Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley struck in the second half as Everton beat West Ham 2-0 at home to win for the first time in five Premier League games.
Barkley forced Adrian into a magnificent save in the best moment of a goalless opening period at Goodison Park.
Lukaku then netted with a simple header shortly after the break before setting up Barkley to seal the win in the closing stages.
West Ham are Lukaku’s favourite Premier League opponents – he has now scored in seven consecutive top-flight matches against them, one short of a record held by Robin van Persie for a scoring streak against Stoke City.
The opener also saw Lukaku notch his 50th Premier League goal, the third Everton player to reach the milestone after Duncan Ferguson and Tim Cahill.
Everton’s first win in five league games ensures they end the week in sixth position and sit just five points behind leaders Manchester City. Slaven Bilic’s men, meanwhile, stay 16th after what is already their sixth defeat of the season.
Unchanged West Ham threatened first when Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet combined to set up Pedro Obiang, with the midfielder blazing over a presentable chance as the home defence bore down on him.
Joel Robles, in for the injured Maarten Stekelenburg as one of two Everton changes, had to get down sharply to save a deflected effort from Payet, while Lanzini should have done better after showing neat footwork to create an opportunity for himself before firing wide.
Everton were not without chances either and Gareth Barry’s curling shot found the roof of the net after Lukaku had led a rapid counterattack.
The best chance of the half saw Adrian come to the fore, the goalkeeper stretching brilliantly to keep out Barkley’s close-range effort after the Everton playmaker had gathered Bryan Oviedo’s cutback and shimmied past Winston Reid.
Everton took the lead five minutes into the second half after Reid’s poor clearance led to Seamus Coleman seeing a long-range shot parried by Adrian. Yannick Bolasie somehow got to the rebound first and kept the ball alive, allowing Lukaku to convert a simple header from only a few yards out.
Barkley curled an effort over from 20 yards, while Michail Antonio forced Robles into action at the other end after Bilic had brought on Andre Ayew in a bid to change his side’s fortunes.
Robles had to make another from Mark Noble’s curling long-range strike, while Simone Zaza was also introduced from the substitutes’ bench.
But Everton sealed victory with 14 minutes remaining. Barkley started the move himself, finding Lukaku down the right before getting on the end of the striker’s cross at the back post to slide in with his left foot.
West Ham offered little from then on, with only Adrian’s quick reactions denying Lukaku another goal after he connected with Tom Cleverley’s cross and Idrissa Gueye having a strong penalty claim turned down as Ronald Koeman’s men returned to form.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!