Hammers Fail To Break Down Toffees
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 23 Apr 2017 14:21:00
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West Ham United were disappointed to leave Sunderland with a point last weekend but they would have been the happier of the two sides this week, as their home game with Everton ended goalless.

Slaven Bilic made four changes from the team that started on Wearside a week ago, as Adrian made his first league start since November, replacing Darren Randolph. Winston Reid was available for selection and slotted straight back into the starting line-up in place of the suspended Sam Byram.

Robert Snodgrass was left out of the matchday squad and after coming off the bench against the Black Cats last time out, Havard Nordtveit took his place.

Jonathan Calleri was given his first start for the club, as he replaced Andy Carroll.

After missing out completely at The Stadium of Light, Diafra Sakho was named amongst the substitutes.

The Irons hadn't beaten their visitors in front of their own fans for a decade and after collecting three points in their last home outing were keen to do the same here in the hope that they could finally secure their top-flight status.

There was an early scare for Adrian, as Edimilson Fernandes threw the ball back to him with Kevin Mirallas looking to take advantage but thankfully for the hosts, the Spaniard got there first.

Although they were applying all the early pressure, the home side were finding it difficult to break the Toffees down.

They did however earn themselves a corner when the effort from Calleri following a good cross from Fernandes was deflected wide. Manuel Lanzini's delivery from the resulting corner was too high for Cheikhou Kouyaté who couldn't get a telling touch.

Ronald Koeman's men were again on the back foot with 30 minutes gone, as Nordtveit desperately tried to put his side in front, but the visitors defence blocked his two efforts.

That didn't deter the hosts, who went close again minutes later, as Kouyaté thought he could repeat the trick from the victory over Swansea City but this time, his effort went well wide of Maarten Stekelenburg's goal.

James Collins perhaps should have built on his goal against Sunderland last week minutes before the break, but he headed wide following a great cross from Lanzini.

When the teams headed to the dressing rooms, the home side clearly thought they were in with a chance of another positive result.

Although the visitors made a double substitution at the start of the second-half, replacing Tom Davies and Gareth Barry with Ademola Lookman and Idrissa Gueye, the changes didn't seem to make a great deal of difference as the Hammers were still dominating.

They went close again when Lanzini found his way to the edge of the area but unfortunately, his effort hit Phil Jagielka on the head and was eventually cleared.

West Ham were in no mood to give up and minutes later, Fernandes fired over before Lanzini's clever cross was well saved by Stekelenburg.

Bilic was seeing his side create all the chances but they just couldn't find the back of the net. In an effort to try and help that cause, he made a change as Calleri made way for Sakho to make his first appearance of the season in front of the home fans.

It took eight more minutes for the visitors to register their only shot on goal but Adrian wasn't troubled by Lookman's effort.

Lanzini was in on the act again but fired straight at Stekelenburg and the goalkeeper did well to hold on, despite having both André Ayew and Sakho bearing down on him.

Minutes later, the striker almost broke the deadlock but even he couldn't find a way through.

Aaron Cresswell was introduced for Kouyaté on 79 minutes, as the home side were still searching for a winner.

West Ham continued to push as they tried to seal maximum points and although they still looked the most likely to score, referee Roger East brought proceedings to a close with both teams having to share the spoils.

After losing five in a row at the start of the month, Bilic's men will look to end April by stretching their unbeaten run to four games when they travel to the Bet 365 Stadium looking to pile more misery on Stoke City.

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