West Ham United 0 – 1 Everton. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s piece of brilliance ensured Everton secured a vital Premier League victory in their first game since the death of chairman Bill Kenwright.
On a poignant day for the Merseyside club, striker Calvert-Lewin turned his marker with a clever flick before firing low into the bottom corner.
It was a rare moment of quality in a scrappy encounter where both sides struggled to create chances.
Calvert-Lewin had described Kenwright, who died last Monday aged 78, as a “great man”; the striker was the difference maker as Everton became only the fourth team to beat West Ham at home this year.
However, the Toffees needed keeper Jordan Pickford to be alert in stoppage time in order to clinch victory.
The England international barely had a save to make before beating away a fierce volley from Hammers substitute Said Benhrama.
Everton move five points clear of the relegation zone as result, although they remain fifth from bottom in the table.
West Ham, who stay ninth, have won just one of their past six Premier League games as their strong start to the season continues to fade.
Keeping one-time England striker Calvert-Lewin fit – and getting him into top form – is key to Everton’s fortunes this season.
Toffees boss Sean Dyche has opted for a patient approach with the striker, refusing to rush him back too quickly, which could be detrimental to both the player and the club.
Calvert-Lewin has started the past five matches for the Toffees after being carefully managed and his second-half winner at London Stadium took his tally to four goals in six games.
Afterwards Calvert-Lewin dedicated the victory to Kenwright, who was the chairman at Goodison Park from 2004 to his death.
“No-one was prepared for what happened this week and it has saddened everyone at the club. That one was for Bill,” Calvert-Lewin told Sky Sports.
“He would have been proud of us and proud of how we won – to get the lead, dig in and work so hard. It was a very good day.”
Calvert-Lewin has scored more goals against West Ham than any other club, but it was not just the goal which caught the eye in his performance.
His movement and link-up play also caused trouble for the home defence, with his flick-on for team-mate Abdoulaye Doucoure shortly after the goal almost ending up in a second for the visitors.
Hammers keeper Alphonse Areola denied Doucoure with a sharp save, meaning Everton had to defend doggedly in the final stages to prevent West Ham grabbing a barely-deserved equaliser.
Pickford’s save, along with the organisation led by centre-backs James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite, clinched only a fourth win on the road in 40 league matches for Everton.
Calvert-Lewin received plenty of the plaudits as the squad celebrated with a jubilant away end to mark an emotional week on a high.
Source – BBC