Bad Day for Hammers at Goodison
By Tom Dowsett
Saturday 19 Oct 2019 19:00:00
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West Ham United's unbeaten away record in the Premier League is over after a 2-0 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park in Saturday's early kick-off.

Manuel Pellegrini dropped Andriy Yarmolenko to the bench as he made two changes from the team that suffered the home defeat to Crystal Palace before the international break. Despite the manager stating that he had a fully fit squad for the game in his pre-match news conference on Thursday, Aaron Cresswell picked up a groin problem in training, meaning Arthur Masuaku was welcomed back into the side for the first time since being harshly sent off in the goalless draw with newly-promoted Aston Villa in September.

The Hammers had the first chance of the game when they were awarded a free-kick early on but unfortunately, Manuel Lanzini couldn't make the most of it and sent it wide of Jordan Pickford's goal.

Having wasted the chance to take the lead, Pellegrini's men nearly fell behind just four minutes later when Bernard took an Everton corner which came back off a West Ham head at the near post and then dropped invitingly for Tom Davies who was positioned at the near post. Thankfully for the visitors however, Roberto Jiménez Gago managed to block at the vital moment and prevent the Toffees from going in front.

Having made that wonderful block, eight minutes later Jiménez Gago played a crucial part in giving Marco Silva's side the lead. A defensive mistake from Masuaku allowed Bernard to take his time and slot the ball past the Spaniard from a tight angle.

It could have been a lot worse for the travelling support before half-time but luck was on their side, as on twenty two minutes Richarlison's effort came back off the post after he'd been set up by Alex Iwobi.

For all their pressure and possession, the home side only had one goal to show for their efforts, as referee Paul Tierney blew the whistle for half-time.

Yarmolenko has been in goalscoring form recently and unhappy with his team's first-half performance, Pellegrini introduced the Ukrainian in place of Felipe Anderson during the break.

West Ham didn't have the best of first halves but there was one player who was particularly ineffective and things weren't going much better for him at the start of the second period either. Pablo Fornals failed to make the most of some promising openings. Firstly, he miscued an effort from a good position, following Yarmolenko's cross from the right and then missing the target after Pickford had made a hash of a clearance.

With the Irons still not showing much, Yerry Mina twice tried his luck with headers but neither troubled Jiménez Gago.

On 63 minutes, Pellegrini made another change as he introduced Jack Wilshire for Fornals.

Two minutes later, the East Londoners survived a real scare as Theo Walcott's rocket of a shot from 25-yards came back off the underside of the crossbar.

Another eight minutes had passed before Mark Noble was replaced by striker Albian Ajeti, meaning Angelo Ogbonna was given the captains armband. At long last, Ajeti was making his first West Ham league appearance.

Everton were still well on top here but were unable to make their dominance count. They missed another opportunity as Jiménez Gago kept the scoreline respectable by thwarting Iwobi after he had been sent clear by Toffees' debutant Djibril Sidibé.

Having been second best for almost the entire game up to this point, on 83 minutes Sébastien Haller went close to finding an equaliser when he met Wilshire's corner and his header dropped to Ogbonna, whose effort took a deflection on its way to goal which brought an outstanding save from Pickford.

Toffees' boss Silva brought on Gylfi Sigurðsson in place of Iwobi in the 87th minute and he was straight into the action bringing another superb save out of Jiménez Gago.

Everton badly needed a win to escape the relegation zone and despite making a mistake for the first goal, Jiménez Gago had no chance with the second. With two of the four minutes of time that were added having already elapsed, Sigurðsson did what Walcott couldn't do earlier on and found the net with an unbelievable strike to inflict back-to-back defeats on the Hammers.

West Ham's record against the Premier League's newcomers so far this season has been positive. They have the chance to atone for these consecutive defeats when Sheffield United visit Stratford on Saturday afternoon.

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