Everton ease past ragged West Ham

Everton’s Kurt Zouma, Jordan Pickford and Bernard celebrate after the match. (Reuters pic)

LONDON: Everton scored two first-half goals to cruise to a 2-0 victory at West Ham United on Saturday and climb into the top half of the Premier League table.

Everton, who came into the game without a league win in London in 10 visits, took the lead in the fifth minute when Kurt Zouma headed home from a corner.

West Ham could not get a foothold in the match as Everton continued to dominate, doubling their advantage when Bernard finished off a fine move to score his first Premier League goal.

Boos rang around the stadium at the halftime whistle, but there was little West Ham improvement after the break as the hosts finished the match with only one shot on target.

It was Everton who went closest to adding a third when Richarlison’s late header hit the crossbar.

Everton leapfrogged West Ham into ninth in the standings having inflicted a first defeat in seven home league games on the Hammers who slipped to 11th.

“Very disappointing because without a doubt it was the worst performance of the year,” West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini said. “You can lose but not like that — without fighting.”

Against a West Ham side in such fine form at home, Everton would have expected a tough challenge but they got the better of a lacklustre home side with ease.

Zouma’s header, which he headed into the ground before finding the net from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner, set the visitors on their way.

Everton’s dominance was rewarded when Bernard swept home Seamus Coleman’s pass following a flowing move.

“We were playing good football and creating chances,” Everton manager Marco Silva said. “Our second goal was a really good moment.

“I was very proud of our performance and seeing our desire from the first minute.”

In the first half, Everton had seven shots on target compared to West Ham’s one, prompting Pellegrini into a double change at the break, but it failed to galvanise his men.