Everton 4-0 West Ham: Rooney hat-trick offers Allardyce perfect welcome gift

Everton fans would be forgiven for hastily checking whether Sam Allardyce's contract has been drawn up, as they watched their side romp to a convincing 4-0 victory against West Ham United.

Wayne Rooney was the star man, opening the scoring before adding two more to complete a hat-trick, Ashley Williams bagging the final goal late on in the second-half.

Who the man? Roo the man

With neither side high on confidence it wasn't a surprise to see a sluggish start, with the opening goal coming thanks to a penalty.

Credit must go to Gylfi Sigurdsson as some slick footwork gave him room in the middle third, but even the Icelander will admit that he was fortuitous to see his pass flick off Cheikhou Kouyate and into the path off an offside Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Calvert-Lewin gleefully skipped around 'keeper Joe Hart, who he was brought down by, Rooney stepping up and seeing his initial penalty saved before the ball presented itself kindly for a rebound header.

If that goal was meant to spur West Ham on, it had little effect. Everton, not particularly at the races themselves, were being afforded too much space and made their opponents pay just short of the half hour mark.

Smart work between Aaron Lennon and Jonjoe Kenny down the right wing opened up space as the hosts flocked forward, Tom Davies the man who would eventually play a crucial final pass, finding the emerging Rooney to the far side of the box, the 32-year-old making no mistake as he finished smartly past Hart.

Hammers awoken 

​A shocking performance in the first 45 from West Ham had left them with much to do, but David Moyes was warmed by a more purposeful start to the second-half from his side. 

Manuel Lanzini forced a save from Jordan Pickford with a powerful effort and then showed his creative side, picking out Aaron Cresswell who watched his powerful effort fly up and hit the crossbar.

Everton failed to react and Ashley Williams could have no complaints as the pressure told, the Welsh defender recklessly hauling down substitute Diafra Sakho inside the area on 58 minutes.

Fortunately for the Toffees, one of their brightest performers in a poor season thus far stepped up once more. Lanzini picked the same spot as Rooney had in the first half and again saw his effort beaten away, Pickford doing brilliantly to push the ball well away from danger.

Rooney saves his best for last

West Ham didn't deserve to be level but will have felt hard done by as a superb bit of individual talent from Rooney completed his hat-trick, virtually ending any chance of a comeback from the away side.

With West Ham pressed high, Joe Hart was forced out of his area to complete a routine clearance into the Everton half where Rooney lay, responding to cries of "shoot!" by pinging a scorching first-time effort back towards the West Ham goal and into the net.

Everton would get their fourth before the night was out as West Ham again let much to be desired with their defending, Ashley Williams putting some recent poor performances aside by heading Sigurdsson's corner into the back of the net.

A night for Rhino

After the appointment of Sam Allardyce on Wednesday afternoon, David Unsworth was given one final opportunity to watch over his beloved side as boss before resuming coaching duties.

Unsworth has been praised for the dignity with which he's carried out an unusually long caretaker spell, with the finest performance of his reign coming in the last game.

He took the applause of the crowd after the Toffees' third, a warm applause towards the Gwladys Street end another example of a dignified man who loves few things in life as much as he does Everton Football Club.

Rooney hits back

With a first league hat-trick in over 2000 days, Wayne Rooney - playing in a fairly deep role - stepped up when his side most needed it.

The penalty miss may have skewed his performance had he not been afforded the chance to rebound, but afterwards he was simply magnificent, netting a 13th, 14th and 15th career goal against West Ham.

Just as Goodison were growing nervy in the face of some West Ham pressure, it was Rooney's fine strike that put pay to any chance of David Moyes - the man who gave him a debut all those years ago - seeing his side pick up anything. 

Pickford 1-0 Hart

Joe Hart will be hoping Gareth Southgate wasn't watching tonight, as Jordan Pickford offered more evidence as to why so many are pushing for him to leapfrog Hart in the England pecking order.

Keeping a clean sheet, it was Pickford's response to the mini-fightback shown by West Ham that stood out, saving smartly from Lanzini before ruthlessly beating away the Argentine's missed penalty minutes later at a crucial moment.

Hart, on the other hand, had a poor night. He could do nothing for the second or fourth goals, but after doing well to save the penalty he'll be disappointed to have sent it straight back into the path of Rooney.

The third goal, Rooney's wonder strike, was one that won't be remembered for Hart's clearance, but the England international won't be best pleased that a shoddy clearance allowed him to be left so exposed.