|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Everton relief for Marco Silva as Bernard and Sigurdsson sink West Ham
Paul Wilson at Goodison Park
Date Published Sat 19 Oct 2019 14.35 BST
Perhaps Marco Silva was right not to panic after all. The Everton manager’s job looks a lot safer after his side inflicted a first away defeat on West Ham, climbing out of the bottom three in the process.
This was by no means West Ham’s most convincing performance of the season; despite their league position they were disappointingly ponderous so it might be a little early for anyone to get carried away, though here at least was evidence that Everton can play in the way Silva keeps insisting he demands.
The manager made five outfield changes from the dismal display at Burnley and was rewarded by the sight of players in blue passing quickly, finding each other well and putting pressure on the visitors’ defence from the outset. If one had to be critical it could be said that Everton’s decision-making in the final third was not as impressive as the application and appetite they showed over the rest of the pitch, which was one reason why their superiority did not show in the scoreline until Gylfi Sigurdsson made victory certain with only seconds remaining, but a crowd-pleasing win was exactly what was needed after a miserable few weeks.
“We should have scored more goals, but it is important to talk about the way we played,” Silva said. “Pressure is normal in football, whether you are winning or losing. Our last few results were not good enough, so we had to react. We controlled the game and created a lot of chances. It was good to see.”
Manuel Pellegrini could not disagree. “They played better than we did,” the West Ham manager said, after admitting he felt like making 11 changes at half-time. That would have been hard on his goalkeeper, actually, but it was a fair comment on a vapid outfield showing. “Everton gave more than 100%, while we were not at our best.”
Bernard scored the goal that mattered early in the first half, fastening on to Theo Walcott’s delightfully disguised pass and appearing to take the wrong option in disdaining a first-time shot, only to outwit Arthur Masuaku and then Roberto Jiménez to find the net from an improbably narrow angle.
West Ham could not complain; they could easily have gone behind 10 minutes earlier when a corner found its way to Tom Davies at the far post and an indecisive finish allowed Jiménez to make a point-blank save.
Time and again in the first half Everton made rapid progress down the left through Bernard and Lucas Digne, only to run out of ideas on the edge of the West Ham penalty area. Richarlison hit a post but shots from Walcott and Alex Iwobi were from too far out to cause Jiménez any problems.
The same pattern continued in the second half, which began with an otherwise crisp finish by Richarlison being denied by an offside flag. Walcott hit the bar from 25 yards, Yerry Mina saw a couple of headers from corners saved and Iwobi missed a glorious chance to seal victory after excellent work by André Gomes and Djibril Sidibé, who ghosted unchallenged into the area but put his shot far too close to Jiménez.
West Ham were largely dormant for more than an hour, though as full time approached with a draw still a possibility they stepped up their effort for an equaliser. They might have had one too but after a quiet afternoon Jordan Pickford’s reflexes were still up to keeping out a close-range effort from Angelo Ogbonna in what amounted to the visitors’ best chance.
By the time Sigurdsson came on to bring a dramatic save from Jiménez at the other end before beating him with another shot from outside the area in added time, Everton could reflect on the fact that they ought to have won by three or four clear goals.
While work on finishing and final delivery is obviously required, the main positive for Silva was a midfield that clicked. Behind the front line Davies and Gomes operated smoothly and stylishly. Spectacular as Sigurdsson’s late right-foot strike was, the Iceland international may no longer be able to take a place in the starting lineup for granted.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND LEAGUE TABLE
Everton (4-2-3-1): Pickford 7; Sidibe 6.5, Keane 7, Mina 6 (Holgate 90), Digne 6; Davies 6.5, Gomes 7; Walcott 8 (Kean 85), Iwobi 6 (Sigurdsson 87), Bernard 7.5; Richarlison 6.5
Subs not used: Lossl, Baines, Calvert-Lewin, Baningime
Goalscorers: Bernard 17, Sigurdsson 90+2
Booked: Davies, Gomes
Manager: Marco Silva
West Ham United (4-1-4-1): Roberto 6.5; Fredericks 6, Diop 6.5, Ogbonna 7, Masuaku 5; Rice 6; Anderson 5.5 (Yarmalenko 45 5.5), Lanzini 5.5, Noble 5 (Ajeti 74 6), Fornals 5 (Wilshere 63 6); Haller 6
Subs not used: Martin, Balbuena, Zabaleta, Snodgrass
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini
Booked: Rice, Diop
Referee: Paul Tierney