Everton 2-0 West Ham
Goals: Bernard (£6.5m), Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.5m)
Assists: Theo Walcott (£6.2m), Richarlison (£7.9m)
Bonus Points: Djibril Sidibé x3 (£5.3m) Bernard x2, Michael Keane (£5.5m), Jordan Pickford x1 (£5.5m), Roberto x1 (£4.4m)
Everton ended their run of four consecutive Premier League defeats with an impressive 2-0 win over West Ham United, with strikes from Bernard (£6.5m) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.5m).
Marco Silva’s five changes seemingly energised his Everton side who were rampant from the first whistle to the last. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.8m) and Sigurdsson were dropped to the bench prior to kick-off, with Richarlison (£7.9m) playing in a central striker role, yet the Brazilian was given full license to roam into wide areas.
With a sense of renewed optimism clearly present in Everton’s play, Bernard’s strike in the 17th minute opened the scoring was a well-taken goal by the Brazilian forward.
West Ham’s goalkeeper Roberto (£4.4m) should have done better to deal with the strike as he continues to come under criticism in Lukasz Fabianski‘s (£5.0m) prolonged absence. With four first-half saves, the Spaniard was certainly the busier of the two keepers in the first 45 minutes, but he definitely appears to be the weak link in West Ham’s defence.
Despite a minor Hammers fightback in the closing stages, it was Sigurdsson who scored an excellent goal to kill off the game.
Although the Icelandic international was dropped to the bench initially by Silva, his first goal of the season and just his second attacking return is likely to fuel the midfielder’s confidence as Everton bid to get their campaign back on track.
It was Richarlison, playing officially in a central striking role, who laid off the assist for Sigurdsson, highlighting his effectiveness in the final third for the Toffees. Richarlison arguably should have found the net himself, striking the post in the first half.
Throughout the game at Goodison the Brazilian international drifted across Everton’s front-line, making it a difficult afternoon for the likes of Issa Diop (£4.5m) and Angelo Ogbonna (£4.5m) in central defence.
The recent emergence of Calvert-Lewin, with two goals in his last three Premier League games, could have interested managers looking for a budget striker but Richarlison’s performance and his wider impact on Everton’s forward line is likely to convince Silva that the Brazilian is best utilised in a central roaming role as opposed to solely out wide.
Everton will look to use this result to kick on and ensure their 2019/20 campaign does not slip into the realms of disarray, and with the likes of Richarlison, Sigurdsson and Bernard all registering attacking returns, the Toffees are well placed to offer potential value to managers with a promising run of fixtures including Brighton, Southampton and Norwich in their next four Gameweeks.
After keeping three consecutive clean-sheets against Norwich, Aston Villa and Manchester United, Pellegrini’s side have now failed to keep the opposition out on three successive occasions, with the decline in their defensive solidity coinciding with the injury to goalkeeper Fabianski, who is expected to be out until 2020.
Although managers may have been inclined to invest in the likes of Diop or Ogbonna – who have started all eight of their side’s Premier League fixtures since the opening weekend – presently Pellegrini’s men to not represent a side worthy of defensive investment.
It was not just West Ham’s defence that struggled though, with Pellegrini declaring his dissatisfaction with all of his starting XI.
To the frustration of his owners, Andriy Yarmolenko (£6.0m) was named on the bench as Pablo Fornals (£6.1m) was handed a surprise start. The latter was especially poor in an opening period characterised by a lack of service for Sébastian Haller (£7.4m).
“If I could have changed all 11 players at half time then I would have done.” – Manuel Pellegrini
In an attempting to fix their problems, Pellegrini left Fornals on the pitch and replaced Felipe Anderson (£6.9m) with Yarmolneko at half-time instead, which arguably did not help their cause too much.
For Pellegrini, a highly promising start to the 2019/20 Premier League campaign has now firmly dulled, with his side now winless in three.
Early-season interest in the likes of Haller may now have simmered given the Hammer’s alarming inconsistency, although there remains value in the likes of Yarmolenko despite his benching in the lunch-time kick-off.
Everton XI (4-2-3-1): Pickford, Sidibé, Keane, Mina (Holgate 90+4′) Digne, Andre Gomes, Davies, Bernard, Walcott (Keane 86′) Iwobi (Sigurdsson 87′) Richarlison.
West Ham United XI (4-2-3-1): Roberto, Fredericks, Ogbonna, Diop, Masuaku, Rice, Noble (Ajeti 74′) Lanzini, Fornals (Wilshere 63′) Anderson (Yarmolenko 45′) Haller.
Lessons learned from Gameweek 9
- Everton 2-0 West Ham United
- Aston Villa 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Bournemouth 0-0 Norwich City
- Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle United
- Leicester City 2-1 Burnley
- Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Watford
- Wolves 1-1 Southampton
- Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City
- Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
- Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal
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