Fulltime Thoughts - Much better second half from the Blues, but without Richarlison (and dare I say, Sigurdsson) Everton just looked toothless for most of the game. Certain players were absolutely awful, and the inquisition into how bad this team can be will continue this week.
90+4’ - There’ll be four minutes added on, and Zabaleta booked for hauling down Gordon on a break. Freekick is poor and cleared, Davies can shoot from outside the box but its blocked for a corner.
Poor corner, cleared, and the game is over, 1-1 final score.
90’ - Drama. Ajeti looks to flick his head at Holgate, who goes down clutching his face. VAR review says no violent conduct. Blues will remember Richarlison being sent off last season at Bournemouth for similar.
85’ - All six subs have been made now as play has been going back and forth in the middle. Is there a sting in the tail of this one for either side?
79’ - Sliding tackle by Digne deep in his own half, but despite his protestations that he got the ball it’s a foul. Snodgrass’ freekick is cleared well.
78’ - Gordon concedes a poor freekick now, similar to the one West Ham scored from, but this one is further away and cleared by Davies.
74’ - Kean has not had a good game, too many giveaways. He comes off now for Oumar Niasse, that’s the Blues’ last change.
70’ - Blues attacking and a pass goes to DCL who leaves it to Kean, and he didn’t expect it. West Ham break, and a shot is deflected off Digne and is looping over Pickford, he flails at it and slaps it away for a corner. Might not have been going in but he made sure. The corner is cleared.
64’ - Digne now wins a corner on the left. He’ll take it himself, it’s a high up-and-under, Mina makes contact but not enough and the goalie can take it unopposed.
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60’ - Haller with a header from a Cresswell cross and it’s a routine save for Pickford, before he falls off-balance but manages to keep it on the right side of the goalline, whew.
57’ - Ancelotti has seen enough of Walcott, and so have we, frankly. Djibril Sidibe comes on for him, like for like substitution, sort of.
56’ - West Ham win a corner down their right, and Pickford does well to come out and punch it. Then seconds later comes out to grab a high cross and drops it, well out of position and almost getting in trouble. That’s what comes with Pickford, always capable of a brain fart like that.
52’ - The Blues have looked much more energetic in the second half which is good. They are leaving gaps behind as they press forward, should make for a better, more open second half.
49’ - Digne corner is cleared, comes back to him and he sets Walcott free, his cross into the falls to Gordon and he doesn’t make good contact, ball high and wide.
Now Delph leads a break (!) and he finds Walcott again, his low centre into the box is met by DCL but is bundled wide by Diop. The corner is low and catches Davies by surprise, goes off him and wide. Better from the Blues.
46’ - Anthony Gordon! The 18-year-old is making his Premier League debut, coming on for Bernard, which is a bit puzzling considering how poor Walcott has been.
Halftime Thoughts - The Blues have looked dull and uninspired while the hosts have certainly controlled the game in the latter half of the first half. That midfield has been non-existent once again, and without Bernard coming into the middle to orchestrate the attack, the Blues have looked awful.
45’ - What a save!! Zabaleta gets behind and his dangerous cross is met by Pablo Fornals steaming in, and his header is destined for the bottom corner but wait.. Pickford intervenes with an amazing save, palming it away for a corner!
43’ - The Blues get a corner that Digne curls in, and DCL scores! Holgate flicked it on and DCL did well to adjust his body and head into an open net, 1-1!
40’ - Delph concedes a needless freekick down the West Ham right. Snodgrass’s inswinging delivery is delightful, Diop gets his head to it before Kean and his flick is enough to take it in the far post. Deserved lead for West Ham, 1-0.
38’ - Bernard did well moving into the middle as a CAM last week (read this); hasn’t done that enough today.
35’ - Noble now leads Davies on a merry dance before flashing a shot across goal. Hard to tell which one is about to retire and which one just started his career.
32’ - Everton’s first shot of the game, and it’s a good chance. Digne has time and space after beating the lumbering Zabaleta, his cross is just over a flying DCL but bounces in front of Walcott running in, and the veteran can’t make solid contact and the goalie gathers.
30’ - Everton lose the ball and Digne now caught out of position, allows Haller to run at goal but Holgate comes over and snuffs him out.
Davies beaten again in the middle and concedes a foul taking down Lanzini. He’s having a miserable go of it today too.
26’ - Davies Davies Davies. Walcott and Kean look to break and then the midfielder misplaces his pass, and the Hammers are on it in a flash, with Manuel Lanzini sending the ball across the box, luckily Digne cuts it out.
23’ - Embarrassing this, 1⁄4 way into the game, DCL has 4 touches, Walcott 5 and Digne 9.
Now Digne makes the mistake and caught in possession, ball falls to Haller and Holgate tightens the angle but Pickford saves well with his feet. Jeez.
21’ - Now West Ham attack again, and the ball falls to Pablo Zabaleta whose snapshot from a tight angle is blocked for a corner that is cleared. The hosts have come alive while the Blues are still crap.
Now Snodgrass gets behind the backline and slots home 1-on-1, but he’s clearly offside.
19’ - Everton finally put something together, but Digne’s cross goes over everyone in the box.
West Ham break, and Mark Noble(!!) dribbles past Davies, his cross into the box sees Sebastian Haller outjumps Mason Holgate, but his header is just wide.
17’ - The Blues finally break forward with Moise Kean running with authority, but his lateral to Dominic Calvert-Lewin for his first touch is poor and the opportunity is lost.
15’ - Ancelotti’s insistence on playing out of the back with this squad almost worked there. The Blues almost bored everyone in the London Stadium to death for two minutes passing the ball around sideways before a deep ball almost found Lucas Digne behind the backline.
12’ - Well this is embarrassing. West Ham’s midfield is doing better than Everton’s closing down spaces and not allowing any forward progress. On the attacking front, the hosts are looking much more mobile and active in the Blues half.
8’ - Everton struggling to link defence and the forwards. The midfield continues to be a black hole really as far as getting the ball upfront into dangerous spaces.
6’ - Tom Davies weak on the ball and dispossessed, allows the Hammers to break, the ball eventually falls to Robert Snodgrass outside the box but his shot is weak and straight at Pickford who collects gratefully.
4’ - Everton passing the ball around the back and can’t find an outlet, Yerry Mina’s poor pass back to Jordan Pickford is shanked away by the goalie for a corner. Mina atones for it and clears the corner.
2’ - Everton are in the all-blue gear, shirt, shorts and socks. Personally not my favourite, I much prefer the white shorts.
1’ - The two sides make their way onto the pitch through the bubbles.. and we’re off.
No surprises really in the starting lineup, except that Michael Keane appears to have a neck issue so hes out of the squad and this will give Lewis Gibson a bench spot. Both sides will line up in a 4-4-2 to start, at least.
If Everton are to make a march up the Premier League table they’re going to have to start stringing together some wins. While the Blues have been getting the job done at home against teams below them, there’s still room for improvement away from Goodison Park.
This weekend the Toffees head to London to take on West Ham United who are once again led by former manager David Moyes, who spent many a season on Merseyside. After Marco Silva was sacked just a few weeks ago, it looked for the longest time that Moyes was headed back to Everton before Carlo Ancelotti became available and took over.
The Blues’ injury woes do not seem to be subsidizing with Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson the latest to join the parade to the physio’s office. While the trio of Alex Iwobi, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Andre Gomes are slowly returning to fitness, none of them will be available for the game today.
West Ham meanwhile sit six points behind Everton with a game in hand, and are suffering from their own injury issues while Moyes is getting bedded back in after rejoining the club just before the new year. Since he’s return he’s had a mixed bag of results, with a big 4-0 win over AFC Bournemouth and then a somewhat contentious 1-0 loss at Sheffield United.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 23
Date and start time: Saturday, January 18th at 7:00 a.m. PT / 10:00 a.m ET / 3:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: London Stadium, London, England
Weather: 46°F/8°C, partly cloudy, 3% chance of precipitation, 8 kmph winds
How to Watch/Listen
TV: N/A - United States; N/A - United Kingdom; DAZN, beIN Sports HD 9, SuperSport 6 & 13 Africa, Optus Sport, RUSH, ESPN Brasil
Radio: evertontv, TalkSport Radio World, BBC Radio 5 Live
Live stream: NBCSports Gold, beIN SPORTS CONNECT, ESPN Play Sur, DStv Now
Gamethread: Comments section below starting one hour before game time
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Starting XI: Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Holgate, Digne, Walcott, Davies, Delph, Bernard, Calvert-Lewin, Kean
Subs: Stekelenburg, Sidibe, Baines, Schneiderlin, Gibson, Gordon, Niasse
Starting XI: Randolph, Zabaleta, Ogbonna, Diop, Cresswell, Rice, Noble, Fornals, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Haller
Subs: Martin, Reid, Balbuena, Cardoso, Masuaku, Ajeti, Ngakia
The Blues comfortably beat the Hammers the last two times the sides met, both at Goodison and in London. In the reverse leg of this fixture earlier this season, Everton had been wallowing in the bottom three in October 2019 when the two sides met, but started the game looking assured and confident on the ball. Tom Davies will still be mystified by how he didn’t score from point-blank range from a corner early, but Bernard did get on the scoresheet after twisting and turning in the box and leaving a handful of defenders for dead.
Everton dominated the game but wasteful finishing kept them from getting more goals until the death when Jordan Pickford preserved the win making a blinding save on the goalline from a corner before Sigurdsson hammered home the second to seal the win.
The Toffees had sparkled against West Ham the last time they were at the London Stadium too, winning 2-0 then too with first Kurt Zouma then Bernard notching the goals. The Brazilian seems to quite enjoy playing the Hammers and will be a good bet to make it three in three games today.