Soccer

West Ham score twice in stoppage time to beat struggling Everton

Everton’s winless run was extended to 10 matches.

Kurt Zouma (second from left) celebrates West Ham’s opener
Kurt Zouma (second from left) celebrates West Ham's opener Kurt Zouma (second from left) celebrates West Ham’s opener (Peter Byrne/PA)

West Ham scored twice in stoppage time to come from behind at Goodison Park as a mixed afternoon for Everton striker Beto ended in a 3-1 defeat.

The Portuguese forward’s redemptive goal after missing the Toffees’ first penalty of the season had put his side ahead but his joy was short-lived.

Kurt Zouma equalised within six minutes and then Tomas Soucek, with a brilliant outside-of-the-foot strike in the 91st minute was followed by Edson Alvarez’s breakaway as Everton’s winless run was extended to 10 matches.

A week which began with news of the Toffees’ 10-point deduction being reduced to six, lifting them out of the relegation zone, ended with more recriminations and questions.

Manager Sean Dyche’s decision to drop Dominic Calvert-Lewin after 20 games without a goal looked, on the face of it, understandable but when Beto missed two good early chances and then had his penalty saved by Alphonse Areola it started to look like a gamble gone wrong.

To say the start to his Everton career following his £24million summer move from Udinese has been underwhelming is something of an understatement.

Despite a goal on debut against League Two Doncaster in the Carabao Cup in August he was making only his sixth Premier League start and, while he has scored more recently than Calvert-Lewin – three months ago – one league goal in 21 previous appearances has been a poor return.

However, shortly after the break the Portuguese headed home James Garner’s hanging cross, responding after his decision to step up for the penalty had been greeted with some disquiet.

Dwight McNeil should have doubled their lead from Jack Harrison’s dinked square pass but Areola kept his close-range shot out and they paid for that as six minutes after taking the lead Zouma, who spent a season on loan at Everton, nodded in James Ward-Prowse’s corner.

That was the signal for the game to open up but that favoured the visitors, who have more quality in their team, and so it proved as Soucek whipped in Mohammed Kudus’ cross in added time.

Alvarez punished Everton further with an even later counter-attack as West Ham recorded only their second win in eight away games to move into seventh place.

The first half offered no indication of the drama which would follow as Beto squandered Everton’s two best chances before missing the penalty, awarded after his chipped pass hit Zouma’s arm.

Referee Craig Pawson was advised by VAR to go to the pitchside monitor and he reversed his decision but the murmurings when Beto identified himself as the man to take the penalty – their first at Goodison in 14 months – would have done little for the striker’s confidence.

His weak shot was comfortably saved by Areola and even a VAR check for encroachment could not spare the embarrassment.

West Ham, fresh from Monday’s 4-2 win over Brentford, were disappointing with Alvarez’s low shot the only thing to engage Jordan Pickford in a half in which neither side seemed to want to dominate the ball and, as a result, both were poor in possession.

Areola continued to be the busier goalkeeper and he turned away McNeil’s shot just after the break but was powerless to stop Beto’s header after he outjumped Konstantinos Mavropanos.

Zouma’s header over Garner guarding the far post restored parity and the game opened up with Beto’s deflected shot looping up off Alvarez and forcing Areola to save at full stretch, with Soucek clearing Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stabbed effort off the line from the corner.

Pickford brilliantly smothered Kudus’ close-range shot after the Hammers’ forward had skipped past James Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey before Calvert-Lewin, on for Beto, tested Areola from distance.

West Ham, however, finished the stronger as their superior attacking thrust highlighted Everton’s deficiencies once again.