Soucek finds dramatic late winner after passive West Ham, Everton clash

Date published: Friday 1st January 2021 7:28

Tomas Soucek West Ham

West Ham came away from a largely passive contest with Everton with three points after a late winner from midfielder Tomas Soucek.

The first half proved to be one of the most uneventful in the Premier League this season. Indeed, it took 45 minutes for Bernard to register the first shot on target.

But after the match livened up in the second half, it was Czech Soucek who was alert to tap home a deflected shot with his first touch.

The first major incident of the first half, though, proved to be Craig Dawson’s injury. After reaching to head the ball away, he felt pain in his foot upon landing. After consultation with medical staff, however, he returned.

There were half-chances for either side, including Jarrod Bowen’s tempting corner. The winger whipped the ball in but it evaded everyone.

Bernard’s quickfire shot from outside the box forced a parrying save out of West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph, who replaced Lukasz Fabianksi after the Pole suffered injury in the warm-up.

Indeed, the Toffees finished the half stronger, earning a free kick and a corner in quick succession.

But after the second half started in a similar fashion to the first, Declan Rice’s low, drilled cross into the box sped just past the attackers in the box.

Michail Antonio, Seamus Coleman

The game then livened up somewhat, with shots saved for Everton’s Seamus Coleman and Hammers substitute Michail Antonio, who made his return from a hamstring injury.

In between those chances, Pablo Fornals found himself unmarked in the box but could only glance a free header wide. Aaron Cresswell also fired in a free kick which Jordan Pickford punched away.

Managers Carlo Ancelotti and David Moyes made further attacking changes. Ancelotti brought on Cenk Tosun in place of striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, while Moyes put Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini into West Ham’s attack.

Tomas Soucek West Ham

But it was Hammers midfielder Tomas Soucek who finally broke the deadlock. Cresswell fired in a hopeful low shot which deflected into the Czech, who was alert to tap the pacey ball in with his first touch.

Antonio could have netted a second in stoppage time but the missed chance did not matter. Indeed, this was Moyes’ first win at Goodison Park since departing as manager of Everton.

The Toffees return to action next Saturday with an FA Cup third-round tie against Rotherham. West Ham, meanwhile, play Stockport County in their cup tie on Monday week.

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