The key for Everton was discovering the advantage to complement their structure. This was a tough performance on the road, reminiscent of Sean Dyche’s successful days at Burnley, but it may have gone without a reward if there wasn’t a skilled scorer on the team. West Ham, who are at risk of falling into difficulties after only one win in six league games, could have snatched something if Dominic Calvert-Lewin hadn’t capitalized on their laziness with a precise winning goal.
This is evidence that Everton is a stronger team when Calvert-Lewin is healthy and confident, as shown by their well-deserved victory that put them five points ahead of the relegation zone. Despite struggling with injuries, the English player proved his significance with a brilliant goal, his fourth of the season. He effectively drew attention from defenders, connected passes, and successfully scored in the 51st minute, something that was lacking from West Ham’s Michail Antonio.
The lack of ruthlessness was not the determining factor. West Ham’s first successful shot occurring in stoppage time exemplified their lack of aggression, as well as their lax defense and unproductive possession strategy that hindered the abilities of Mohammed Kudus and Lucas Paquetá.
The team is in need of a manager who can implement an aggressive style of play. David Moyes has been accused of promoting unambitious soccer, and his team’s recent decline is a cause for concern. As his contract expires at the end of the season, this lack of energy will not bode well for his chances of securing a new deal.
Moyes expressed disappointment, saying, “It was probably not up to our desired standard.” He acknowledged Everton’s strong defense in the box and noted that this was the first game of the season where they did not score a goal. Despite having more possession, Moyes stated that it did not make a difference as they were unable to break through.
Last week was challenging for Everton due to the loss of their chairman, Bill Kenwright, and speculations that they may lose 12 points for violating financial fair play regulations. Despite these difficulties, the team remained determined. They strategically defended with their back four and effectively countered West Ham’s playing style.
Dyche stated that it was appropriate to achieve victory following the unfortunate passing of the chairman. He praised the team for their impressive performance, particularly acknowledging Dom as a skilled player who has faced challenges in recent years. The team is showing improvement from the previous season, evident in their performance.
The London Stadium became increasingly agitated as West Ham struggled to make an impact. Prior to the start of the game, there was anticipation for a more daring lineup from Moyes, with Kudus replacing Tomas Soucek as the No 10 player, but this hope quickly dissipated. Jordan Pickford did not have to make any saves in the first half.
West Ham did not benefit from having control of the ball as they prefer to attack quickly. Everton’s defense was only successfully penetrated when Paquetá made a sudden appearance. The most memorable moment of the first half was when Paquetá skillfully lifted the ball over Everton’s right-back, Nathan Patterson, and delivered a cross for Jarrod Bowen, who unfortunately missed the goal.
The game lacked excitement, with only a few standout moments from Kudus. West Ham relied on individual plays rather than teamwork. Vitalii Mykolenko effectively defended against Bowen, and Antonio did not pose a threat to James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite.
Everton grew in belief, particularly with James Garner, Abdoulaye Doucouré and Amadou Onana overpowering Edson Álvarez and James Ward- Prowse in midfield. They should have led when Paquetá lost possession, only for Jack Harrison to shoot selfishly at Alphonse Areola.
West Ham will be missing Paquetá and Álvarez due to suspension for their match against Brentford this Saturday. The team lacked intensity, partly due to the absence of Emerson Palmieri, whose dynamic play from the left-back position adds an element of adventure to the side. Aaron Cresswell was not nearly as impactful in this role.
Cresswell provided danger from set pieces, setting up a header opportunity for Bowen early in the second half. However, West Ham seemed nervous. This was shown by the misunderstanding between Zouma and Areola, with Zouma ignoring Areola’s call to claim a cross.
West Ham’s performance was also chaotic. They struggled due to Antonio repeatedly being outmaneuvered by Branthwaite, which carried on when the inexperienced defender stole the ball from the forward before Everton’s goal.
Branthwaite confidently advanced and located Calvert-Lewin without any resistance. A series of passes were exchanged between Harrison and Calvert-Lewin, while West Ham stood idly by. Calvert-Lewin’s impressive turn left Aguerd and Zouma in his wake, as he effortlessly drilled a low shot from 18 yards into the back of the net. Everton continued to press for a second goal, with Doucouré and Dwight McNeil testing Areola, but they comfortably held onto their lead. Despite Paquetá’s lack of conviction and Benrahma’s ineffectiveness after replacing Antonio, West Ham failed to make any impact. Bowen had a late opportunity and Pickford saved Benrahma’s volley in stoppage time, but an equaliser seemed unlikely. These are concerning times for Moyes.