REPORT | Everton 1-0 West Ham
Maupay magic leads Everton to first win of the Premier League season, now unbeaten in last six games in all competitions.
Everton welcomed West Ham to Goodison Park for what could aptly be named the Moyes derby. Former Everton gaffer and now West Ham manager David Moyes and his side have carried a poor run of form from last year’s campaign into the new season, and would be desperate for a result. Frank Lampard made two changes to the Everton side that nearly took three points off Liverpool last match, and introduced Idrissa Gana Gueye back into the side in place of Tom Davies for his first start in his second stint as an Everton player. Asmir Begovic also was handed his first start of the campaign as Jordan Pickford continues to work back from an injury.
Everton would Create a chance early in the 7th minute as Maupay would intercept a poor back pass from Soucek, roll it through to Alex Iwobi who looked to be through but was closed down by Fabianski as the ball rolled out for a goal kick. Demari Gray would create the next Everton chance in the 12th minute, playing a lovely free kick to Onana in the box who couldn’t quite put his header on target, sailing it wide of the post. Demari Gray would continue to provide a massive spark in the first half as he flew down the wing troubling the West Ham backline with crafty dribble moves and his pace out wide.
West Ham would look to dictate the flow of the game in the first half but Everton would begin to take over in the final 15 minutes. The backline looked assured once again in front of a confident Asmir Begovic in goal, while Demari Gray and Alex Iwobi linked with Neal Maupay to provide goal-side threat. Despite some good play from the blues, and a great half from Demari Gray, the match would go level into the half at 0-0.
Demari Gray would produce Everton’s first shot on target in the 50th minute, whipping a curled effort around Coufal with force but saved by Fabianski in goal. The breakthrough would finally come in the 53rd minute for the toffees as Alex Iwobi laid off for Neal Maupay who took a devastating touch and turn before lashing the ball into the bottom corner past the West Ham goalkeeper. His first goal as an Everton player and the first goal of the match to put the hosts up 1-0.
In the 64th minute it looked as if Everton would have a second as Demari Gray played a fantastic bit of skill to then whizz a ball across the face of the West Ham goal, with ,unfortunately, nobody there to tap in his effort. Then, 10 minutes later, it looked as if West Ham had leveled when Soucek picked off a poor Tarkowski pass in Everton’s own third. He laid it off to Benrahma who wrapped his foot around the effort and lashed the post while Begovic could only watch.
Right after, Lampard made his first change bringing on McNeil in place of Anthon Gordon. Three minutes later Gray would crash into a West Ham defender leaving Alex Iwobi all alone at the top of the box and his curled effort just nearly sailed over the bar. In the 81st minute , Abdoulaye Doucoure would make his first appearance since his injury, replacing MOTM Demari Gray.
The 84th minute would see a big Begovic save to deny Maxwell Cornet in transition. Four minutes later, Cornet looked like he had scored as he rounded Begovic in goal but could only fire into the side netting as his touch took him wide of the goal. The last Everton sub would come a moment later as Rondon replaced Maupay in the 89th minute.
Despite a late scare in stoppage time that forced Begovic into action, Everton would hang on for their first win of the Premier League campaign in another big positive step in the right direction. The midfield three of Onana, Iwobi and Gueye were great once again as Gueye looks to slot right in this season and be a massive part of Everton’s success. Demari Gray was awarded MOTM for his blistering performance on the wing, troubling West Ham defenders all match while being unlucky not to find a goal. Maupay will get plaudits for his fantastically-taken goal, and Begovic will be pleased to have picked up a clean sheet after a solid game behind Coady and Tarkowski on the backline.
The win moves Everton into 13th in the league table, having conceded only 6 goals in 7 games, the second best mark in the league. It looks as if the rebuilt midfield and backline are going to make the blues much trickier to break down this season, and the win against West Ham will provide more momentum ahead of a trip to Southampton on the first of October.