English Premiership

Winning send-off for Moyes

2013-05-12 18:26
David Moyes (AFP)

Liverpool - David Moyes' final home match as Everton manager ended in a 2-0 Premier League victory over West Ham on Sunday thanks to two goals from Kevin Mirallas.

Moyes, who will replace Alex Ferguson in charge of English champions Manchester United at the end of the season following the retirement of his fellow Scot, was applauded by all four stands before-kick off and had his name sung throughout by Everton fans in recognition of his 11 years as the Merseysiders' manager.

And his Everton players, inspired by Belgium international Mirallas, produced an emphatic performance befitting the 50-year-old's final home game at Goodison.

Everton almost took the lead in the fourth minute when a dangerous corner from Mirallas was cushioned back across goal by Marouane Fellaini, but Sylvain Distin sliced his volley wide.

The home fans only had to wait another two minutes though as winger Mirallas finished off a superb passing move to put Everton ahead.

Leighton Baines escaped down the left and he passed the ball inside to Fellaini who - via a touch from Steven Pienaar - teed up Mirallas and he drilled a low shot into the corner of the net.

Darron Gibson went close with a dipping long-range effort which landed on the roof of the net shortly afterwards, while Leon Osman forced West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to save a shot from distance in the 13th minute.

Jaaskelainen made a brilliant point-blank block from a fierce Victor Anichebe shot 10 minutes later after Mirallas had evaded several challenges with a dangerous run across the penalty area.

West Ham finally came to life on the half-hour mark and Kevin Nolan forced Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard to make a smart diving saw to his left with an angled shot.

Nolan, the West Ham captain, did well to get a shot away from a difficult high ball moments later but Howard never looked worried.

A last-ditch block from James Collins denied Fellaini just before the half-time and West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, who this week agreed a new deal with the London club, responded to his side's first-half showing with the introduction of Carlton Cole after the break to give them more attacking threat.

However, it was Everton who should have scored in the 53rd minute when a Baines cross from the left picked out Osman at the back post who shot across goal from a tight angle.

Everton got their second goal on the hour mark though, with Mirallas making it a double.

Gibson threaded an inch-perfect pass for Mirallas who cut inside on to his right foot and struck a long-range shot which deflected off James Collins and past Jaaskelainen.

Everton were rampant, and Osman was twice denied by brilliant saves from Jaaskelainen in the West Ham goal as the home side looked to increase their advantage as the second half wore on.

West Ham substitute Joe Cole forced Howard to make a diving save with a curling effort in the 80th minute before Osman saw his low shot gathered by Jaaskelainen.

Hammers striker Andy Carroll struck the woodwork with a header from a Matthew Jarvis cross late on.

But Everton held on to claim a victory which ensured they finished above city rivals Liverpool for the second consecutive season, something they have not done in the top flight since 1937.


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