Coufal but his cross was blocked away.
The travelling contingent saw their team pile on more pressure but they were unable to force the ball home, despite a number of attempts. A succession of corners were awarded their way but neither Lucas Paquetá, nor Aaron Cresswell could make the most of them, despite Antonio getting a touch to the final one.
Antonio tried his luck again but James Tarkowski was alert to the danger and made a superb block after the former Nottingham Forest winger did well to escape the attentions of Toffees’ Captain Connor Coady.
Soon after, Zouma had a great chance to put his team in front when he met an inviting cross from Cresswell but the former Chelsea defender headed straight at home stopper Asmir Begović.
Despite those three attempts, when referee Michael Oliver blew the whistle for the break and the East Londoners still had the alarming statistic of not having scored a first-half top-flight goal hanging over them.
Frank Lampard’s side were still standing firm but the Irons should have opened the scoring early in the second-half, Bowen had time and space to make the most of his next effort. Instead, he fired over.
The two sides went into this game level on points but the hosts were one place above West Ham and on fifty three minutes, it looked like they were going to end the day having climbed further away from trouble, as that was the moment they made the breakthrough. Neal Maupay collected possession from Alex Iwobi and the recent acquisition from Brighton and Hove Albion struck a powerful shot past a helpless Fabiański.
Eight minutes later, Moyes made a double substitution, as Saïd Benrahma and Cornet were both introduced to take the places of Fornals and Paquetá.
Tomáš Souček then sent a header wide as Moyes’ men looked for a prompt leveller but unfortunately, they were still unable to find a way past the stand-in goalkeeper.
Moyes then withdrew Antonio in favour of Scamacca with nineteen minutes of normal time to play, as time was running out for the Irons to have a say in the proceedings.
Having said that, Benrahma was ever so unlucky not to have added his name to the scoresheet, as his effort agonisingly hit the post!!! On another day, you can be sure that that effort would have gone in.
Cornet went close with two attempts for the visitors but neither of them went into the net. He was first denied by Begović, before an even better chance came his way as Scamacca set him up perfectly but unfortunately, a Toffees’ player was able to get a touch to the ball, which prevented the former Burnley man from pulling the trigger.
With five minutes of stoppage time having been signalled, the away side kept going, as Bowen tested Begović but the former Chelsea, Stoke City and AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper managed to tip his effort over, before Captain Declan Rice got in on the act but he was somewhat unlucky to have his effort cleared off the line.
Those who haven’t been called up by their countries are able to stay in East London with Moyes as the team will hope to regroup and go again for the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stratford for the late kick-off on 1 October.