Everton vs. West Ham: Final score 1-0, Lukaku delivers Toffees three points

Paul Thomas

Romelu Lukaku came to the Toffees' rescue. Again.

Everton had all of the ball and none of the chances, but the introduction of Romelu Lukaku changed things. The hulking striker terrorized the West Ham defense and he struck with the winner goal in the 81st minute to see the Toffees past the Hammers, 1-0.

With the first half winding down, Everton had more than 80% of the possession, but it didn't amount to much. They had shots, but many of them came from distance or were week attempts that did not trouble Adrián. It wasn't pretty football, but it was just fine for West Ham, who played a typical Sam Allardyce match in trying to snag a point at Goodison Park.

The match picked up some after the break as Leighton Baines got forward more and the Toffees began attacking with seven or eight men, but it wasn't until Lukaku came off the bench in the 59th minute that things really turned for Everton. His introduction forced the Hammers to commit two or even three men to defending him, opening up space for others and then letting him run off the ball when West Ham were caught scrambling.

Finally, Everton found the net nine minutes from time and it was, of course, Lukaku who netted it. As predictably, the help came from Baines, who ran at the 10-man West Ham defense before pulling it back for Lukaku. With the entire West Ham defense inside the six-yard box, Lukaku was unmarked from 12 yards and easily slotted the ball home to earn Everton all three points.

With the win, Everton are into sixth again, ahead of Manchester United. They are also just two points behind Tottenham Hotspur for fifth, while West Ham remain seven points clear of the drop.

Everton: Howard, Baines, Distin, Coleman, Stones, Deulofeu (McGeady 73'), McCarthy, Barry, Osman (Lukaku 59'), Pienaar, Naismith (Barkley 85').

Goals: Lukaku 81'.

West Ham: Adrian, McCartney, Tomkins, Collins, Demel (Reid 80'), Jarvis (Diame 66'), Taylor, Noble, Downing, Nolan, Cole (Carroll 29').

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