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West Ham 1 Everton 1: Lukaku haunts Hammers again

Romelu Lukaku scored for the seventh consecutive match against West Ham as Everton came from behind to extend their unbeaten Premier League run versus the London club to 15 matches with a 1-1 draw.

The Belgian striker added to his record of having netted in every game he has played for Everton against West Ham to earn Roberto Martinez’s side a deserved point in the capital.

Manuel Lanzini’s first goal at Upton Park put the hosts ahead on the half-hour mark, but Lukaku’s cool finish from Gerard Deulofeu’s defence-splitting pass levelled matters before the break.

In an open game that both sides will feel they could have won, West Ham suffered a double injury blow when Dimitri Payet hobbled off before replacement Enner Valencia was taken off on a stretcher.

Winston Reid planted a header over the crossbar and Lukaku also spurned a late opening as Everton remained unbeaten against West Ham in the top flight since 2007.

The hosts, who beat rivals Chelsea 2-1 last time out at Upton Park, pressed forward in the second minute as Victor Moses shot narrowly wide from inside the box, while Ross Barkley – having brilliantly worked space for himself with a clever flick – stung the palms of Adrian at the other end.

Arouna Kone was selfish in opting to go for goal in the 18th minute when he had Lukaku in space, with the Ivorian’s shot going well wide to compound his strike partner’s frustration.

It was West Ham who threatened next and Aaron Cresswell’s neat effort with the outside of his right boot bent just beyond Tim Howard’s far post.

Then, after Deulofeu had been denied, the home side took the lead when Lanzini collected a loose ball on the edge of the area before sending a measured finish into the top-right corner.

Everton were level before the interval, though, with Deulofeu’s perfectly weighted pass setting up Lukaku to round the goalkeeper and stroke the ball home.

Payet was forced off injured early in the second half, with Valencia coming on in his place. The Ecuador forward’s teasing 55th-minute cross was soon flicked behind for a corner by John Stones.

There was further cause for concern on the West Ham bench when Valencia himself went down injured and his game was cut short after only 18 minutes on the pitch.

Reid, back in the West Ham side for the suspended James Collins, headed over the crossbar from Mark Noble’s 71st-minute corner.

Everton put six past Sunderland last weekend, but they had some defending to do in the final 10 minutes as Slaven Bilic’s side piled on the pressure.

However, it was Everton who almost snatched the points when Lukaku got across his man at the near post to stab a close-range shot just wide.

Sat 7 Nov, 2015
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