Everton came from behind to beat West Ham 2-1 in their Premier League clash at Upton Park.
Second-half goals from Victor Anichebe and Steven Pienaar were enough to beat a home side who took the lead thanks to a Carlton Cole effort after a quarter of an hour.
Both sides ended up with 10 men as Cole was sent off for a high foot midway through the second half, before Darren Gibson was also shown red for a carbon copy challenge with seconds to go.
It means Everton are now up to fourth, while West Ham stay just outside the top half of the table in 11th.
Sylvain Distin should have opened the scoring after 10 minutes. James Tomkins, who was playing an unfamiliar role at full-back, slid in on Pienaar to bring him down out on the touchline. Leighton Baines swept in the free kick, and the Frenchman’s header bounced off the turf and up and over the bar from eight yards.
On 14 minutes, West Ham broke the deadlock and a good goal it was too as Cole grabbed only his second league goal of the season. The striker received the ball just outside the penalty area, stepped inside John Heitinga, before lashing the ball inside the near post, with the pace of the effort beating Tim Howard.
Moments earlier, Leon Osman had nodded in a Baines corner at the back post, but it was ruled out by the officials as Anichebe was adjudged to have impeded Jussi Jaaskelainen, to the fury of the England international.
After the goal the half descended into mediocrity, with neither side able to create any real chance of note, though Cole continued to bully Heitinga and the Dutchman was perhaps lucky to escape a red card after appearing to drag his man down as the striker raced clear.
Nikica Jelavic should have levelled five minutes into the second half, as James Collins’ attempted clearance pinballed to the Croatian eight yards from goal, but his first time effort was straight at Jaaskelainen.
Gibson went close with a free-kick soon after and Modibo Maiga, who replaced Gary O’Neil moments before, missed a good opportunity on the hour.
West Ham would be made to pay as Anichebe levelled for the visitors five minutes later. Pienaar stepped inside onto his right foot and swept in an inviting cross that Anichebe met to head just inside the far corner. It was a very good header, but Collins should have been closer to the striker as the ball came in.
The first red of the match soon came as Cole reached high with his boot to challenge Baines, who had gone in with his head. It was perhaps a harsh decision, as it was not in any way malicious, and the left back was straight back up after being caught.
The turnaround was complete on 72 minutes. Fine interplay between Baines, Pienaar and Osman led to the latter getting to the byline and cutting the ball back across goal for the incoming South African. It ball dropped loose between James Collins and Jaaskelainen, and Pienaar turned the ball into the net.
Nolan had a late chance to level with 10 minutes to go, but his volley was deflected inches wide by Heitinga. Jelavic should then have put the game to bed with a near open goal, but he hit the side netting before an even later Nolan chance came and went as he toe poked wide of the near post.
A breathless finish was complete as Gibson was sent off, much to the consternation of David Moyes for another raised foot, this time into the chest of Mark Noble.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Leon Osman – Everton: The midfielder was the creative heart of everything the away side did going forward, and showed some lovely touches in tight spaces.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen 7, Tomkins 5, Collins 6, Reid 6, O'Brien 5, Noble 6, O'Neil 5, Taylor 5, Nolan 6, Jarvis 6, Cole 7. Subs: Collison 6, Maiga 6, Spence 6.
Everton: Howard 7, Heitinga 5, Jagielka 7, Distin 7, Baines 7, Osman 8, Gibson 6, Neville 6, Pienaar 7, Jelavic 4, Anichebe 6. Subs: Oviedo 6, Naismith 6, Duffy 6.
- Sports & Recreation
- Steven Pienaar
- Carlton Cole
- Leon Osman
- Victor Anichebe