David Moyes’ return to his old club Everton was a positive one on New Years Day as he watched his current side West Ham defeat them by 1 goal to nil.
The first half was absolutely abysmal and arguably one of the worst halves of football I’ve seen in a long time. Both sides looked like they had been out on the piss all night for the New Years eve celebrations as the game never really got going at all until the second half.
Things did improve in the second-half though and both sides went on to record a decent amount of efforts at each other’s goal, albeit not many on target. Overall if you Take everything into consideration West Ham were definitely the better side on the night and deserved their win. Everton were largely disappointing especially in attack in areas until they made some substitutions. The Toffees desperately need to get all their players fit again, if they can do that then I can see them going on to have a brilliant second half of the season, just like they started the beginning of the campaign.
It was Antonio the West Ham Sub who made all the difference, coming on and changing the game for his side as they pressed on and looked the most likely to take the 3 Points in the second half. And in the 87th minute when it looked like the game was petering out into a draw it was Tomas Soucek who popped up with the winner. The goal scorer had an initial shot that Jordan Pickford could only parry away to the edge of the box, Aaron Cresswell then had another shot which deflected off Mina straight towards Soucek who stuck his right leg out and diverted it past Pickford from just 8 yards out. It was party time in East London and parts of the middle east as West Ham were to record a vital win.
As I mentioned earlier, it was a deserved win for the away side. Everton will be very disappointed with how bad they played today. So will Millwall supporters like myself.
EVERTON 0 WEST HAM 1
Below I have copied both clubs match reviews incase you want an official report.
Carlo Ancelotti is urging Everton to shake off the “frustration and disappointment” of losing to West Ham United by recovering their lost point when they resume Premier League action in 11 days.
The New Year’s Day game at Goodison Park seemed bound for a scoreless draw, which would have been enough for Everton to climb to third, until Tomas Soucek prodded in an 86th-minute winner.
Ancelotti’s side had won their previous four league games but, playing behind closed doors following three home matches in front of supporters, suffered a first defeat in six.
Everton remain four points off the top of the division. They host Rotherham United in an FA Cup third round tie next Saturday and play again in the league, at Wolverhampton Wanderers, three days later.
“It was not a good performance, we didn’t deserve to win, or lose,” said Ancelotti.
“The game was in the balance, then they had a lucky deflection.
“We are frustrated and disappointed.
“We lost one point and will try to get it back in the next game.
“The performance was not at the top [level], we had a lot of the ball but were not able to manage it as we wanted, with more quality speed and intensity in the final third.
"We were a little bit low, we didn’t find quality in the final third.
“This is why we didn’t have a lot of opportunities – and also because West Ham defended really well. “Like us, their defending was better than their attacking.
“It looked like a draw but we have to accept the result."
Everton would have drawn first blood but for a fine stop from Darren Randolph after Bernard controlled on his chest and volleyed goalwards shortly before half-time.
Jordan Pickford in Everton’s goal beat away an Aaron Cresswell free-kick but despite plenty of huff and puff neither team appeared likely to break through.
That was until Soucek hovered in the box after his original 86th-minute drive was repelled by Pickford.
Cresswell returned a shot which Soucek turned in at the far post.
There was good news for Everton in the form of James Rodriguez playing the final 26 minutes after four weeks out with a calf problem.
Everton, who had defeated Chelsea, Leicester City, Arsenal and Sheffield United in their four games before this fixture, remain in fourth position.
“The momentum was good, we had difficult games and a good run but it stopped today,” said Ancelotti.
“It will be important to keep our belief and confidence high.
“We have the possibility in the next eight days to have players in better condition, players who were not able to train in the past weeks, and look forward with belief. “We have players with quality who are not in their best condition, like James and Richarlison, who was coming back from a concussion [suffered against Manchester United nine days ago].
“Dominic [Calvert-Lewin] had a problem during the game and was not 100 percent.”
Everton had 60 percent of the ball against West Ham and 10 goal attempts – but only two on target.
The goal they conceded was only the second scored against Ancelotti’s team in five Premier League matches.
Ancelotti confirmed Michael Keane, who was an unused substitute, and Alex Iwobi, who sat out altogether, were missing due to fatigue and will both be available for the Rotherham fixture.
“In this moment, we are more comfortable defending and using the counter-attack,” added Ancelotti.
“When we have the ball we have more difficulties and we have to adjust this.
“We are in the position we want to be and I would like to be in that position at the end of the season.
"This defeat disappointed us but it doesn’t change our target.”
WEST HAM REVIEW:
Tomáš Souček’s struck late to give West Ham United the perfect start to 2021 at Everton on Friday night.
The Czech Republic midfielder finished from close range, reacting quickest inside the box to knock home after an Aaron Cresswell shot deflected to him, and with just four minutes remaining, Everton had no time to respond.
It was another outstanding defensive effort from the Hammers, who, led by the imperious Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson at centre-half, prevented Everton from having a clear chance on their goal all night.
While attacking moments were not flowing at the other end either, it mattered little as the took the big opportunity which fell their way to ensure they would take the points back to east London.
West Ham were forced into a late change in goal just moments before kick-off as Lukasz Fabianski suffered an injury in the warm-up, so Darren Randolph stepped into the breach.
The Ireland international goalkeeper would have been grateful for the slow start to the contest, allowing him to ease his way into the action.
Both sides were well organised in defence, forcing the other to play their passes in front of them, with the inevitable result that attacking moments were few and far between before the interval.
A dangerous Jarrod Bowen corner skimmed off Sébastien Haller’s head, while an Cresswell cross-shot flew across goal with Bowen lurking as the visitors forced a couple of half-chances in the opening 45.
It wasn’t until right on half-time that either goalkeeper was forced into a save, and it was comfortable enough for Randolph as he watched Bernard’s well-struck effort from outside the box all the way, diving to his right to push away.
The second period began in a similar vein, although Jordan Pickford was called into action on the hour, sticking up his right hand to push away a powerful Cresswell free-kick after Ben Godfrey had dragged Vladimir Coufal down in the right channel.
All of a sudden the teams exchanged chances, with Seamus Coleman shooting straight at Randolph at one end, before Pablo Fornals was picked out unmarked in front of goal ten yards out by Bowen, but failed to get the connection he needed on the header and sent it comfortably wide.
West Ham introduced Michail Antonio and Everton James Rodriguez and Andre Gomes from the bench as both looked for more in the attacking third, and just as the game looked to be heading towards a second 0-0 draw in succession for the visitors, they struck the telling blow.
Just four minutes were left on the clock when Souček pounced, showing deadly goalscoring instincts in the box to react first when Aaron Cresswell’s drive from outside the box deflected off Yerry Mina’s heel and into his path.
Pickford was left with no chance as the Hammers celebrated the ideal start to the New Year.