West Ham’s stoppage-time double seals comeback and adds to Everton woes

<span>A shirtless <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Tomas Soucek;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Tomas Soucek</a> celebrates after giving <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:West Ham;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">West Ham</a> the lead in stoppage time.</span><span>Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters</span>

No appeals board will save Everton. The responsibility for Premier League survival rests with Sean Dyche and his players but, along with taking responsibility for scoring a goal, it is one they are abdicating. West Ham showed the finishing touch that Everton have lacked all season to inflict a damaging defeat with two immaculate stoppage time goals.

An exquisite 91st minute goal from Tomas Soucek turned an even contest West Ham’s way before Edson Álvarez sealed a second win in six days for David Moyes’s improving side. The visitors trailed to a second-half header from Beto, who had missed the chance to put Everton ahead from the penalty spot in the first half, but a swift response from Kurt Zouma provided the platform for a stirring comeback. Despite recent calls for Moyes’s exit, West Ham have now collected more points this season than last. With Lucas Paquetá returning to fitness and form, and Alphonse Areola excelling in goal, the visitors have renewed optimism ahead of another midweek with European football.

Everton have only a creeping and familiar sense of gloom. The return of four points on Monday may have given Dyche’s team a psychological lift but it did not transfer to their performance on the pitch. The hosts were again woeful in front of goal, Beto’s finish aside, and their previously assured defence has conceded costly stoppage-time goals on two successive weekends. It is an alarming combination for a team that is now without a win in 10 Premier League games.

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“The responsibility is on us, it’s as simple as that,” said a despairing Dyche. “I’m always mentioning the chances we create and the games we don’t win but we can’t keep talking about it. Twenty two shots on goal and we score one. We’ve got to do more than that. I can’t remember in my life a team that has had so many chances and can’t see a game through. Where does it go?”

Beto was making his first start of the year after the Everton manager’s patience with Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s goal drought understandably expired after 20 games. The first half was a stalemate with both sides short on creativity and guilty of squandering possession cheaply, which heightened the importance of the penalty Everton were awarded just before the break.

The vast majority of the stadium knew Zouma had handled from Beto’s chip but referee Craig Pawson failed to spot the offence. VAR eventually sent Pawson to the pitchside monitor and the inevitable spot-kick was given. There seemed an inevitability to the outcome too as Beto, with only one Premier League goal to his name, sized up how to beat Areola. The keeper saved a poor penalty low to his left. The Portuguese forward’s limited game-time was another reason it was a surprise to see him take Everton’s first penalty award of the season. His admirable sense of responsibility did not reflect well on more established teammates.

Beto’s performance, and the entire contest, improved considerably in a more open and entertaining second half. The centre-forward atoned for his penalty miss to give Everton the lead from James Garner’s deep cross. Sprinting in behind Konstantinos Mavropanos, Beto met the midfielder’s excellent delivery from the right with a clinical header into the bottom corner. Areola’s point-blank save from the out-of-form Dwight McNeil then proved a turning point.

Zouma brought the visitors level with a thumping header from a James Ward-Prowse corner. Areola produced an outstanding, athletic save to prevent Beto’s deflected shot looping in and Soucek scrambled clear off the line from Abdoulaye Doucouré. The Czech midfielder saved his finest contribution for the end. Taking Mohammed Kudus’s cross down on his chest, Soucek curled a glorious half volley into Jordan Pickford’s far corner with the outside of his right foot. West Ham fans were still celebrating the late sucker-punch when Jarrod Bowen led a breakaway from a poorly-taken Everton corner and found Álvarez charging into space down the left. The midfielder dinked a delightful finish over Pickford to seal West Ham’s first away win of the year.

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“It was harsh on Everton,” said Moyes, “But we scored four against Brentford and three at Everton, and they don’t concede many, so we are doing the job. We’ve had a difficult period but we are still hanging in there and now we go into Europe for the third year in a row.”