Everton slumped to another defeat in front of owner Farhad Moshiri as Jarrod Bowen’s first-half double earned West Ham their first win in almost three months and piled the pressure on old boy Frank Lampard.
Under-fire Moshiri was attending his first game in 14 months, alongside the directors who missed last week’s home defeat by Southampton because of a ‘real and credible’ threat to their safety, in a show of support for Lampard and defiance of his critics.
But his return didn’t bring Everton any luck as Bowen scored twice in seven first-half minutes to take West Ham out of the relegation zone and bring some respite for manager David Moyes, who has been under intense pressure himself.
Everton have now gone 10 games without a win in all competitions and have picked up a single point – at Manchester City – in a run of seven games that has included five defeats against teams immediately around them in the relegation battle.
The final whistle brought more boos from the Everton contingent and also banners being raised demanding ‘Sack the Board’ and ‘No Communication, No Plan, No Vision’.
Bowen’s double the difference
Managers are forever talking about the fine margins that make the difference between success and failure.
Bowen’s opener could not have been finer. On first glance it appeared he was offside as he advanced on to Kurt Zouma’s header to knock the ball past Jordan Pickford. But VAR spotted James Tarkowski’s leg was playing the England man on by about an inch.
If trials agreed by the International Football Association Board are successful, next season the supporters inside the ground may get an actual explanation. Instead, they had to make do with referee Stuart Atwell pointing to the centre circle.
Having gone 12 games without a goal, Bowen’s next arrived seven minutes later as Tarkowski dived into a tackle on Michail Antonio in a position of little danger, allowing the West Ham forward to run into the box and deliver a low cross which was driven home from close range.
Had Alex Iwobi pulled one back before the break with a shot that was going in until it deflected off Declan Rice, then on to a post, Everton might have found a way back into the contest.
But, having established a crucial advantage, West Ham were not in the mood to let it go.
Moshiri in the spotlight
The big question for Everton is what does Moshiri do now?
After spending so long not watching his team in the flesh, this provided him with the evidence for where his tenure – and an outlay in excess of £500m – has left them.
Although they dominated for an extended period at the start of the second half, Everton lacked the guile to prise open a determined home defence. Danny Ings’ introduction for his debut 20 minutes from time must have been particularly painful for Lampard as the striker was someone he was trying to attract to Goodison Park before he moved to West Ham for an initial £12m on Friday.
Indeed, it was West Ham who came closest to adding to their lead as Pickford turned Emerson’s shot on to the bar, and Declan Rice rolled an effort marginally wide of the far post.
Moshiri was sat on the same row as chairman Bill Kenwright, chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale and between football director Kevin Thelwell and director Graeme Sharp.
Kenwright was shown on his own near the end, but it is Moshiri who must now decide whether Lampard will remain in his job, the former West Ham player taunted with a “sacked in the morning” jibe from the home fans.
More to follow.
- 11Lucas PaquetáBooked at 50minsSubstituted forSoucekat 72′minutes
- 33EmersonSubstituted forJohnsonat 81′minutes
- 22BenrahmaSubstituted forDownesat 82′minutes
- 9AntonioSubstituted forIngsat 72′minutes
- 2TarkowskiBooked at 67mins
- 23ColemanSubstituted forDaviesat 45′minutes
- 19MykolenkoSubstituted forMcNeilat 45′minutes
Match ends, West Ham United 2, Everton 0.
Second Half ends, West Ham United 2, Everton 0.
James Tarkowski (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Flynn Downes (West Ham United).
Corner, Everton. Conceded by Tomás Soucek.
Attempt blocked. Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Johnson with a cross.
Foul by Yerry Mina (Everton).
Danny Ings (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Tom Davies (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tomás Soucek (West Ham United).
Jordan Pickford (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United).
Attempt blocked. Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Danny Ings.
Substitution, West Ham United. Flynn Downes replaces Saïd Benrahma.
Substitution, West Ham United. Ben Johnson replaces Emerson.
Attempt saved. Yerry Mina (Everton) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Dwight McNeil with a cross.
Dwight McNeil (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United).
Attempt missed. Declan Rice (West Ham United) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Saïd Benrahma.
Foul by Tom Davies (Everton).
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