Everton FC 0-1 West Ham United: Angelo Ogbonna's towering masterclass saw West Ham take all three points
(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

After losing their previous Premier League game against Brentford FC, the high-flying West Ham United were coming into this game with big ambitions.

And against them stood a Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison-less Everton FC side, who have enjoyed some good bit of form this season as well, as they were sitting sixth in the league table.

We had to wait a long time for the opening in this game, but it finally came. Angelo Ogbonna's 74th-minute header proved vital

  • Story of the game

The opening ten minutes were pretty much uneventful. The visitors held most of the possession, but without really threatening Jordan Pickford.

The Hammers were visibly the better team, creating chances and putting in dangerous crosses. But Everton's defence had everything on lock.

After 25 minutes, there were still no clear-cut opportunities for either side. West Ham's possession kept growing though, as the Hammers were holding 80% of the ball.

In the 28th minute, there was finally a chance, created by the hosts' Demarai Grey, whose perfect cross was wasted by Alex Iwobi as he completely missed the ball.

A few minutes later, after a fantastic individual run from Said Benrahma, Tomas Soucek put the ball into the back of the net. But the score remained goalless, as the midfielder was offside.

For the remainder of the first half, we've not enjoyed much action. The best chance fell to Pablo Fornals, who, while in a lot of space, tried curling the ball into the top corner, but his effort wasn't accurate enough.

From the second-half kick-off, it was The Toffees who came out with more aggression.

And they had two great chances to score straight away.

First, Iwobi's shot was blocked by Ogbonna and just a minute later Salomon Rondon's header just missed the far post.

 

And the visitor's weren't happy with that, as they managed to force Pickford into making two saves. The first one, after a cross from a corner kick, which was looking like it could find its way straight into the back of the net.

Another cross followed, but it was gathered by the English keeper without anyone attempting to attack it.

In the next 20-or-so minutes, quite literally nothing happened. Only Michail Antonio's shot was, again, blocked by Michael Keane.

And then, a breakthrough followed. In the 74th minute, Antonio won a corner. Jarrod Bowen's cross followed, which found the head of Ogbonna, who thundered it past Pickford, giving his team the lead.

In the 88th minute, West Ham were again denied by Pickford after he stopped Bowen's far post shot.

The hosts were in for a late shot but Kurt Zouma's fantastic block was enough to stop them in their tracks.

After a bit of a scrappy ending and a very late corner kick for which even Pickford decided to join, Stuart Atwell blew the final whistle.

West Ham have overtaken their rivals, moving to sixth place in the Premier League table.

  • Takeaways

Rock-solid defence proved crucial

There were a lot of question marks surrounding West Ham's defensive form in the past years, but that now looks to be a thing of the past.

The partnership between Angelo Ogbonna, today's Man Of The Match, and Kurt Zouma, who was brought in the summer from Chelsea FC, looks to be the real deal.

The centre-backs were incredible today, locking out most opportunities the Toffees were trying to create, leaving Rondon jobless for most of the game.

 

Match sharpness is more than necessary

In recent weeks there have been doubts over Tomas Soucek, with many pointing out that the midfielder looks tired, possibly needing a few-game rest.

But today he proved to be back on his level, putting out a glorious performance in the middle of the park, next to the always phenomenal Declan Rice.

West Ham's defensive unit this season is even stronger than last year, which leaves the club in a fantastic position to build on their last-seasons success.

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