October was a winless month for West Ham United, as Everton beat them 1-0 in Stratford on Sunday afternoon to become the first team to stop the Hammers from scoring this season.
Vladimír Coufal returned to the starting line-up, along with Captain Kurt Zouma, Nayef Aguerd, Edson Álvarez, Lucas Paquetá, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio. Mohammed Kudus was finally given his full top-flight debut for the club. Aaron Cresswell returned from injury to replace the suspended Emmerson Palmieri.
Tomáš Souček and goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański were among the substitutes, together with Thilo Kehrer, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Pablo Fornals, Saïd Benrahma, Danny Ings, Angelo Ogbonna and Maxwel Cornet.
After the disappointment of Thursday evening, West Ham would have wanted to start the game well. They did just that but as the half went on, their intensity dropped and Everton began to dominate.
Having said that, both defences were standing firm in what was an edgy encounter. The Irons had an early opportunity, as Kudus played Antonio through but his shot was blocked.
Shortly after, visiting goalkeeper Jordan Pickford denied Paquetá before the ball could reach Bowen.
The same pair combined again later when the Brazilian got in behind Nathan Patterson to set the former Hull City winger on his way again but unfortunately, he didn’t get a good enough connection on the opportunity and sent the effort wide.
A challenge from one-time Hammers target James Tarkowski on Kudus sparked confrontation between the Ghanaian and Pickford which resulted in both players being booked by referee Stuart Attwell.
The East Londoners only had two days in between returning from Piraeus and facing the Toffees and it started to show. Sean Dyche’s side were piling on the pressure by this point and they were awarded a corner but thankfully, Bowen was in the right place to block Tarkowski’s header when the set-piece was sent over.
The visitors kept going but neither Jack Harrison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, nor Amadou Onana could test home stopper Alphonse Areola. Fans may remember that Onana nearly made the move to Stratford but preferred to join Everton instead.
Five minutes were added onto the end of the half, due to the earlier scuffle that saw yellow cards brandished to both Kudus and Pickford. After which, Attwell blew the whistle for the break.
West Ham have often started second halves of matches slowly this season and it was no different here. On fifty one minutes, Paquetá gave away possession to Leeds United loanee Harrison, who then set up Calvert-Lewin to finish past Areola.
The visitors went close to doubling their advantage shortly after when Abdoulaye Doucouré looked certain to convert a flick-on from the goalscorer but the Frenchman pulled off a terrific save to thwart him.
David Moyes decided to make his first change six minutes later with Benrahma replacing Antonio to try and make the game swing back in favour of his side. However, it didn’t work!!! Dyche’s men had another chance as Dwight McNeil went for a long-range shot but fortunately, it was well dealt with by Areola.
Moyes decided to shuffle his pack again on seventy three minutes, as Souček came on for James Ward-Prowse.
Out of nothing, Aguerd created an opportunity for the hosts but Pickford kept them out. The Moroccan’s cross was wayward but somehow the former Sunderland stopper averted any danger.
Moyes was without Palmieri for this contest and he will have two other key men missing for Saturday’s trip to The Gtech Community Stadium to face Brentford, as Álvarez and Paquetá also picked up yellow cards, meaning they will be suspended.
A final change was made by the home side on eighty five minutes. With the Scotsman still searching for an equaliser, he changed formation and introduced Ings to take Cresswell’s place.
The match went into six minutes of stoppage time at the end of the ninety and the hosts almost found what they were looking for but Benrahma’s fierce volley was somehow pushed away by Pickford.
As if this months form wasn’t bad enough, Moyes’ men only face a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie at home to Arsenal to start November!!!