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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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West Ham ends Everton’s unbeaten home record as Moyes finally gets one over Benitez

Old foes Rafa Benitez and David Moyes finally locked horns once again and Moyes was the one who got the victory as West Ham won 1-0.

It was the first time Moyes had beaten Benitez in the Premier League since 2006.

An Angelo Ogbonna header was the difference between the two sides as Everton looked devoid of any ideas throughout the game with Alex Iwobi wasting the best opportunity for The Toffees to take the lead.

The first half began in very slow fashion as Everton barely had a touch of the ball and West Ham could not take advantage of all the early possession as they struggled to create a chance.

However, the chances started to come for both sides with the best chance of the half coming in the 27th minute and it fell to Iwobi.

Demarai Gray done well down the right to get past Ogbonna and find a cross.

It was on a plate for Iwobi on the edge of the six-yard box and he completely missed the ball.

Everton then started to build momentum as Iwobi had a cross parried out into a dangerous area by goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski.

Then the tables turned as it was West Ham who piled on the pressure with ten minutes to go in the half.

A fine save from Jordan Pickford down to his left denied Jarrod Bowen from scoring the opening goal but then Tomas Soucek put in the rebound and the away end thought they had the lead.

The flag from the assistant referee went up though and it was the correct decision.

West Ham kept creating openings and it took a couple of heroic blocks to stop them from getting the first goal of the game.

With five minutes to go till the end of the half Pablo Fornals looked like he was about to finally get the first goal as he cut inside on the edge of the box with all the time in the world, however it was a poor effort as the ball went harmlessly wide.

That was the last chance of the dull half.

Everton started the second half in completely the opposite way of the first as they were much more on the front foot.

Salomon Rondon came very close to getting his first goal for the club as he delicately glanced the ball just wide after a cross from Andros Townsend.

Yet again though both sides struggled to sustain pressure and the match looked like it would be decided by the first goal.

Michail Antonio in the 67th minute finally got his chance as he had been chaperoned rather well by Everton’s backline and he lashed a shot at goal after finding half a yard only to be met by Michael Keane with a vital block.

With around 15 minutes left it seemed the deadlock would not be broken but then West Ham did take the lead in potentially controversial fashion.

A corner was given after Antonio jumped up to challenge Pickford for the ball and it seemed that the striker got the final touch hence why Pickford was fuming with the decision.

Although replays showed that Pickford did get the slightest of touches which begs the question should he have been stronger in the aerial duel.

From the resulting corner Ogbonna flicked it into the net to give the Hammers the lead.

It was a simple goal and poor defending from a set-piece which Benitez will not be pleased with yet again.

With two minutes left Pickford was again at his best to just about keep Everton in the game as he acrobatically tipped Bowen’s shot over the bar.

Gray had the best chance to equalise in stoppage time only to have his effort blocked which was the story of the day as it was defences on top.

A last-minute corner was headed over by Ben Godfrey and with that the full-time whistle came.

The unbeaten run at Goodison Park this season came to an end in poor fashion due to the lack of intensity from on the pitch and in the stands.

A not so Super Sunday for the neutrals nor Evertonians and it will be back to the drawing board for Rafa Benitez.

The fact the Spaniard made one substitution emphasises how much the squad depth is a problem.

January cannot come quick enough for Everton who were leapfrogged by West Ham in the table due to the loss.

Everton XI: Pickford; Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Digne; Townsend, Doucoure, Allan, Iwobi (Gordon 79); Gray, Rondon

West Ham XI: Fabianski; Johnson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek (Dawson 79), Rice, Bowen (Yarmolenko 90), Benrahma (Lanzini 87), Fornals; Antonio

READ MORE: Manchester United 1-1 Everton: Player ratings

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