Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham took their first points of the season with a 3-1 win over a poor Everton side at Goodison Park.
West Ham spent most of the first half defending but two goals for West Ham’s Yarmolenko put Everton in trouble at Goodison after the Blues slack defending left them trailing, despite creating opportunities of their own in the first half.
Cenk Tosun missed two goal scoring chances in the first half, the first of these when the two sides were level and a second when they were 2-0 down. Theo Walcott also had a cross turned over the bar by Lukas Fabianski. The Hammer’s left back Masuaku may have also been lucky to see yellow instead of red for a high foot challenge that caught the back of Walcott’s head. After their inability to finish their chances, Gylfi Sigurdsson did provide Everton with a lifeline before the half-time whistle as he expertly guided Jonjo Kenny’s cross into the top corner with a headed effort.
Both sides looked offensively strong at the start of the second half but it was West Ham who extended their lead after Marco Arnautovic sealed his exceptional performance with a goal. However, after conceding in the second half, Everton did not look in the game. West Ham controlled the game and saw out a comfortable 3-1 win. The win will delight the fans, not only as it is their first points of the season but also their side beat a strong opposite away from home at a ground which is not the easiest to travel to.
Everton spent the rest of the half chasing the two goal deficit but Silva’s side were unable to salvage any points. Omar Niasse hit the cross bar when Everton were trailing 3-1 but they were unable to threaten West Ham’s defence after conceding the third goal. The West Ham win handed Marco Silva his first competitive defeat of the season while Pellegrini picked up his first three points.
Promise for West Ham
Despite coming into this fixture with no points, West Ham’s performance showed that Manuel Pellegrini’s side are starting to click. Two Yarmolenko goals and his combination with Arnautovic showed Hammers fans that they are capable of competing against any Premier League team. The defence also showed signs of improvement as they were compact and calm for most of the game in Merseyside.
Everton’s defensive issues
Although Marco Silva’s squad selection was hindered by a long injury list, he was still able to field a strong defence. Despite this, the Toffees conceded twice and looked susceptible to West Ham’s counter attacks throughout the whole 90 minutes. Everton were playing very offensively which did leave them open, but Silva’s men have conceded nine goals in five games – an issue which needs to be addressed immediately by the Portuguese manager.
Is West Ham’s hard work paying off?
After losing all four of their opening fixtures, the performance was controlled and relatively comfortable against a pedestrian Everton side. It looks as if Pellegrini’s work at the training ground has paid off as both their defence and offence look to have improved significantly since the first few weeks of the season. After last weeks dismal performance against Wolves, things could only improve and that is what the Hammer’s did. If they perform like this against most teams, then Pellegrini’s side should find themselves safe from any threat of relegation.
Man of the Match – Marko Arnautovic
The Austrian forward found his form at Goodison this afternoon. He linked up nicely with Yarmolenko for the opening goal of the afternoon and got himself in on the act to secure the Hammer’s first three points of the season. Although coming off on the 64th minute due to injury, he was the stand out performer across both teams in a comfortable victory for his side.