Saturday, May 16, 2009

Everton layers on problems for West Ham

Playing strictly for pride, given their spot in the Europa League is secured, Everton handed West Ham a 3-1 defeat at Goodison Park. With the Hammers hopeful for a berth on the European stage and mired in financial collapse of owner Björgólfur Guðmundsson, the loss was a difficult blow for the East London side.

Using the match as a high quality tune-up prior to the months end FA Cup final against Chelsea, David Moyes fielded a starting eleven that will likely take the pitch at Wembley. Despite the Toffees early efforts Gianfranco Zola's side took the lead six minute prior to the half hour as Czech international Radoslav Kováč sent a shocking drive from thirty metres plus in. The match was proceeding without a significant moment shift until seven minutes were left in the half as James Tomkins adjudged to bringing down Tim Cahill and along with a penalty awarded was sent off with a straight red-card. Louis Saha, starting in place of Jô squared the match up but with the man advantage the Toffees were ready to open the floodgates. Three minutes after the restart Joseph Yobo took advantage of poor defending to send in Steven Pienaar's corner to give Everton the lead. Although both sides had chances quickly thereafter it wasn't till fourteen minutes remained when Pienaar crossed from the byline for Louis Saha to send to the back of the net for his second of the day, giving Everton the 3-1 victory.

With the whistle Everton jumps to fifth in the table and looks ahead to the final Premier League match of the year against Fulham with is of-course the FA Cup final at Wembley on 30 May. However with was their last appearance at Goodison and it was a time to celebrate the extraordinary season with their supporters one last time.