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Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United collected their first points of the season today as two goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and a second-half strike from Marko Arnautovic led them to victory against Everton.
It was the first start of the season for new signing Yarmolenko, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, and he and Arnautovic formed a considerable attacking threat.
It was a much-needed win for Pellegrini, as West Ham were the only Premier League side without a point going into this game.
Pedro Obiang was also making his first start of the season, and the Spaniard gave the West Ham midfield a physical presence they had lacked in their opening games.
However, it was not his athleticism but his eye for a pass which opened Everton up. He spotted Marko Arnautovic's run behind the defence and found him with an inch perfect long-range through-ball.
Arnautovic looked like he might test Jordan Pickford himself, but squared to Yarmolenko at the last second, giving the Ukrainian a tap-in.
Lucas Digne had been one of the more impressive performers for the home side in the early stages, and the left back put one on a plate for Cenk Tosun but the Turk headed straight at Lukasz Fabianski.
Digne was then involved in West Ham's second as a poor pass to him from Pickford put Everton in trouble. Yarmolenko was on hand to capitalise again, but there was still plenty of work to do once he'd won the ball from the Spaniard. He cut inside from the right wing before making space for a shot which he struck left-footed into the far corner past the helpless England No 1.
Everton manager Marco Silva didn’t want to wait until half time to make the attacking change needed to try to turn this game around, replacing defensive midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin with Brazilian winger Bernard with minutes to go in the opening period. The bold, early change paid off, and the new signing was involved in the build-up as Everton found a way back into the game.
The ball eventually found its way to Jonjoe Kenny on the right and he put a perfect cross, not dissimilar to Digne’s earlier effort, but this time it resulted in a goal as Gylfi Sigurdsson headed home.
Bernard caused West Ham trouble during an entertaining second half, with Yarmolenko, Pablo Zabaleta and Robert Snodgrass being booked for fouls on the diminutive attacker. Kenny’s delivery remained on point, but it was all to no avail.
The visitors scored a third via Arnautovic who played a one-two with Obiang before putting the game to bed. The Austrian left the field injured shortly after, which will be a worry for the Hammers, but by this time his work was done. West Ham have their points, and Everton have work to do if they’re to please their home fans next time out.
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