|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s equaliser earns draw for Everton at West Ham
Jacob Steinberg at the London Stadium
Date Published Sat 18 Jan 2020 17.07 GMT
Two hours before kick-off around 900 West Ham supporters gathered at the nearby Aquatics Centre to stage a protest against David Sullivan and David Gold. A decade of drift had sharpened the mood within an increasingly disgruntled fanbase and, as grievances were aired against the club’s divisive owners, it was hard not to fear that the London Stadium was going to witness one of its more chaotic afternoons.
In the event, however, a game that marked the 10-year anniversary of Sullivan and Gold buying West Ham trundled to a forgettable conclusion. There was no spark in the stands or on the pitch, merely a sense of ennui during a slog of a draw in front of supporters who lost faith in Sullivan and Gold’s ability to lift this unhappy club to the next level long ago.
West Ham were not supposed to be perennial relegation-battlers when they moved to the London Stadium in 2016. By now, however, talk of challenging the elite has faded. West Ham are locked in yet another survival fight, a point above 18th-placed Aston Villa, and this was a missed opportunity given that Everton’s players spent most of the first half taking it in turns to kick the ball into touch. “Our first half was better than the second half,” David Moyes said. “We had our chances and didn’t take them.”
It is less than a month since West Ham sacked Manuel Pellegrini and asked Moyes to return. Supporters viewed the change as further evidence of the club’s lack of ambition and the situation must feel like deja vu for Moyes, whose first spell at the London Stadium was marred by that infamous pitch invasion against Burnley in March 2018.
“I want the supporters to stay right behind the players,” West Ham’s manager said. “The football manager can ease any burden on the owners. What the manager needs is good support and good backing. I wanted it when I left last time and I want it again. I’ve been thrown in between Christmas and New Year. I need time. I can’t do it right away.”
West Ham lacked the wit to punish underwhelming opponents. Everton, their attacking edge blunted by the absence of Richarlison, were dire. After three minutes Jordan Pickford, England’s No 1, shinned a clearance out for a West Ham corner. The tone of the match was set and Everton were fortunate not to fall behind when Lucas Digne’s dithering allowed Mark Noble to release Sébastien Haller, whose low shot was saved by Pickford.
West Ham took a deserved lead in the 40th minute. Robert Snodgrass whipped in a free-kick from the right and Issa Diop, starting in central defence in place of Fabián Balbuena, stole in front of Moise Kean before glancing a header into the far corner of Pickford’s net.
Moyes’s celebrations against his former club did not last for long. Digne’s overlapping runs were a threat and the opening goal should have arrived for the visitors when the left-back’s cross found Theo Walcott, who failed to trouble the returning Darren Randolph with a timid volley.
It was an easy save for Randolph but the former Middlesbrough goalkeeper would not keep a clean sheet on his second West Ham debut. There were 44 minutes on the clock when Everton equalised thanks to another delivery from Digne, Mason Holgate flicking on the Frenchman’s corner and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a forward pushing for an England call, punishing West Ham’s slack marking by turning in his 11th goal of the season.
“We didn’t deserve to equalise in the first half,” Carlo Ancelotti, Everton’s manager, said. “We were not in the game. The second half was better.”
West Ham almost regained their lead immediately, Pickford denying Pablo Fornals, and Ancelotti tweaked his side at half-time. Anthony Gordon replaced the disappointing Bernard and Everton improved. Digne fired over before Walcott fluffed a chance to give Calvert-Lewin a simple tap-in.
The quality dipped in the dying stages. Missing Felipe Anderson, Michail Antonio and Andriy Yarmolenko, West Ham lacked creativity and Albian Ajeti’s only contribution after coming on was forcing VAR to check if he deserved a red card following a clash with Holgate.
Ajeti escaped and there was just enough time for one spectator to make it on to the pitch before being chased down by the stewards. Welcome to life at the London Stadium.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Randolph 6; Zabaleta 6, Diop 7, Ogbonna 6.5, Cresswell; Rice 6.5, Noble 7; Snodgrass 6.5, Fornals 7 (Masuaku 60, 6), Lanzini 5.5 (Ajeti 84); Haller 6.5.
Subs not used: Reid, Balbuena, Martin, Cardosa, Ngakia
Goals: Diop (40)
Manager: David Moyes 5.5
Everton (4-4-2): Pickford 6; Coleman 5, Mina 6, Holgate 6.5, Digne 7; Walcott 5 (Sidibe 57, 6), Davies 6, Delph 6.5, Bernard 6.5 (Gordon 46, 7); Calvert-Lewin 7, Kean 5 (NIasse 74).
Subs not used: Stekelenburg, Baines, Schneiderlin, Gibson
Goals: Calvert-Lewin (44)
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti 5.5
Referee: Andre Marriner 7