Romelu Lukaku cancelled out Manuel Lanzini’s opener as Everton held fellow European hopefuls West Ham to a 1-1 draw in their Premier League clash at Upton Park.
The Hammers must be getting utterly sick of the sight of the Belgium striker, who made it seven goals in his last seven appearances against them with a well-taken equaliser.
Lukaku’s latest strike, shortly before half-time, cancelled out Lanzini’s classy opener and meant more frustration for West Ham against the Toffees.
The east London side have won just one of their last 18 encounters against Everton – and that victory came on penalties in the FA Cup third round last season.
Yet West Ham, who won at Liverpool for the first time in 50 years earlier this term, looked on course to break another Merseyside hoodoo when Lanzini fired them into the lead.
They had already been the more threatening side, with Victor Moses hitting the side netting from Dimitri Payet’s cross and then heading another delivery from the Frenchman over the crossbar.
Hammers left-back Aaron Cresswell also went close to opening the scoring when he let fly from the edge of the area, his curler with the outside of his left boot flying just wide.
Everton were sluggish by comparison, with Aroune Kone’s 20-yard drive which fizzed past the post all they had to show for the first half-hour.
And Lanzini made the breakthrough for the hosts right on the 30-minute mark after Moses’ low drive ricocheted to the edge of the area.
The 22-year-old Argentinian shaped as if to blast the ball back towards goal but instead took a touch, looked up and curled a sublime effort over the Everton defence and into the top corner.
However, Lukaku got his obligatory goal against the Hammers two minutes before half-time.
The big frontman was having a quiet game up until then but when Gerard Deulofeu threaded the ball between defenders James Tomkins and Winston Reid, he burst into life.
Lukaku easily took the ball around Hammers keeper Adrian and rolled it into the net for his ninth goal of the campaign.
West Ham lost their main creative source Payet to injury shortly after half-time but they still pushed for a winner.
Lanzini forced a fingertip save from Tim Howard at his near post with a low, angled drive from the corner of the box before Reid headed Mark Noble’s corner narrowly over the top.
However, it was that man Lukaku who came closest to winning it when he prodded Brendan Galloway’s low cross inches wide with four minutes remaining.
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