Everton lifted the pressure on manager Marco Silva with a deserved win over disappointing West Ham United at Goodison Park.
Silva is fighting to ease doubts over his future after four straight Premier League defeats plunged Everton into the relegation zone – but this was a vastly-improved, excellent display to earn three vital points.
He made five changes from the side that lost at Burnley and was rewarded with a piece of individual brilliance from recalled Brazilian Bernard, who tricked his way into the West Ham area before beating keeper Roberto Jimenez with a clever finish after 17 minutes to set Everton on their way.
Everton had numerous opportunities to extend their advantage but Roberto produced a succession of fine saves, especially from Tom Davies and Alex Iwobi, while Richarlison hit the woodwork. It was in stoppage time that second-half substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson, dropped for the first time since he became Everton’s record £45m signing in summer 2017, ended any doubts about the outcome with a magnificent 25-yard rising right-foot drive.
West Ham were thoroughly dreadful throughout, their one moment of danger coming when Everton keeper Jordan Pickford blocked Angelo Ogbonna’s shot late on as Silva was finally able to celebrate a victory which delighted Goodison Park.
Silva took positive action with his back against the wall – so deserves full credit as Everton produced their best performance of the season to overpower woeful West Ham United.
He dropped Sigurdsson, who can have no complaints after his poor form this season, pushed Richarlison into the centre and brought back Theo Walcott.
Silva re-introduced Davies into central midfield alongside
The result was an Everton performance full of energy, hard work and creativity that should have reaped a much greater victory margin than it actually did.
It was only the excellence of West Ham goalkeeper Roberto that kept the score within reason for The Hammers, producing a succession of fine saves and also calling on the help of the woodwork.
Everton was always on the front foot, backed by a raucous Goodison Park crowd that never wavered in its support for Silva’s team.
It will take more than one win to blow away the clouds over Silva as he has reached that critical stage where one setback ratchets up the pressure again.
All the noises suggest he still needs to follow this up with a win at Brighton next Saturday and then at home to Watford in The Carabao Cup.
This, however, was exactly what he needed – namely a comprehensive, crowd-pleasing win in which Everton responded to the manager’s changes and promptings.
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Source – BBC