Everton's away-day pain goes on with defeat at West Ham

Sunday, 3 April, 2022 17comments  |  Jump to most recent
West Ham 2 - 1 Everton

Michael Keane was sent off after 65 minutes, effectively ending any chance Everton had of salvaging something from this game at the London Stadium

Everton lost for the 17th time in the Premier League this season as a much-improved away display was wrecked by hugely costly individual errors that allowed an under-whelming West Ham to edge the match 2-1 at the London Stadium.

Aaron Cresswell profited from a needless foul by Mason Holgate in the first half to sweep the Hammers into the lead with a impressive direct free-kick and though the Toffees' defender would atone for the error with a deflected strike that pulled Everton level eight minutes into the second half, an awful slip by Alex Iwobi led to Jarrod Bowen scoring the winner before Michael Keane was sent off for a second bookable offence.

It was the first time the Blues have had a man dismissed in three successive matches in the Premier League era and it undercut what chances Frank Lampard's men had of salvaging something from the match in the final quarter of the match. It also means Keane will miss Wednesday's crucial game against his old club Burnley at Turf Moor.

With Allan still suspended, Lampard had been hoping to bring Donny van de Beek back into the side after he was forced to sit out the defeat at Crystal Palace because he was cup-tied. The Dutchman was named in the starting XI but tweaked a muscle in his thigh in the warm-up and with André Gomes out with a knock himself, had to be replaced in midfield by Holgate.

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With illness keeping Seamus Coleman out of the side, there was an opening for Nathan Patterson to make his League debut but he, too, had been ruled out after turning his ankle in training, which meant Jonjoe Kenny switched to right-back and Vitali Mykolenko returned on the left with Ben Godfrey partnering Keane in the centre.

Unlike many of Everton's recent away performances, the first half was a fairly even affair, with the visitors largely matching their hosts in terms of possession and chances created. Pablo Fornals saw an early shot off Ryan Fredericks' cross blocked and Richarlison's attempted bicycle kick off Kenny's delivery met the same fate but it was a mistake by the Brazilian that almost led to the first goal.

Richarlison gave the ball away cheaply off a throw-in but Mickael Antonio's effort was deflected behind and Bowen's eventual shot following the resulting corner was hit straight at Jordan Pickford.

Three minutes later, Pickford did superbly to tackle Fornals with his feet after Everton had left themselves vulnerable on the counter-attack while Lukas Fabianski in the West Ham goal did similarly well to rush to edge of his box to deny Richarlison after the forward had been played in by a perfectly-weighted ball from Iwobi in the 29th minute.

Three minutes later, however, Everton's solid start was undermined by a sloppy foul given away by Holgate not far outside his own box. His trip on Bowen set Cresswell up for a chance to beat Pickford from 20-off yards which he did with a curling free-kick that found the top corner to make it 1-0 to West Ham.

The Blues' best chance of the half arrived five minutes before the break, though. Pickford picked Richarlison out this time with a pin-point ball forward but the Brazil international's attempt to guide it over Fabianski with the outside of his boot was lofted just too high and it cleared the crossbar by a matter of inches.

Undaunted at the start of the second half, Everton began the brighter of the two sides after half-time and this time it was Iwobi connecting with Dominic Calvert-Lewin with another lovely through-ball but the striker could only clip the crossbar with a left-foot shot from the angle.

Three minutes later, however, it was 1-1. Richarlison won a corner and then held off his marker after Fabianski had failed to punch the set-piece clear to prod the loose ball back to Holgate. The makeshift midfielder despatched a measured shot towards goal that took a heavy deflection off Fornals and flew into the far corner.

Parity lasted a mere six minutes, though. With the feeling growing that the Hammers were there for the taking if Everton could fashion another good opening, the Blues were trying to build a move forward when Iwobi mis-controlled a pass from Keane that gifted possession to the home side as Antonio was sent away into oceans of space and just Pickford ahead of him.

The England keeper did well to foil the striker with a blocking save but the rebound fell to Bowen who steered it over the desperate lunge of the last defender covering the goal to restore the Hammers' lead.

Six minutes after that, it was effectively game over when Keane, who had been booked in the first period for pulling Antonio back, was carded again for a late lunge in on the same player, reducing the Blues to 10 men for the remaining 25 minutes.

Richarlison had one shot blocked behind and a couple of set-piece opportunities for Lampard's men went begging before Godfrey planted a stoppage-time header from a free-kick over the bar and referee Michael Oliver called time.

With Watford and Burnley both losing and Leeds picking up just a point on Saturday, the picture at the bottom remains largely the same in terms of Everton's battle against relegation, although Wednesday's clash with the Clarets now takes on enormous significance.

Lampard and his charges can take heart from many elements of this display but, until the injury situation improves, they know they must cut out critical mistakes in their attempts to drag themselves out of the mire.


Reader Comments (17)

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 04/04/2022 at 19:51:50
The call was for more bollocks for this game, and the players brought their gonads to the table. This was in evidence after the break when we were having an good period which culminated in us having the balls to equalise. We showed that we can recover from a being a goal down.

At that point we were marginally in the ascendancy, on the front foot and West Ham had dropped off a little. It was looked nailed on for a draw and even to squeeze an unlikely win.

Unfortunately, just as our resurgence was gathering a bit of steam, Iwobi dropped a bollock.

Which was a great shame as he was arguably best player up to that point and one mistake was efficiently punished. He’s a confidence player and I want him not to get too down about it. He did well and just needs to be switch on all the time. What I’m saying is that if he manufactures the winner against Burnley, or even helps the win, there is no better redemption. He needs to step up now and show some mental strength.

Dave Williams
2 Posted 04/04/2022 at 21:32:55
Tony- couldn’t agree more. Iwobi played well as did Holgate and we need their confidence boosted, not undermined.
A much better display and unlucky not to get at least a point.
Kevin Prytherch
3 Posted 04/04/2022 at 21:58:19
Up until Keane's sending off, we were the better team – that killed it as a contest.

Holgate did exactly what we have been missing, he filled that gap between defence and midfield and was tidy in the ball. It's a shame about the free-kick as that was needless. Unfortunately, every mistake we seem to make at the moment ends up being a goal.

Mykolenko did well at full-back and, with Richarlison on the left, it allowed him space for the overlap. He needs to work on his crossing and the chances will start coming again for Calvert-Lewin.

Iwobi looked to be playing well, but I've seen a stat about losing 100% of his defensive duels so I'm not sure whether he flattered to deceive.

The big turning points were all preventable. Holgate's needless foul, followed by Pickford's poor positioning. Yes, it was top corner, but the way Cresswell lined up on an angle, it was only ever going one way.

West Ham's second, Keane takes the ball off Holgate and completely vacates his position while doing so. Then Iwobi's mis-control coupled with Kenny moving forward to join the attack and Godfrey and Mykolenko caught between covering and pushing up – both ending up doing neither.

The red card – schoolboy stuff from Iwobi and Doucouré resulting in them falling over each other and a ridiculous lunge from Keane. Keane needs more than one game out – he's lost all confidence and is a permanent mistake waiting to happen.

Against Burnley, I'd keep Holgate there and play Branthwaite alongside Godfrey. Both are powerful and pacy so we should be able to play a higher line and take the game to Burnley knowing we have pace at the back, as well as a player who is happy sitting and not getting pulled into the wrong areas of the pitch, like Allan does.

Paul Hewitt
4 Posted 04/04/2022 at 22:05:49
Let's get something right: West Ham were crap yesterday and still we couldn't win.

I keep hearing how it was a better performance from us... well, it surely couldn't get much worse; some people are easily pleased.

Watford and Burnley both would have at least taken a point from a poor West Ham team.

Barry Hesketh
5 Posted 04/04/2022 at 22:08:21
Lyndon, according to EFC Statto, it was the first time ever that Everton have had a player dismissed in three consecutive league games.
Will Mabon
6 Posted 04/04/2022 at 22:20:49

Okay, not a great performance but less crap then. Therefore some were not easily pleased, just a little less disappointed than normal.

It's all relative. It was an improvement, however minor, that has to be said.

Ray Smith
7 Posted 04/04/2022 at 22:24:28
How come Delph is injured again!!!
Will Mabon
8 Posted 04/04/2022 at 22:26:40
Ray - because he's Delph?
Andy Crooks
9 Posted 04/04/2022 at 22:41:31
Delph injured, what next? Hope there is not going to be another barrage of criticism of a fine servant of the club.
Dale Self
10 Posted 04/04/2022 at 22:48:19
Yeah, what is it this time – an STD?
Tom Bowers
11 Posted 04/04/2022 at 23:07:15
Let's face facts. Everton's players when they get injured are always long-term, if not niggling match after match, whereby a player gets a knock, misses a game or two, then comes back, does nothing but get another knock etc etc.

One expects a really serious injury to keep a player out and, in older players, it can be almost career-ending, at least in the top-tier sense.

We have a few of those now and arguably some may say Coleman, Gomes, Tosun, Mina and Delph. We could now argue that Calvert-Lewin is joining the ranks after a promising season last time.

Add to this problem, we now have a real lack of discipline regarding red cards. The team is still a mess when push comes to shove.

They made it easy for the Hammers in the end, thanks to Keane.

The others around us in the ''zone'' are giving us every chance to survive, although Leeds and Brentford are picking up now.

Let's hope Burnley are not pumped up too much for this one on Wednesday, although we know they can be tough – but how tough do you need to be to get the better of Everton?

Andy Crooks
12 Posted 04/04/2022 at 23:47:37
Tom, I reckon scowling at our lads in the tunnel should do it for Burnley. I think that we are out of excuses:

Bad tactics
Bent refs
Dodgy VAR
The worst injuries in the history of football
Gypsy curse
Coach sacked
New coach finding his feet
Fixture congestion
International break
Bad luck
Players not fit to wear the shirt (sorry – not an excuse, a fact)

Paul Kernot
13 Posted 05/04/2022 at 01:12:58
Keane out will hopefully be a blessing. I like the idea of a straight swap for Branthwaite. The only other realistic option is Holgate at CB & Gomes central & we all know where that ends. I also agree that Mykolenko had a decent game & will only improve. We're never likely to be 2 goals up with 10 to go in order to give Patterson a go so we're stuck with the usual suspects there.
Mal van Schaick
14 Posted 05/04/2022 at 09:30:28
It wasn't a thrashing at West Ham, and we did create a few chances, and we were unlucky with Pickford's save going directly to Bowen for their goal. So, we have to be optimistic of a performance and a point or three on Wednesday.

Ironic how Keane was sent off as we have Burnley as our next game? Injuries and bans aren't doing us any favours, but we will have to patch up, dig in, and hope Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison can magic some goals up.

John Cook
15 Posted 05/04/2022 at 10:24:35
Keane being out is a blessing as he's an accident waiting to happen,always has been That pass to Iwobi was a disgrace when clearly a pass to Richarlison wide open on the left was the ball,it made Iwobi look a right tit.Branthwait for me to the end of the season with Mina alongside when fit.
Jim Bennings
16 Posted 05/04/2022 at 10:26:00
To be honest it was just a half decent performance against a side that looked like it had both eyes on Thursday nights bigger prize against Lyon.

If Brentford were at the London Stadium on Sunday after in place of Everton, I'm quite sure they'd have walked away with a comfortable three points.

Sadly this Everton team would make hard work putting ABC and 123 in the right order.

At 1-1 the game is crying out for common sense and in-game management from the players, nobody else, the players.

They couldn't handle the game when it was 1-1 and then Keane does what he does and gets sent off, after that we just limply got through the game.

Benjamin Dyke
17 Posted 05/04/2022 at 12:57:25
Can we start talking up relegation yet? I hope to goodness we survive but my goodness what a terrible season! How have we managed this after even Sam got us 8th. This match summed it all up - don't take decent chances due to DCL and Richy - a brainfart by Keane and a the opposition get lucky with a rebound and a brilliant free-kick.

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