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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the London Stadium

Limp Hammers fail to trouble solid Everton

West Ham (0) 0

Everton (0) 1 Calvert-Lewin 51

The Irons turned in a soporific display and paid the price for their Sunday lunchtime torpor.

A sloppy and tired-looking effort got what it deserved, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin's expert finish settling the outcome early in the second half.

It could be argued that a collective fatigue might have been a factor after a midweek trip to Greece to play a Europa League match, but David Moyes made eight changes from the starting line-up at Olympiakos - a match which saw an unbeaten 17-match run in Europe come to an end.

The final whistle was greeted by boos from home fans - though half the stadium had pretty much been emptied by then

Everton grabbed what turned out to be the winner when Calvert-Lewin played a one-two with Jack Harrison and spun clear of three defenders surrounding him to send a low shot beyond Alphonse Areola's right hand from just outside the box.

Only a fine save from Areola denied Abdoulaye Doucoure a second after the midfielder had powered onto a ball played directly through the middle and made a good connection to send in a low shot. A long range strike from Dwight McNeil also had to be helped over the crossbar as Everton visibly grew in confidence.

The Hammers stirred themselves a little late on, with sub Said Benrahma stinging the fingers of Jordan Pickford, but it was a case of way too little, too late. That shot was only their second on target for the match.

In January, this fixture yielded a vital 2-0 win for the Irons in a match between two sides battling to avoid getting drawn further into the relegation quicksand.

This season, the Hammers are on far sounder footing in mid-table, but the Toffees have retained serious concerns about their status - especially as there is talk of the Premier League pursuing a 12-point deduction for alleged financial irregularities.

The theme of the early exchanges was the guile of Lucas Paqueta picking out a couple of runs from Jarrod Bowen - who scored both goals in that key win. But the early evidence was misleading. More revealing of what was to come was the moment Paqueta coughed up possession in a dangerous area to give Harrison a run on goal which should have borne fruit.

The game was littered with many petty fouls and bad tempers on a rain-soaked introduction to British winter time. When James Tarkowski cleared a ball, taking a chunk out of Mo Kudus when he did so, players from both sides piled in for a mass confrontation. But if anything, it seemed to create more of siege mentality among the visitors than help the Hammers.

There was a heartfelt moment before kick-off, with Geoff Hurst - now the sole survivor of the 66 World Cup winning team - leading a tribute to the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton.

It was probably the closest the Hammers fans got to pure emotion on an afternoon when there was not too much to stir the blood.

Hammers: (4-2-3-1) Areola - Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Cresswell (Ings 85) - Ward-Prowse (Soucek 73), Alvarez - Bowen, Lucas Paqueta, Kudus - Antonio (Benrahma 57)

Toffees: (4-4-1-1) Pickford - Patterson, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko - Harrison, Garner, Onana, McNeil - Doucoure - Calvert-Lewin (Chermiti 89)


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