English Premiership

Pienaar nets Everton's winner

2012-12-22 19:25
Steven Pienaar (File)
London - South Africa midfielder Steven Pienaar lifted Everton into fourth place in the Premier League as his team came from behind to win 2-1 at West Ham on Saturday.

David Moyes' side climbed above Chelsea and Tottenham into the final Champions League berth thanks to Pienaar's second half winner after Victor Anichebe had cancelled out Carlton Cole's early opener for the Hammers.

Everton enjoyed a slice of good fortune as West Ham had Cole controversially sent off soon after Anichebe's equaliser.

VIDEO: West Ham v Everton

Referee Anthony Taylor also dismissed Everton midfielder Darron Gibson in stoppage-time, but it was too late to stop the visitors taking the points.

Everton, without suspended star midfielder Marouane Fellaini, went close early on when Leighton Baines' free-kick was headed over by Sylvain Distin.

Baines produced another fine set-piece three minutes later, his corner headed home by Leon Osman but ruled out seemingly for Anichebe's block on Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Everton's players were furious and their anger only increased when Cole fired West Ham in front two minutes later, the striker cutting inside the recalled Johnny Heitinga far too easily before cracking in a low drive from the edge of the box.

Nikica Jelavic got his timing all wrong again four minutes after half-time when a rare mistake from James Collins saw the ball ricochet through to the Everton striker, who could only send it straight at Jaaskelainen.

But West Ham forward Modibo Maiga was booked for pushing Pienaar over in the 64th minute and, from the resultant free-kick, the ball was worked left to the South African, whose cross was glanced home by Anichebe for his first goal in three months.

Just three minutes later Cole hung his leg out in a bid to control a dropping ball and made contact with Baines, prompting Taylor to show a straight red card.

Everton had the momentum now and in the 73rd minute Osman's cross inadvertently played against Pienaar by Kevin Nolan before trickling into the net.

Nolan was unable to prod home a dramatic equaliser from a good position as West Ham tried to salvage a point, then Gibson saw red for crashing into Mark Noble in stoppage-time in a frantic finale.

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