West Ham halted their disastrous start to the season with a first Premier League win under Manuel Pellegrini as they outplayed Everton in a lively contest at Goodison Park.
Andriy Yarmolenko’s first Hammers goal opened the scoring, the Ukrainian finishing off a slick counter that went from the halfway line to the net in three touches, Marko Arnautovic with the assist.
Yarmolenko got his second in the 31st minute with a fine curled effort from just inside the box after a Jordan Pickford error gave possession to Mark Noble.
Just before the break, Gylfi Sigurdsson powered in a header from Jonjoe Kenny’s cross, converting after Cenk Tosun missed two good chances.
West Ham were coming in on the back of four consecutive defeats – a fifth straight loss would have constituted their worst ever opening of a league campaign.
But Arnautovic ensured that run came to an end when he struck clinically after a one-two with Pedro Obiang, the Hammers again profiting on the break despite Everton’s spirited start to the second half.
Even in the game’s latter stages they were pouring forward but could still not find the net, substitute Oumar Niasse rattling the crossbar from close range after Lucas Digne’s cross.
Victory lifts the Hammers up to 16th, with Burnley taking their place at the bottom of the table after losing 1-0 at Wolves earlier in the day. Everton are now 10th, with six points from their first five games.
From boos to good news
West Ham were booed off after their previous game, a 1-0 home defeat by Wolves. Ex-England captain Alan Shearer described that showing as “embarrassing, hopeless and pathetic”.
This was a performance much closer to what fans will have been expecting since a summer spend of £100m and the arrival of ex-Real Madrid manager Pellegrini, title winner with Manchester City in 2014.
They were far better organised at the back, more confident in possession, and played with real energy against a full-blooded Everton side who were just determined to attack.
Lukas Fabianksi’s goal withstood seven first-half attempts before Sigurdsson’s unstoppable bullet header, and on the break Felipe Anderson was exceptional in his link-up play with Yarmolenko and Arnautovic, who was forced off in the second half.
Pellegrini said before this fixture he “trusts now more than ever” his ability to achieve at the highest level. His players backed him up with an impressive counter-attacking performance. Games against Chelsea and Manchester United are up next.
Everton outplayed, outfinished
It would be hard on Everton to say they played badly on the whole – and nothing should be taken from the quality of West Ham’s composed display – but there certainly were individual errors to pick out.
The Toffees were lucky to escape punishment on the break after Morgan Schneiderlin was caught in possession with his defence exposed, before Pickford hit a clearance straight to Noble for the second goal.
Schneiderlin was withdrawn just before half-time in an attacking change, with summer signing Bernard replacing him. But Silva’s match programme notes revealed the Frenchman’s father had recently passed away and it appeared the Portuguese believed his performance was affected.
Silva’s side looked more switched on after the break, but here they came up against a team who were simply far sharper, especially in front of goal.
In the first half, Tosun headed straight at Fabianski when well placed to finish, shortly afterwards shooting meekly at the Polish keeper from inside the box.
Everton had 16 attempts, but could only manage four shots on target. The Hammers also managed four shots on target but converted three. The suspended Richarlison, so impressive this season before his red card at Bournemouth, cut a frustrated figure in the stands.
However, he will return for Everton’s next fixture, and the fact Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes are yet to feature since joining from Barcelona should be further cause for optimism despite defeat.
Man of the match – (Felipe Anderson)
A birthday win for Pellegrini – the stats
- Everton have won just one of their past 13 Premier League games played on a Sunday, losing 10 and drawing two.
- West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko is the fourth Ukrainian player to score in the Premier League (also Sergei Rebrov, Andrei Shevchenko and Andriy Voronin) and the first since Voronin for Liverpool against Spurs in May 2008.
- Since the start of 2018, only Mohamed Salah (23) has had a hand in more Premier League goals than West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic (16 – nine goals, seven assists).
- Arnautovic has been directly involved in 11 of West Ham’s past 16 Premier League goals (seven goals, four assists).
- Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goal was just the third header he has scored in his Premier League career (47th goal overall).
- West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is the first manager to win on his birthday in the Premier League since Arsene Wenger on 22 October last season – also against Everton.
‘A tough result’ – What the managers said
Everton manager Marco Silva, speaking to BBC Sport:
“We didn’t play with enough quality to win the match.
“We started well with good pace and intensity, but we made mistakes, and at that moment we didn’t react well.
“But even after the 1-0 we had a clear chance to score. We didn’t perform well, but they had three chances and they scored three goals. We had four or five chances and we scored one goal.
“It’s a tough result for us. A club like us to lose 3-1 at home is always tough. We have to react – there’s nothing more to it. We have to react to the mistakes we made.”
On Morgan Schneiderlin’s early substitution: “It was a tactical change, nothing more.”
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini, speaking to BBC Sport:
“I was not worried about my birthday today – I just wanted to win the game – it was the best gift my players could give me.
“I think that we continued playing the same way we have done, but the best thing we did here, we went for the game from the first minute, we didn’t wait for Everton to go.
“I have a lot of years here, I wasn’t going to change for three or four results. We believe in what we are doing and we are not going to change. I said last time after we lost I will accept advice but I was not going to change what we are doing.”