Everton 2-0 West Ham United
Everton moved to within two points of West Ham United by beating Manuel Pellegrini’s insipid team 2-0 at Goodison Park.
The Blues, starting the match in the relegation zone after losing four Premier League games in a row, made five changes to their starting line-up, with Djibril Sidibe, Andre Gomes, Bernard, Theo Walcott and Tom Davies all coming into the side.
Pellegrini made two alterations to his Hammers team as Arthur Masuaku and Pablo Fornals replaced Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell.
Walcott, who enjoyed one of his best matches in an Everton shirt, saw an early effort deflected away for a corner as Marco Silva’s side made the better start.
Hammers goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez was then forced to make a stunning save to deny Davies at the back post and it came as no surprise when Everton took the lead in the 17th minute, Walcott playing in Bernard to poke home from a tight angle.
Confidence restored, Everton almost doubled their lead five minutes later when Alex Iwobi set up Richarlison, whose shot hit the outside of the post before Jimenez saved Lucas Digne’s effort.
West Ham were dreadful in the first 45 minutes and fortunate not to be further behind at the break.
They were little better in the second period and Richarlison thought he had made it 2-0 two minutes after the restart only for the Brazilian’s effort to be ruled out for offside.
Fornals did spurn a presentable opening for the visitors when he flicked his shot wide of the post, but Everton continued to have the upper hand and Yerry Mina’s powerful header was gathered by Jimenez before Walcott’s fierce drive hit the crossbar.
For all their dominance, it seemed Everton would not score the second goal their play deserved, with Jimenez denying Iwobi and Mina seeing his header disallowed before Masuaku smashed the ball against his own bar.
However, after Jordan Pickford had saved Angelo Ogbonna’s deflected effort, Everton did score a second goal in stoppage time thanks to Gylfi Sigurdsson’s stunning strike as the home team clinched a welcome three points that relieves some of the pressure on Silva.