Toffees send Hammers into Meltdown
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 31 Mar 2019 13:38:00
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Until kick-off in Saturday's late Premier League match, Manuel Pellegrini had never lost to Everton but unfortunately for the Hammers their unbeaten home record in 2019 is now over, as the Toffees won 2-0 in Stratford.

The result also meant that the visitors jumped above their hosts in the table.

Aaron Cresswell captained the side in place of Mark Noble, who dropped to the bench after missing training on Friday, due to a family bereavement and was replaced by Robert Snodgrass. Michail Antonio also dropped to the bench as Pedro Obiang came in, while Lucas Pérez was given a rare start as he replaced Felipe Anderson who was missing due to an ankle injury.

Angelo Ogbonna retained his place in the side to make his 100th Premier League appearance for the club.

It was difficult to know who was going to start the brighter of the two sides in this game, given that Marco Silva's side had achieved that impressive but unexpected victory over Chelsea, before the international break. 

The visitors started the game in lightning quick fashion and went ahead inside five minutes, as Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma met a corner and headed the ball down and over the stand-in skipper's head and before you knew it, it was in the net past goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham were finding their opponents difficult to cope with and were reduced to half chances. The best of which occurred on 26 minutes and saw Pablo Zabaleta attempt a volley at goal but unfortunately for the home support, he sent it wide.

Seven minutes later, Silva's men were further in front as Seamus Coleman got in behind Cresswell to play a ball across goal which Bernard was able to tap in past Fabianski.

West Ham actually had the Pole to thank for preventing the scoreline from getting embarrassing as he made saves on three separate occasions from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Gylfi Sigurðsson and Lucas Digne.

A late first-half effort from Snodgrass had visiting goalkeeper Jordan Pickford worried but to be truthful, the England stopper wasn't in any real danger and when referee Paul Tierney blew the whistle for half-time it was the same greeting from the fans that they had received last time out against Huddersfield Town.

Although it would have been tough to produce a comeback like the one experienced against the Terriers, they needed to try something in order to get anything from this game.

Pellegrini decided to make a double change during the break so, he brought on Javier Hernández and Antonio in place of Pérez and Obiang.

Even though Grady Diangana was introduced for Marko Arnautovic in the 68th minute, the youngster didn't really make an impact and, like the reception the Austrian received when he was substituted, the home fans who had remained in this stadium once again let their team know in no uncertain terms what they thought of their performance.

Despite no further goals in the second-half, Everton's record summer signing Richarlison had Fabianski beaten again but this time, the home faithful were relieved to see the Brazilian's effort hit the bar.

The Irons could have done with a result here, especially as they have consecutive away encounters at Chelsea and Manchester United coming up in the next fortnight.
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