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West Ham 0-1 Everton: Instant Reaction | Win keeps dreams of Europe alive

Defensive effort denies Hammers, Blues pick up three vital points

West Ham United v Everton - Premier League
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 21st goal of the campaign was enough to defeat West ham.
Photo by Justin Tallis - Pool/Getty Images

With the weeks counting down to the end of the season, Carlo Ancelotti opted for a formation change against a disciplined West Ham side. Michael Keane reentered the starting XI as the Toffees deployed a 3–5–2.

Everton put the pressure on early with a trio of corner kicks that tested the Hammers’ defense. The final attempt saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin power a header over the goal. Aside from the set pieces, the London outfit looked every bit a side fighting for the Champions League; they were flying on the wings and composed in the middle through the first 15 minutes of the contest. Richarlison brought the Toffees back into the game in the 16’ when he won the team’s fourth corner, albeit an unsuccessful one.

West Ham turned up the pressure in the 20’ when Michail Antonio nearly found Jesse Lingard inside the box. Only three minutes later, Calvert-Lewin notched his 21st goal of the campaign. Ben Godfrey picked out a perfectly weighted pass to the potent striker, who took two touches and slotted the ball past Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham countered with a shot of their own but only earned a corner for their efforts. Right on cue, the Blues stormed down the pitch and won a set piece when Richarlison was dumped to the ground. Gylfi Sigurdsson then forced a diving save from Fabianski. The Hammers nearly evened the affair as Lingard missed a curler — that had Jordan Pickford rooted to the spot — by a few feet.

Richarlison troubled the net again in the 34’, firing a low shot that Fabianski spilled into the box. Right on the stroke of halftime, Said Benrahma found himself unmarked at the back post, but his diving header caressed the wrong side of the crossbar.

An uneventful start to the second came alive in the 53’ when Pablo Fornals ripped a shot from the top of the 18 into traffic. After an hour played, Vladimir Coufal had Pickford beat but hit the bottom-left post, and Jarrod Bowen scuffed a shot that fell into the arms of Everton’s keeper.

The Merseyside outfit sprang forward in the 76’ with Calvert-Lewin. Everton’s number nine threaded a ball through to Seamus Coleman, who had burst forward but sturdy defending nullified the threat.

A final chance for the Toffees came in the 83’ — Calvert-Lewin caught up to a pass and cut back a looping, towering pass to Josh King. The second-half substitute got a head on the ball but was unlucky to see his attempt hit the right post. King’s miss proved to be inconsequential as West Ham failed to log a single shot on target. Dare we dream about Europe?