West Ham’s chances of a trophy this season has taken a dive as Everton thrashed the Hammers 4-1 at Goodison Park to knock them out of the Carabao Cup.
Rather surprisingly, David Moyes reverted to a four at the back formation despite West Ham’s success against Wolves on Sunday, with Mark Noble slotting back into midfield as captain.
It wasn’t long until the Toffees took advantage of West Ham’s changed system as Dominic Calvert-Lewin latched onto a long ball over the top of stand-in centre-back Declan Rice before prodding home the opener.
This pattern continued for the majority of the first-half as Darren Randolph was kept busy, making a spectacular save from Richarlison to keep the deficit to one, as the Hammers’ midfield two of Mark Noble and Robert Snodgrass continually got exposed by Everton’s energetic middle three.
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The Hammers did ease their way into the game but failed to create any meaningful chances as the half limped out to a close with the score at 1-0.
Whatever Moyes – who is self-isolating at home due to COVID – said at half-time had an instant impact as Snodgrass curled a beauty into Jordan Pickford’s net to level the score and bring West Ham back into the tie just a minute into the second half.
The equalizer failed to spark momentum for the away side and in fact, only made Carlo Ancelotti’s men move up a level, as they hit the post through a Richarlison effort before Randolph made another vital save to deny Gylfi Sigurdsson.
With the constant pressure, it wasn’t long before the hosts regained the lead as Richarlison’s shot deflected off Rice, leaving Randolph helpless as the ball looped into an open goal. West Ham reacted strongly to the goal, with Manuel Lanzini and Sebastien Haller both coming close to levelling the score once again.
Now would have been the time for Moyes and stand-in assistant Alan Irvine to make substitutions to take advantage of the Hammers’ dominance, but the Scotsmen remained stubborn and failed to bring on fresh legs to hurt an Everton side who had used all three substitutions due to injuries.
Their hesitance and lack of pro-activeness eventually punished them in the 78th minute as Calvert-Lewin secured the tie for the Toffees as Alex Iwobi’s effort rebounded back off the post for the England international to tap in.
The demolition was cemented as Calvert-Lewin claimed the match ball with his hat-trick goal, a fine left-footed finish past Randolph to further dent Hammers’ hearts.
With a trip to Leicester City coming up at the weekend, Moyes and his team will need to wipe this match from the memory and return to a five at the back formation that has been working so well for them in the Premier League. On the positive side, at least David Sullivan will save an extra 50k.