Lukaku proves to be thorn in Hammers' flesh

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku celebrating opening accounts for his side against West Ham with the provider of his goal, Yannick Bolasie (left). The Belgian's strike was his ninth in as many appearances against the Hammers.
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku celebrating opening accounts for his side against West Ham with the provider of his goal, Yannick Bolasie (left). The Belgian's strike was his ninth in as many appearances against the Hammers.PHOTO: REUTERS

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Everton 2

West Ham 0

LONDON • Everton returned to winning ways in the Premier League as goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley secured a 2-0 victory over West Ham at Goodison Park yesterday.

Lukaku kept up his remarkable scoring run against the Hammers by heading the Toffees in front in the 50th minute, getting on the end of Yannick Bolasie's cross after Adrian could only parry a Seamus Coleman strike.

The Belgium striker has a ratio of a goal a game in appearances for Everton against West Ham - a run that has now extended to nine matches.

Lukaku then combined with Barkley in the 76th minute, with the latter firing in at the far post to wrap up a first win in five Premier League games for sixth-placed Everton.

West Ham, who were looking to end a week marred by Wednesday's crowd trouble at the London Stadium on a high, remain 16th.

With their star man Dimitri Payet to the fore, the away side made a decent start to the contest.

The France international produced tidy tee-ups for Michail Antonio and Pedro Obiang that both went unconverted, then brought a save out of Joel Robles - making his first appearance of the season in place of the injured Maarten Stekelenburg - with a deflected shot.

Everton's first show of threat came after the quarter-hour mark when Bolasie's strike was blocked by Mark Noble's arm and Gareth Barry curled the loose ball over.

It was then an important attacking contribution from Coleman that led to Everton going ahead shortly after the break.

Adrian could not hold on to the Republic of Ireland international's low drive and Bolasie did well to react quickly and provide the delivery for Lukaku to nod home.

Everton then effectively settled the contest when Barkley sprayed the ball out wide to Lukaku and went on to meet the frontman's return cross with a strike past Adrian.

For Barkley - who had been dropped from the England squad and Everton's starting line-up this season as his form dipped - it was his first goal since the opening day of the season against Tottenham.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'Lukaku proves to be thorn in Hammers' flesh'. Print Edition | Subscribe