By 90Min
May 13, 2018

West Ham United concluded their 2017/18 season with a relatively comfortable 3-1 home win over Everton, who once again showed frailties across the pitch during another underwhelming afternoon on the road. 

Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic got the better of Jordan Pickford either side of half-time with two clinical finishes, although it could have comfortably been more before Oumar Niasse set up an interesting finish after blasting home from close range - which eventually came to nothing after Lanzini put the game to bed with a stunning third. 

But both sides will know there is much to address over the summer; the most prominent issue being who will be leading from their respective dugouts when the Premier League returns in August. And despite picking up maximum points, the Hammers faithful will need to see much greater improvement before they edge closer to satisfaction. 

For the Toffees, meanwhile, smarter spending during the upcoming transfer window must be a priority, with Sam Allardyce's men still some way from where they expected to be; even with finishing up just outside of the final Europa League spot. 

Despite nothing riding on the London Stadium end of season showdown aside from a potential increase in prize money, the hosts seemed to start the contest with an urge to round off their somewhat disappointing campaign on a high. And had it not been for the strong arm of Jordan Pickford after 10 minutes, the Hammers would have broken the deadlock. 

Initially, Arnautovic did well to make space for a shot, which was subsequently blocked by Michael Keane, before Mark Noble combined with the Austrian to fire an effort towards goal. But the Englishman's attempt was superbly turned away by the England international shot-stopper to keep the scores level.

And West Ham came close to taking the lead once again midway through the first half as the energetic Joao Mario drove through the centre of the Everton midfield before unleashing his low shot, which ended up skimming the outside of the visitors' left-hand upright before heading harmlessly behind.  

However, despite finding themselves under the cosh for the opening half-hour, Everton had a superb chance to grab an undeserved lead shortly after the 30-minute mark as Angelo Ogbonna's calamitous defensive error afforded Oumar Niasse the opportunity to bear down on Adrian's goal. 

A hopeful punt from Keane was lofted high into the air in the direction of the Italian, who seemed to lose the flight of the ball before it deflected off his head into the path of the Toffees' frontman. However, fortunately for the 29-year-old, his goalkeeper was equal to the tame attempt. 

And the 31-year-old custodian's save proved even more significant moments later as Lanzini put the Irons with a cool finish. 

The build-up play came in fortunate circumstances, with the 25-year-old latching onto Arnautovic's flick unmarked after the Austrian failed to control Cheikhou Kouyate's pass. However, the finish was anything but, as the Argentine stroked his effort first time past the diving Pickford into the corner of the net from the edge of the area. 


After going ahead, West Ham were happy to take any sting remaining in the half out of the contest and comfortably saw out the remainder of the opening 45 minutes with their advantage intact. 

After the break, and a tactical substitution, the Merseysiders eventually started to find joy in the attacking third, although Adrian remained untested throughout the Blues' spell around the Hammers' area. 

And the visitors' lack of attacking intent was duly punished shortly after the strike of the hour as Arnautovic slammed home from range to double the Irons' lead. 

The Austria international did exceptionally well to roll away from the defensive efforts of Keane before driving towards the Everton area and unleashing a thunderbolt of a strike which fizzed through the air and into the back of the net - although Pickford's efforts were questionable. 

But the hosts' two-goal buffer lasted just shy of 15 minutes as Niasse eventually powered the ball home from close range after West Ham did themselves no favours following a corner. 

The deep set-piece was somewhat bizarrely headed back into the danger zone by Declan Rice, and following a couple of mid-air scrambles, the Senegal international eventually got the ball under control via a smart touch before swivelling and blasting his shot past Adrian, who was left with no chance. 

After finding a way back into the contest, Everton showed improvements; however, their efforts came to nothing as Lanzini settled the tie as a contest with less than 10 minutes remaining with a spectacular bending attempt from the edge of the area. 

The Argentina international found possession on the left-hand side before cutting back onto his right and whipping his attempt towards Pickford's goal; and although the young Englishman got a hand to the shot, he was unable to prevent the Hammers wrapping up the season with all three points. 

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