West Ham beat Everton 3-1

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Tomas Soucek delivered a stunning half-volley as West Ham secured a dramatic victory with two goals in injury time against Everton.

Despite Beto’s missed penalty in the first half, he later headed in to give Everton the lead shortly after half-time. Kurt Zouma equalized for West Ham with a header from a corner.

With the match appearing to end in a draw, Soucek scored a remarkable goal with his instep in added time, followed by Edson Alvarez’s strike right at the end.

This victory marked David Moyes’ third consecutive win at Goodison Park as manager of West Ham, having previously managed Everton from 2002 to 2013.

Following this win, Moyes’ team climbed to seventh in the Premier League table, while Everton dropped to 16th, just five points above the relegation zone.

The Toffees are currently on a 10-game winless streak, stretching back to their 2-0 victory over Burnley on December 16th. With five draws and two defeats in 2024, this marks their joint-longest winless run at the start of a calendar year in their league history.

Beto miss costly as Blues pay for lack of cutting edge

This marked Everton’s first match since their 10-point deduction for breaching Premier League financial regulations was reduced to six following an appeal. However, a sense of unease lingers regarding a separate charge, shared with Nottingham Forest, for alleged financial discrepancies in their 2022-23 accounts. This case must be adjudicated by April 8th, with any potential appeals prolonging the process until May 24th, a week after the season’s conclusion.

To mitigate the impact of another potential deduction and secure their top-flight status, Everton must enhance their effectiveness in front of goal as the season approaches its critical stages. Despite their defensive improvements under Sean Dyche, their lack of cutting edge in attack was evident once more.

Dyche opted to bench the struggling Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who hadn’t scored in 20 games, in favor of Beto. The Portuguese striker, signed for £30m from Udinese last August, displayed eagerness but lacked finesse and composure when it mattered most.

This deficiency was highlighted when Everton earned a penalty – their first of the 2023-24 season following a VAR intervention. Beto’s poor spot-kick was saved by West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

Beto partially redeemed himself with a header from James Garner’s cross, but given Everton’s overall inability to convert chances, there’s a palpable sense that unless either Beto or Calvert-Lewin can consistently find the net, Everton will face continued pressure in the closing stages of the season.

Joy for Moyes as Hammers head home happy

Despite lingering uncertainties surrounding Moyes’ future as Hammers boss, the manner of this victory on his former turf undoubtedly brought him satisfaction.

The equalizer from Zouma, a moment of individual brilliance from Soucek to secure the lead, and a clinical counterattack to seal the win were all noteworthy aspects of the game.

In particular, Soucek’s goal was reminiscent of the kind of magic Hammers legend Paolo di Canio was known for in his prime. With deft control of a high cross-field pass in the corner of the box, Soucek unleashed a swerving shot with his instep, finding the corner of the net beyond Jordan Pickford’s reach.

Celebrating in the fashion of the Italian maestro, Soucek peeled off his shirt in exuberant jubilation before Alvarez added the finishing touch, capitalizing on Jarrod Bowen’s run from midfield to punish Everton on the counter.

Despite any negativity surrounding Moyes, it’s evident that his players remain committed and resilient, as demonstrated by their performance to secure this victory in Merseyside.

Now, with the first leg of a Europa League last-16 tie against Freiburg on the horizon, the Hammers approach the fixture with renewed confidence and vigor.