Everton 2-0 West Ham: Lukaku, Barkley strikes down Hammers

Romelu Lukaku continued his outstanding scoring streak against West Ham as Everton claimed a 2-0 win against the Hammers at Goodison Park to get back to winning ways.

The Belgian netted the opening goal of the game to make it seven consecutive games against the Londoners in which he has scored, with Ross Barkley securing the win 15 minutes from time.

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The victory, Everton’s first in six games, keeps them in sixth place, but they managed to close the gap on first place to six points.

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A hasty start to the game saw some wild challenges going in, and Antonio only just failing to convert a wonderful Payet ball into the area.

Obiang wasted a glorious chance, sending over from close range having been sent through from Payet, before the Frenchman forced a save low-down from Robles.

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The Hammers were looking dangerous, and their three-at-the-back system was doing well to nullify the threat of Romelu Lukaku – though the hosts attacked with pace on the counter attack.

One such attack, led by Lukaku on the left wing, led to a Bolasie shot which was blocked by Noble, before Barry curled the rebound over the bar from long range.

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Everton’s defence was struggling to deal with some glorious attacking play from the visitors, Lanzini, Payet and Antonio all threatening Robles in goal.

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However, Adrian was required to make a fantastic save from Barkley to ensure the score remained 0-0, stopping the midfielder’s close range attempt with his right hand in the 26th minute.

The action died down as the half wore on, both teams still looking to attack but lacking in any real quality in the final third.

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Adrian did well to push a Mirallas cross-cum-shot over the bar, and Funes Mori flashed a header wide from a corner as the Toffees started to control the game, but the last action of the half was a Hammers attack.

In the lone minute of injury time, Payet made space for himself wonderfully on the left flank, charging into the area, turning a defender and firing a shot at goal which Robles had to save.

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It was a thrilling half of football, and the second period started in the same manner.

Both teams had early corners, and just five minutes after the restart the hosts took the lead – Lukaku scoring in his seventh consecutive match against the Hammers.

Coleman forced a save from Adrian with a low strike from the right side of the area, but Bolasie was first to the rebound and sent a delicate ball back across the face of goal, with the Belgian striker there to head into the open net with ease.

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The goal gave renewed vigour to Everton, a series of attacks leading to a Barkley chance which flew high over the bar from outside the area.

Bilic responded to the goal by bringing on Andre Ayew, and he started to combine well with Antonio in the final third.

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The latter had a shot which flew across the face of goal – Lanzini wasting the rebound – and the former ran onto a through pass from Antonio, only failing to get a one-on-one shot away due to a fine covering challenge from Oviedo.

Noble’s curling effort was pushed wide by Robles when it appeared to be flying in the top corner, and Simone Zaza was brought on to provide even more of an attacking threat for the final 20 minutes.

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But the removal of two midfielders allowed Everton to attack with the freedom of the pitch, and with 15 minutes remaining Barkley doubled the hosts’ lead, starting a wonderful counter attack which finished when the midfielder converted Lukaku’s chipped cross to the far post.

Lukaku, in fine form, could have added to his tally in injury time, but was denied putting the finishing touch on a lovely team move by Adrian, and although West Ham looked to attack and grab a late goal, the final whistle went with no further goals to secure the three points for the hosts.

Source: TalkSport

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