English Premiership

Everton down West Ham

2014-11-22 20:03
Leon Osman (AFP)

Liverpool - Leon Osman ensured his 400th Everton appearance was one to savour as he scored the decisive goal in their 2-1 Premier League victory over West Ham United on Saturday.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku had put the Toffees ahead in the first half before Mauro Zarate equalised for the Hammers 11 minutes into the second period.

But 33-year-old midfielder Osman helped Roberto Martinez's side collect all three points when he finished off an Everton counter-attack from close range in the 73rd minute.

Everton made four changes from the side that drew with Sunderland last time out as Kevin Mirallas featured for the first time since picking up a hamstring injury in the Merseyside derby in September.

James McCarthy also started for the hosts, which will have interested Roy Keane following the Republic of Ireland assistant manager's claim that Everton routinely go out of their way to protect their Irish players.

The visitors handed a first start of the season to injury-prone striker Andy Carroll following his return from a long-standing ankle problem as Sam Allardyce made five changes to the team that draw 0-0 with Aston Villa.

The home side had the best of the early chances when Osman sent Seamus Coleman scampering to the byline and he cut the ball back for Steven Naismith, only for the Scotland international to fire over.

But Everton's persistence paid off just before the half-hour when Lukaku put Everton ahead with a goal that appeared to be scored from an offside position.

Ross Barkley seized on Naismith's knockdown on the edge of the box and his shot was blocked by James Collins and then deflected off Winston Reid for Lukaku, who slammed the ball past Adrian from close range.

Everton had the ball in the net again when Barkley broke clear and saw the ball taken off his toe by Lukaku, but this time the assistant referee raised his flag.

Tempers spilled over just before the break when a fierce challenge from McCarthy on Morgan Amalfitano left the French midfielder writhing in agony.

Both sets of players squared up to each other and Martinez and Allardyce exchanged angry words on the touchline before referee Mark Clattenburg regained control.

West Ham equalised shortly after the break with a goal that also owed much to a fortunate deflection.

Zarate cut in from the right and let fly with a low shot that clipped Phil Jagielka's boot and looped over the helpless Tim Howard and into the net.

Amalfitano's influence on the game began to grow and he brought a smart, diving save out of Howard on the hour with an angled shot.

Moments later Matt Jarvis escaped down the left and drilled in a low shot that struck the side-netting, but the Hammers were punished on the counter-attack shortly afterwards.

Everton substitute Samuel Eto'o chased Lukaku's ball down the right flank and crossed low for Osman to slide in and poke the ball home from close range.

Collins had a golden chance to equalise from a corner, only to see his shinned effort go straight to Howard, and despite West Ham's late pressure, Everton held on.

 

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