Barkley more confident in vital Blues win

By Michael Kenrick 30/10/2016  136 Comments  [Jump to last]
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With Baines out injured, Oviedo did exceptionally well at left back
Everton 2 - 0 West Ham Utd

Everton finally shook off some of the lethargy that had not seen them win all month, with Bolasie's energy creating a simple and customary goal for Lukaku against his favourite opposition. Barkley, after being denied by Adrian, then started and finished a fine move in which Lukaku picked him out with a pinpoint cross from the byeline.

Everton were back at Goodison Park for a Sunday lunchtime kick-off after successive away games that yielded just one point since the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at the end of last month.

Ramiro Funes Mori returns to the defence in place of captain Phil Jagielka, who is on the bench. Joel Robles also gets a start in goal, with Maarten Stekelenburg sidelined with a foot injury. Some surprises on the bench with goalkeeper Mateus Hewelt and Dominic Clavert-Lewin elevated from the table-topping Under-23 squad. On loan Enner Valencia is ineligible to face his parent club.

Everton held possession and moved the ball around well enough until it was turned over, Funes Mori into action, with a good block out wide. West Ham's first attack came to nought but Everton's building from the back was painfully slow but, as applause rang out in memory of the death of Howard Kendall one year ago, Wet Ham almost scored but for the timely intervention of Coleman.

A free kick for a foul on Bolasie was wasted with more sloppy play as the Blues were slow to get going but Adrian gifted a clearance to Mirallas; however, he made nothing of it, and the meaningless football continued through the 10-minute mark, when what looked like a lively move down the left channel ended abruptly when Bolasie fell over the ball. That saw Fernades up the other end put in a good cross that was headed away. But Antonio and then Payet had good opportunities to score, winning the first corner.

Everton were simply not at the races, the Hammers getting a second corner from which Lukaku broke well down the left but his dreadful cutback evaded most, Barry coming back to lay it off for Bolasie whose shot was closed down by an arm.

Payet continued to cause Everton problems but Coleman did very well to track Antonio and dispossess him. Everton won another free-kick with Ebola hustling Lukaku. There was finally some pressure from Everton in the Hammers area, Bolasie firing in but Lukaku could not dig out the shot.

Lanzini danced into the area but messed up his cross/shot as the pace and tempo of the game improved, but the passing didn't, Lukaku maddeningly playing the ball straight to a West Ham defender. But there was more movement and a slightly better effort in attack, Barry's through-ball too much for Lukaku. But Barkley did very well to feed Lukaku whose shot was deflected behind for a corner by Mirallas that Adrian caught easily

Much better play from Everton saw Oviedo cross in superbly for Barkley who seemed certain to score but Adrian made an instinctive save as the shot was slightly deflected, to deny the Everton goal. A West Ham free-kick was shipped in by Payet but nothing came of it as Everton's defending looked solid.

But the Blues resorted to nonsense pass-the-parcel stuff at the back, Gueye getting caught and very lucky not to see red as he blocked Kouyate from a certain run in on goal. Dreadfully amateur stuff from Everton. The free kick was driven into the wall by Payet and defended away. At the other end, Bolasie won a corner that Mirallas took well and Barkley's shot was deflected over, with nothing coming from the ensuing corner.

Much better play saw Mirallas firing in a clever shot from a tight angle that Adrian touched behind, Mirallas shooting again but with insufficient power. But the Blues were moving the ball a lot better, finally, winning another corner swung in by Mirallas, headed well wide by Funes Mori.

Better movement and faster passing looked to make something for Barkley but three defenders were on him in a flash. There was more competition for the ball in a crowded midfield but Bolasie did well to fire in a cross but too close to Adrian. Half-time approached as Payet scampered away but was well blocked by Coleman before he could unleash on Robles. Barkley looked to break but could not find Lukaku and the half ended goalless.

The visitors showed more intent from the restart, winning an early corner. Everton proceeded to build at snail's pace, with more pass-the-parcel until possession was lost. Oviedo won a corner for Everton, that went straight to Adrian.

Barkley laid off to Coleman who did very well to make space and shoot low. Adrian parried but Bolasie was in like a terrier to clip the ball over him into the middle of the goal area where Lukaku had a simple header for his customary goal against the Hammers.

Barkley found some space and went for goal but his shot was disappointingly high. Bolasie did well to get wide only to stupidly showboat with a cross-kick that went well wrong. Not impressive at all. At the other end, Oviedo was forced into a foul on the edge of the area that Payet tried to put under the wall and failed. Bolasie tried to break but lost the ball.

Another free kick, given away by Gueye, saw a superb ball headed behind by Barry for another corner that proved no danger. Really sloppy stuff from Barry let Antonio in; Williams looked to cover but missed it and Antonio had a one-on-one with Robles that the Everton keeper did very well to block.

Antonio then played in Ayew who looked set to score when Oviedo clipped it off his toe brilliantly. A good break saw Mirallas overhit his cross to Lukaku. Noble fired in a beautiful strike that Robles saw all the way and pawed behind, a splendid save. West Ham applied some pressure, prompting Koeman to switch Mirallas for Cleverley.

Oviedo could not keep pace with Ayew and fouled him, drawing a card and giving away a free-kick that saw more West Ham pressure applied without real danger and it was Barkley who sealed the points, playing a lovely ball to get Lukaku away and from the byeline he picked out Barkley at the far post, where he had to control the shot well to bury it past Adrian.

West Ham kept pressing as the game entered its last 10 minutes, the Blues having to defend resolutely. Lukaku and Gueye combined to feed Barkley but his shot was deflected behind. Barkley took the corner but Williams was penalized for a push.

Barkley played a nice ball forward for Lukaku but he rather lazily played it to the defender. Bolasie was withdrawn for Phil Jagielka as Oviedo continued to do great things in defence and Lukaku broke with Coleman but the return ball from the fullback was overhit.

A fantastic series of first-time passes, Lukaku, Coleman, Cleverley ended with Lukaku firing sharply but straight at Adrian, what a fabulous goal that would have been to end the game!

Lukaku tried to set up Cleverley, who could not beat Adrian as wide spaces opened up in the West defence, GGuyee running in and getting chopped by Ogbonna, a penalty all day long — but not given by referee Taylor, who brought the game to an end with Everton finally securing a win.


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