Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the only goal of the game as Everton secured an important three points at West Ham this afternoon.
The Blues were also grateful again for the excellence of Jordan Pickford as he pulled off important saves to hold onto that narrow win.
Everton needed a decent performance and a win today to help ease the frustration and anger generated by last weekend’s deby defeat. Obviously, the points too were much-needed.
In truth this was not a great game to watch and was largely uneventful, especially in the first half, with two frankly average teams who have struggled to create and score a lot of goals.
As we have come to expect from Sean Dyche’s sides the Toffees were set up to defend and counter-attack in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Abdoulaye Doucoure playing off Calvert-Lewin.
There were few chances and both sides huffed and puffed a bit with the hosts inable to make any real progress against Everton’s solid and organised defence.
Once more James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite were excellent in the heart of the defence and gave little away.
Nathan Patterson returned at full-back and was good for the most part. I hope now he gets a chance to make the right-back position his own.
Few good, clear-cut chances were created during the first forty-five minutes for either team and the match was goalless at halftime.
Then five minutes into the second period Calvert-Lewin turned sharply and finished superbly to give the visitors the lead.
Everton had the most shots overall and could and really should have added a second when Doucoure had a chance to make it two but couldn’t score.
Late on West Ham inevitably had a spell of pressure and Pickford came to the fore once again to make certain of the points.
So, after a very testing week and on a day when both clubs paid their respects to Bill Kenwright and Bobby Charlton, the Blues returned to winning ways and have now won two of their last three Premier League matches, which just might give us a little bit of hope going forward.