Tim Howard – 6
Didn’t have much to do in terms of goal mouth action, but dealt with the one shot at him and the few crosses at him, the lack of crosses being a surprise given the tactics Sam Allardyce usually employs.
Seamus Coleman – 7
Another solid performance from Ireland’s number 2. Dealt well with the threat both Matt Jarvis and Stewart Downing posed and although he didn’t see as much of the ball as he usually does going forward, he still contributed in various attacks.
John Stones – 7
Looked extremely composed, especially on the ball, and with the physical presence of Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan; the youngster coped well defensively.
Sylvain Distin – 7
A solid performance from the veteran, although you wouldn’t know it, coped well against Carroll and Nolan and guided Stones with his wealth of experience.
Leighton Baines – 8
Excellent as ever going forward and his interplay with Pienaar and Deulofeu was excellent for the goal and the few attacks moments before it. It was clear that a goal was going to come from this side through Baines’ attacking play. In regards to the other end of the field, Downing and Jarvis contributed next to nothing; which is testament to Baines’ and Coleman’s defensive performances.
James McCarthy – 7
A good performance from McCarthy, who provides the engine in the midfield, does the simple things well, wins the ball and gives it. I can’t remember him giving the ball away all afternoon and it seemed every tackle he went into, he won.
Gareth Barry – 7
Same could be said for Barry as McCarthy; does the simple things well. Provided a shield in front of the back four and patrolled dangerous areas to good effect as usual. Again as with McCarthy I can’t recall him giving the ball away however there was a case for him being sent off early on when he brought down Nolan just outside the area.
Gerard Deulofeu – 7
Obviously not match-fit, which was why giving the youngster minutes on his return from injury was imperative. Having said that the Spaniard was still one of our main attacking threats and caused both full-backs problems as it was clear they were frightened by his pace.
Leon Osman – 6/7
An on/off performance from the stand-in skipper, he did some good things but nothing exceptional really and seemed to tire before coming off.
Steven Pienaar – 7
Pienaar played okay at times but well overall and gave West Ham United scares when Baines pulled it back for him on the edge of the area on two occasions. It could be said he looks for Baines too much perhaps but I would say he played well and was probably the biggest threat out of the players playing in more advanced positions.
Steven Naismith – 6
Found it difficult against two tough centre halves in James Tomkins and James Collins but still had an average game. The striker’s best contribution to the game was the runs he was making but unfortunately there was only one instance where he was put through on-goal.
Romelu Lukaku – 7
Sometimes you don’t appreciate someone until they’ve gone and that is definitely the case with Lukaku. Before his injury he was obviously tired and perhaps the lay-off could reenergise the forward. He provided the pace, power and hold-up play that we’ve been missing as well of course grabbing the winner.
Aiden McGeady – 6
McGeady is starting to look a lot sharper now definitely and although he didn’t have much of an influence on the game, he shown great feet to beat George McCartney quite a few times and provided some good crosses to the back post. There are already signs of good interplay between himself, Coleman and McCarthy and it will be intriguing to see how that develops.
Ross Barkley – N/A
The 20-year-old was not on the field long enough to have an influence on the game and it would be unfair to give him a rating.
Man of the Match: Leighton Baines
Before the game the big worry was the physical presence of Andy Carroll and his partnership with Kevin Nolan and the main contributors to that partnership are the long balls from their centre halves but also the pace that both wingers; Jarvis and Downing possess. The fact that neither wide-man contributed to many if any of West Ham’s limited attacks is only evident of the excellent performance defensively from Baines, as well as Coleman. As far as attacking is concerned, our biggest threat was down the left side – which is further evidence of Baines’ superb performance. The relationship between the left-back and Pienaar has been an important part of our play over the years and was the biggest danger to the Hammers' defence yesterday. As the game wore on it was clear an Everton goal was going to come from that side, and it just so happened to be the winner.