Everton 1-3 West Ham | 4-1-4-1 formation gives Pellegrini victory on 65th birthday

West Ham gave manager Manuel Pellegrini a fantastic birthday present as they beat Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park to claim their first points of the season. The Hammers, who had lost their first four games, were under lots of pressure coming into this fixture. Chelsea and Man Utd were their next opponents after the Everton game, meaning a loss at Goodison could potentially see the club start the season with 7 defeats. Add to this their poor H2H record against Everton- the Toffees had won more Premier League games against West Ham than any other club, and the Hammers had only been victorious twice in their last 22 visits to Goodison Park.

None of the TV pundits gave the Hammers a chance of a win– a draw was the best they could hope for, according to messrs Lawrenson, Pawson and Owen.

Manuel Pellegrini defied the odds by handing the Toffees their first defeat of the season. It was also the first time West Ham had lead and managed to come away with three points- they were unable to do so against both Bournemouth and Arsenal.

Pellegrini opted to make six changes from the side that had lost at home to Wolves before the international break. West Ham essentially lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Declan Rice sitting between the midfield and the defence. Felipe Anderson played on the left, with Andriy Yarmolenko given his first start of the season at right wing. Skipper Mark Noble was paired with Pedro Obiang in midfield, with Marko Arnautovic playing the lone striker’s role upfront.

West Ham starting XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku; Rice; Yarmolenko, Noble, Obiang, Anderson; Arnautovic

Everton went with a 4-2-3-1, with Jonjo Kenny given his first start of the season at RB in place of the injured Seamus Coleman. Marco Silva’s side had three 20 year olds on the bench in the form of Lookman, Davies and Dowell.

Everton starting XI v West Ham: Pickford; Kenny, Holgate, Zouma, Digne; Gueye, Schneiderlin; Walcott, Sigurdsson, DCL; Tosun

West Ham struck first and it was a lovely team goal on the counter. Gueye’s pass to Tosun was too heavy, and it was picked up by Balbuena. A nice one-two between Arnautovic and Obiang saw the former released into space, and he showed good awareness to pass to the unmarked Yarmolenko, who became the first Ukrainian to score in the Premier League since Andriy Voronin.


Stung by the early goal, Everton attempted to regroup, and managed a good spell of possession. They had a great chance on 25 minutes, but Tosun’s header from Digne’s cross was rather tame, and didn’t trouble Fabianski. Six minutes later, West Ham were 2-0 up, and it was again a goal that came from an opposition error. Pickford’s loose clearance was seized by Noble, who found Yarmolenko. With Zouma and Digne both standing off him, the Ukrainian found time to unleash a sweet left footed effort that sailed past the flailing Pickford.

Silva brought in Bernard for the struggling Schneiderlin, who didn’t have his best game in midfield, and Everton switched to a 4-4-2. It reaped dividends in first half stoppage time as Sigurdsson produced a thumping header to pull one back for the Toffees.

Everton dominated stats in the first half- 280 odd passes to West Ham’s 180 odd, and 62% of possession. But the Toffees’ task was made tougher on the hour mark, with Obiang and Arnautovic once again combining to torment the Everton defence, and the Austrian produced a smart finish to make it 3-1. That was his last contribution before limping off, and he was replaced by Michail Antonio. There were also some rumours that Lucas Perez was asked to warm up, but declined to. Shame if it’s true.

West Ham held on to their lead, and emerged, one could say, pretty comfortable winners. Yes, Everton had several key players missing, including the suspended Richarlison, but this was an away win that the Hammers will be proud of.

Everton 1 (Sigurdsson) lost to West Ham 3 (Yarmolenko x2, Arnautovic)

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