West Ham United 1-1 Everton: Points shared in uninspring draw
(PHOTO: Getty Images / Charlie Crowhurst)

The eventful five minutes at the end of the first-half, in which both teams scored, provided more entertainment than the rest of the match in a game of very poor quality.

Both sides converted from a set-piece, and with a lack of creativity on display, it looked the only way in which either team would find the back of the net.

Story of the match

Much of the build-up was focused on the pre-game protest held by approximately 2000 West Ham fans against the club’s owners, and you could feel a tense atmosphere in the air as the game got underway.

It was Everton who had the majority of the ball early on, but the visitors looked sloppy in possession and the first chance fell to the Hammers, Robert Snodgrass’ tame curled effort from the edge of the area not really testing Jordan Pickford.

After a scrappy start opening 20 minutes the home side began to build some momentum, and they went close through Sebastien Haller’s effort, his header going just wide of the post.

The French talisman had another opportunity to break the deadlock soon after, captain Mark Noble winning possession high up the pitch and playing through the centre-forward, but Pickford made a good save at his near post to keep the scores level.

Darren Randolph was largely untroubled on his second West Ham debut during the first half, the away side looking most threatening through Lucas Digne down the left flank, but the attacking full-back was often unable to find a blue shirt with his final ball.   

Snodgrass was one of the bright sparks in a first-half of little quality, and it was his whipped delivery from a wide free-kick that assisted the opener five minutes before half-time, Issa Diop’s deft touch guiding the ball into the far corner to make it 1-0.

It didn’t take the visitors long to respond however, Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalising with a header from a corner after finding himself unmarked at the far post, 1-1 the score at the break.

Carlo Ancelotti made one change during the interval, youngster Anthony Gordon brought on for his Premier League debut, replacing Bernard.

Gordon almost had an immediate impact as Randolph could only palm Walcott's drilled cross into his direction, but the midfielder's shot from inside the box went well over. 

Neither manager seemed overly impressed by their team's start to the half, and both sides opted for a change after 10 minutes, Everton bringing on Theo Walcott for Djibril Sidibe, while Arthur Masuaku replaced Pablo Fornals for the hosts. 

After a frantic end to the first halfmany would have expected the second period to follow a similarly fast tempo, but instead both sides struggled to make chances, the home crowd growing discontent with the lack of energy on display.

With 20 minutes remaining the supporters attempted to spur their team into action, fan-favourite Snodgrass almost contributing to a goal for the second time, another acrobatic save from Pickford preventing the Scot's effort from looping in after a deflection.

Both teams cancelled each other out throughout the game, and it seemed only a moment of brilliance would separate the sides, Calvert-Lewin tried his luck from over 30 yards out, but his strike went well over - summing up the nature of the affair. 

David Moyes brought on young forward Albian Ajeti for the final few minutes in the hope of snatching a vital three points, but the Hammers were unable to find a winner and the points were shared. 

Takeaways

West Ham relegation

West Ham sit in 16th place, and find themselves battling to avoid the drop.

Fellow relegation contenders Watford and Bournemouth were both unable to pick up three points, but the Hammers remain in a precarious position.

The Hammers face a daunting run of fixtures over the next few weeks, with games against Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester City among their next five. 

January additions are required

After an uninspiring display from both sides, it is clear West Ham and Everton need to bolster their squads during the January transfer window.

There was a clear lack of game-changers on either bench, the ineffective Oumar Niasse Everton's strongest attacking replacement,  while the untested Albian Ajeti was the home side's only alternative striker.

Time is running out for either side to strengthen, and while Everton look to be safe, West Ham find themselves in a perilous position. 

Set piece reliance shows attacking struggles

Issa Diop's header from a Robert Snodgrass free-kick, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin's header from a corner were the only way either side managed to score.

It was a similar story for both teams, a lack of creativity, effort and inspiration in attack, and in the end a draw was the fairest result. 

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