Everton show defensive excellence and pick up 3 massive points at the London Stadium. 

Sean Dyche and Everton were on the road for a second successive match week following their trip to Anfield, this time to meet West Ham in London. The lineup was a similar side to the one supporters have grown accustomed to in recent weeks, with Harrison and McNeil flanking Calvert-Lewin in attack. Onana, Garner and Doucoure was Dyche’s midfield three ahead of a back four that was unchanged besides the introduction of Nathan Patterson, getting the start due to a red card suspension for Ashley Young.

The first half was a cagey affair with little in the way of attacking fireworks, as Everton seemed content early to let West Ham attempt to break through a backline that grew in confidence every minute the match went on. Moyes and Company seemed to want to attack down the right hand side through winger Jarrod Bowen, who got the best of Patterson a couple of times in the first quarter of the match. However, they found little joy as Patterson grew into the match, with the Scottish right back’s confidence seemingly growing with every West Ham attack. After weathering small bouts of West Ham pressure, Everton got their chance in the 25th minute. The blues broke in numbers as Harrison spearheaded a 3 on 1 with Doucoure and Calvert-Lewin either side. Unfortunately, Harrison couldn’t quite find the incisive past going alone and shooting comfortably at Areola in the West Ham goal.

Moments later it would get a little heated, as Tarkowski put in a heavy challenge that Kudus took offense to. Pickford, however, was having non of the reaction from the midfielder and a decent sized scrum would end in both men receiving yellow cards. Everton had grown comfortably into the match by the 30th minute, seemingly leading to the growing West Ham frustration. The midfield three were making like extremely difficult for Kudus and Paqueta, with the backline repelling any danger that came there way. The visitors wouldn’t get any big chances before the halftime whistle, but Dyche would likely have gone into the halftime break pleased as Everton and West Ham were level 0-0.

Coming out of the break, it seemed Everton had extreme confidence in the tactics that stalled an otherwise potent West Ham attack. Six minutes into the second half, the industry was awarded with an absolutely beautiful goal for the toffees. Branthwaite advanced forward into midfield to win back possession before firing it into Calvert-Lewin up top. He laid it off to Harrison who cut inside before playing it again to the number 9, he turned his defender and fired a rocket into the bottom left corner to send the supporters into raptures and give Everton a 0-1 lead.

After the goal West Ham grew into the game a bit more, with the next 15 minutes seeing the introductions of Said Benrahma and Tomas Soucek. However, Everton made it extremely difficult to get anything going in attack, and West Ham’s half chances could not be converted. As West Ham threw numbers forward, The blues nearly scored a second in the 75th minute, but a narrowly offside Calvert-Lewin was only able to smash his effort off the crossbar. Pickford would make a couple of big saves late, one from an eventually offside Kudus in the 81st minute, and one off a volley from Benrahma in stoppage time after Dyche had brought on Yourself Chermiti for Calvert-Lewin.

The one substitution would be it for Everton, as the toffees secured a massive three points and kept a clean sheet I the 0-1 win. Branthwaite and Calvert-Lewin had heroic matches, and really none of the eleven for Everton could be faulted. Patterson and Myko were strong on the flanks, and the midfield three showed industry and strength throughout the 90. The win propelled Everton into 15th in the table, and now the toffees must prepare for Burnley in the cup on Wednesday before another league game at Goodison Park on Saturday against Brighton.


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