Good afternoon and a Happy New Year from all of us at Overtime. The New Year is all about making fresh starts and the same could be said for football.
Both teams will feel they have a clean slate for the season but who will start off the year with a win?
Riley Finch will be taking you through all the action as Everton play West Ham at Goodison Park in our first Premier League game of the year.Embed from Getty Images
Last New Years day, David Moyes celebrated his first game back in charge of West Ham with a 4-0 win over Bournemouth.
This New Years day the Scotsman will be desperate to celebrate another victory just a year on from his first game in charge, especially against his former employers.
The return of Michail Antonio could help Moyes to do just that as he made his first appearance since his hamstring injury against Southampton, he is their second top scorer for them in the league (three). Left-back Arthur Masuaku remains out however.Embed from Getty Images
The Hammers are winless in their last four games and they will be desperate to get a win here tonight ass they could drop to thirteenth after these round of fixtures.
Toffee’s manger Carlo Ancelotti also recently celebrated the milestone of a year in charge of Everton and he really has taken them to another level.
He certainty has allowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to reach new heights, he is their top scorer in the league with eleven goals. Will he continue his goal-scoring form in the new year?
The Blues remain without midfielders Allan, Fabain Delph, and Jean-Philippe Gbamin as well as defender Lucas Digne while James Rodriguez is to be assessed.
Good new for the Evertonians however as Richarlison returns to the squad after finishing a concussion protocol.
With a win here tonight Everton could set the record this season for the longest winning run of five games in a row with a win.
That just goes to show you how hard it is for teams to pick up momentum and Ancelotti will be looking to take advantage of other teams inconsistencies, they could go second tonight.
With all that said, let’s see how the teams lineup tonight.
Richarlison once again returns to the fresh Everton lineup, they should be feeling very unscathed as they have had an extra three days rest than the Irons.
Gylfi Sigurdsson keeps his place, he scored the late goal in their last fixture against Sheffield United and veteran makes his first appearance returning from injury.
Moyes made few changes to the squad last time out as he looked to rest a few key personnel. Those personal, Vladimir Coufal, Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen return to the team tonight.
Defender Craig Dawson survives the reshuffle however after a solid performance against the Saints.
Key absences before the game remains Masuaku but Ryan Fredericks is also unavailable due to Covid-19 and Lukasz Fabianski has suffered a pre-match warm-up injury so Darron Randolph replaces him.
Antonio remains benched, no doubt he will have his part to play later on in the game.
The last match between these sides ended four-one, that was a Capital One cup match in which Everton progressed.
Who will become victorious tonight.
Kick-off is next.Embed from Getty Images
00′ West Ham get us underway.
05′ Just seeing the ways in which both teams are set-up today, we could be in for a pretty tight game. Most of the action is in the middle of the park rather than in the final third. The midfield battle will be crucial.
07′ West Ham produce our first half-chance of the game through Aaron Cresswell’s dangerous, lofted cross into the box, Bowen’s glancing header goes just wide however.
12′ The Blues are dominating possession at the moment, a sixty-forty split. They need to start utilising that possession into a proper chance however. Or will they live to waste it?
17′ Craig Dawson goes down and unless he was fouled by a ghost, it looks self-inflicted. Moyes complained of the fixture congestion before the match, I’m sure he will have something more to say about it at full-time, especially if his defender can’t continue like Fabianski.Embed from Getty Images
23′ A BETTER FINISH AND IT’S A GOAL
We know how dangerous West Ham are from set-pieces, they have the joint most in the league (twelve) and they were close to converting another one there. Bowen Whips a great, arcing cross into the box from a corner Sebastien Haller fails to make any real contact.
28′ Despite a really good bunch of attacking threats on the pitch, both sides are really struggling to create anything close to a chance. It’s a complete stalemate at the minute. Will this continue?
31′ Another half-chance really but again it goes the way of the visitors. The Irons work the ball nicely inside the final third but Bowen fails to get on the end of Cresswell’s driven pass.
36′ We are now thirty-six minutes into the match yet we are still waiting for our first shot on target in the game. Both sides have created three shots but none of them have troubled the goalkeeper.Embed from Getty Images
41′ Coming into the game you would have expected some flashy, attacking football to be played, at least by the well rested Everton. Absolutely no way through for either side at the moment, I don’t see that changing before half-time.
44′ Is that… yes it is. We have our first shot on target of the match. Wow, exciting stuff. Bernard is the man who produced it as his low-driven half-volley is saved well by Randolph.
Perhaps the players are still feeling the effects of last nights celebrations. It’s bore, goalless draw at half-time.
This is usually the part of the match where I discuss key events of the first-half but usually something actually happens in the game.
The first-half produced just one shot on target and to be honest no real chances were created.
Both sides sluggishly ventured forward and neglected to attack with any real pace or purpose which is strange for both teams who usually are so effective in that play style.
A much higher tempo is needed if any team are going to make that all important breakthrough.
Perhaps the managers need to look to their benches to liven up the tempo with creative masterclass Rodriguez on the bench for the Blues while West Ham’s star striker Antonio could make an early appearance after returning from injury.Embed from Getty Images
I for one think we will be in for a better second-half than the forty-seven minutes we just endured.
The second-half is up next.
45′ We are back underway at Goodison Park, will we see a breakthrough?
50′ It looks as though the disappointing tempo of the first-half is set to continue, I hoped it would’ve been left in the changing rooms by at least one team.
54′ AGONISINGLY CLOSE
A West Ham set-piece is delivered well to Declan Rice on the far side of the Everton box but Dec’s fizzed ball across goal can’t find it’s way to a West Ham boot. Our biggest chance of the match.
59′ A little harsh on Haller, he’s had a decent game but if anyone can liven us up it’s his replacement, Antonio. Will he be the difference?
62′ THE BIGGEST CHANCE OF THE MATCH
Pablo Fornals found himself unmarked on the penalty spot with a free header yet he glances it nowhere near the goal. Getting the power to score is one thing but the shot should have been on target at least. We are getting closer to a goal.Embed from Getty Images
63′ Ancelotti makes a double substitution and boy is it needed. Everton have produced nothing in the second-half, that is likely to change with Rodriguez now on the pitch along with Andre Gomes. Can they liven the game up for the Toffees?
68′ It’s certainly an improvement from the first-half, the tempo of the game is ever so slightly creeping up a little with the substitutions having a clear impact. The solitary shot on target from the first-half has been improved by another four in the second.
74′ Moyes uncharacteristically seems to be going for this game rather than settle for a well earned point. We see a like for like swap as Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko get their chance to become the hero’s of tonight. Fornals and Bowen make way.
79′ Calvert-Lewin had been scoring goals for fun in 2020 but fails to open his account for 2021. His replacement Cenk Tosun hasn’t scored for Everton in over a year, can he end that drought tonight?
84′ The Hammers are heading for their second nil-nil draw of the season and only the fourth game they have failed to score in. Can they find their goal?
86′ GOOOOAAALLLLLL (WEST HAM) THE DEADLOCK IS BROKEN
It’s been a game of few chances but Tomas Soucek makes the most of this one. His first shot was saved well by Jordan Pickford but the ball comes back out to Cresswell and his blocked shot finds it’s way to the Czeck international who easily slots home. They were the worst team for dropping points last year, can the Hammers hang on?
90′ Everton have just three-minutes to salvage something here, can they do it?
90+2′ WILL THEY LIVE TO REGRET THIS?
Michail Antonio drives forward brilliantly after being slipped through by Yarmelenko but is unable to produce anything of real quality to trouble the Everton goalkeeper and Pickford reluctantly collects.
West Ham leave it late to snatch the points at Goodison Park.
West Ham’s top scorer Soucek scores the first Premier League goal of 2021 to earn his side a massive three-points away to runaway Everton in a tight game at Goodison Park.
The game looked destined to be a goalless draw and the goal scorer himself admitted that a draw would perhaps of been a fair result come full-time.
But both he and West Ham will not care as Soucek’s goal made the difference in the contest.
Ancelotti and Everton will both be feeling as though they missed a huge opportunity to capitalise on the inconsistencies of the teams around them.
They failed to produce anything really worthy of a shot in the game besides Bernards early lashed effort at Randolph.
Moyes finally got his retribution at Goodison Park as his side remained tenth, level on points with fifth place Aston Villa and the teams in-between.
Everton remain fourth and missed the chance to go second in the league after their defeat to West Ham.
That’s all from me, I hope you enjoyed the game.