Declan Rice ran the show but Alex Iwobi and Salomon Rondon were poor as West Ham United eked out a narrow 1-0 win over Everton on Sunday.

West Ham dominated the proceedings for the most part, with Everton barely threatening over the course of the game, bar a chance in either half. However, despite their dominance, chances came few and far between for the Hammers as well, although they were denied smartly by Jordan Pickford, who saved Jarrod Bowen’s low effort in the first half.

The tentative nature of the game did not let up till the final quarter of an hour, with the deadlock finally getting broken in the 74th minute, when Angelo Ogbonna headed in from Bowen’s corner. There was to be no late drama, as the visitors held on to their slender advantage to grab all three points. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both the sets of players.

Everton

Jordan Pickford: 6/10

The busier of the two goalkeepers, Pickford made three saves in the game, with the standout stop being the one to deny Jarrod Bowen. Could not have done anything to deny Angelo Ogbonna with his header, although the Everton no. 1 should have arguably dealt with the aerial ball better instead of conceding the corner from which West Ham scored.

Seamus Coleman: 6/10

Available again after recovering from a hamstring injury, Coleman was back in the starting lineup and did well enough to keep a check on Pablo Fornals. Barely a factor in the final third, though.

Ben Godfrey: 5/10

Godfrey had a tough task of trying to neutralise the threat of Michail Antonio. The youngster was fairly solid on the ground, winning each of his four duels while also completing six clearances and four tackles in addition to making a few big blocks. However, he lost track of Ogbonna for the winner. Should have taken his opportunity better in Yerry Mina’s absence.

Michael Keane: 6/10

Top work by Keane for the most part, as he organised the backline smartly while on a personal level, he completed six clearances and won as many duels. Made a couple of big blocks as well to keep the pressure away from Pickford. Not to be blamed for the goal West Ham scored.

Embed from Getty Images

Lucas Digne: 6/10

Passed fit to start after recovering from a minor issue, Digne had a mixed bag of a game on Sunday. While the Frenchman did put in the hard yards off the ball when up against the tricky Bowen, with six tackles and eight duels won, he made no impact whatsoever in the final third and has to improve his output.

Abdoulaye Doucoure: 6/10

One of the better performers for Everton, Doucoure worked typically hard, winning four duels while completing three interceptions. Played a couple of key passes as well, but could not keep either of his shots on target. Still, fared decently enough.

Allan: 5/10

A difficult game for Allan, who just could not manage to find a way for West Ham to be stopped in their tracks at any point of the game. The Hammers did not just overrun his easily but also managed to press him smartly enough to force the Brazilian to lose the ball cheaply on a number of occasions. Has to do better.

Andros Townsend: 5/10

Coming off the back of that memorable display against Manchester United, Townsend ought to have been brimming with confidence. However, while he did put in the requisite effort, the English winger’s end product left a lot to be desired, even though he did play a game-high five key passes.

Demarai Gray: 7/10

The best performer for Everton, Gray, at times, looked like the only player who could make the difference for the hosts. Played three key passes and forced a save out of Lukasz Fabianski, but his influence waned as the minutes passed by.

Alex Iwobi: 4/10

Preferred over Anthony Gordon, Iwobi was simply abysmal in his performance on Sunday. The ex-Arsenal winger showed nothing in his game for Rafael Benitez to point towards and say that this is something to build on. Just too toothless in his display.

Salomon Rondon: 4/10

This was a game that exposed just how much a lack of mobility can hurt a player in the Premier League. Rondon just could not manage to get into the game, with Kurt Zouma and Ogbonna shutting him out entirely. The return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin cannot come soon enough.

SUBSTITUTES

Anthony Gordon: N/A

Given the final 12 minutes plus injury time to help inspire an equaliser, but could never really get into the game.

West Ham United

Lukasz Fabianski: 6/10

One of the easiest outings of his career for Fabianski, who only had a couple of straightforward saves to make in the game. Otherwise, the West Ham no. 1 had precious little to do, with West Ham in total control.

Ben Johnson: 7/10

With Vladimir Coufal unavailable, Johnson showed a lot of desire and did his best to impress David Moyes. While his end product was not too impressive the youngster did put in the hard yards off the ball, keeping Alex Iwobi quiet for stretched periods.

Kurt Zouma: 7/10

Zouma just continues to go from strength to strength for West Ham and he once again made life difficult for an opposition striker. Made four clearances and a big block to help inspire a clean sheet. Even completed 96 percent of his attempted passes, facilitating efficient build-up plays.

Angelo Ogbonna: 8/10

Much like his partner at the heart of the West Ham defence, Ogbonna was an immovable object at the back and was rarely under the pump over the course of the game. Popped up inside the Everton box and rose the highest to head in Jarrd Bowen’s corner for the winner.

Aaron Cresswell: 6/10

A constant outlet down the left flank, Cresswell saw the ball more often than any other player in the game. However, the English defender could not really carve out the openings as well as he would have liked. Off the ball, he was quite solid, winning eight duels while making five clearances.

Tomas Soucek: 7/10

Midfield held the key to West Ham’s dominance in the game and Soucek enabled that with some key contributions in the game. Completed all but one pass, which meant West Ham hardly ever lost the ball cheaply. Even had the ball in the back of the net, only to be denied for being offside.

Declan Rice: 8/10

The man who ran the show, Rice was in his elements in the middle of the park, pulling the strings easily for West Ham. Completed 91 percent of his passes while winning five duels as well. Job well done in the end.

Jarrod Bowen: 7/10

The best of the West Ham attacking quartet, Bowen provided an energetic presence in the final third while providing a couple of key passes. Came ever so close to scoring before laying on the assist for Ogbonna’s goal.

Said Benrahma: 6/10

Not the best of performances from Benrahma. While he cannot be faulted for a lack of effort, the Algerian playmaker just was not able to become a big factor in the game while hardly creating the chances for Antonio. A rare blip perhaps.

Pablo Fornals: 5/10

Much like Benrahma, Fornals appeared to be off the boil here and hardly ever got into dangerous positions inside the Everton box. Lost possession cheaply at times, 15 times in all over the course of the game.

Michail Antonio: 6/10

Antonio might not have a goal to show for his efforts but he did work hard to harry the Everton defenders off the ball. Doing so did put the Everton defenders in trouble, but he was well contained by Ben Godfrey and Michael Keane. Will be itching to score a goal once again.

SUBSTITUTES

Andriy Yarmolenko: N/A

Introduced with mere seconds left in the game, Yarmolenko’s arrival helped slow the momentum late on, when Everton were on top.

Manuel Lanzini: N/A

A late introduction, Lanzini helped see the game out.

Craig Dawson: N/A

A late introduction, Dawson helped see the game out.

Leave A Comment...

*