Everton produced their most dominant display under Marco Silva with a 2-0 win over West Ham on Saturday, a scoreline that doesn’t necessarily doesn’t give the emphatic performance the credit which it truly merits.
From the kick-off, Everton picked up were they had left off following the victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park a fortnight ago. The desire to dictate the game was clear- finding joy down the inside right in particular. Forced by Richarlison, the visitors were awarded & scored from the first corner of the game three minutes in. The out-swinging ball from Gylfi Sigurdsson was met by a rising Kurt Zouma- towering over Issa Diop as he headed the ball into the ground, looping over a hapless Aaron Cresswell on the goal line.
The early goal bred confidence for Everton’s attacking players, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin & Gylfi Sigurdsson would force Lukas Fabianski into a succession of reactionary saves- the Polish shot stopper had made more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper this season & this passage of play was a sign of things to come. Lucas Digne, the recipient of a cross-field ball from Richarlison let fly on his right foot within the same minute of the game; the goal bound strike diverted from goal with a much needed parry from West Ham’s best player on the field.
After getting a light hand to Calvert-Lewin’s headed attempt later in the half, it was apparent West Ham’s dependency on Fabianski was waring thin. The relentless pressing of Everton caused a frantic clearance which fell to the feet of Richarlison who combined well with Seamus Coleman yet again as the Everton captain found himself in an advanced position to pull the ball back for the waiting Bernard, who tapped in his first goal in the Premier League, the crowning moment of a spectacular individual performance.
With thirteen shots (nine of which in target) over the course of the game, Everton looked a class above their opposition and limited the Irons to a mere three, with just one on target themselves. Two down and the a volatile home atmosphere on their back, West Ham conjured very little other than a long range effort from Robert Snodgrass which whistled past the post from distance.
Everton played out the remainder of the game with assertiveness and conviction in their play, the best chance of the half coming in the dying moments as Richarlison cannoned a header off the crossbar. The three points not only put Everton within a point of seventh place Wolves, but also signified the Toffees first win in London in their last 10 attempts. Delighted after picking up back to back wins for the second time this season, skipper Coleman explained pleased he was that his side kept the clean-sheet: “to get 2-0 up at half-time was important that we held onto it because last time against Newcastle we let it slip, so we did that and now we want to keep building.”
“The 2-0 score at half-time was good for our opponents,” said Marco Silva speaking after the game “I think three or four no one would be surprised… After two defeats in a row we had a break, five games after that break we had four clean sheets. It’s our way, what the players want and me also.”
Shots on target: 1-9