West Ham climbed up to sixth in the Premier League with a win over 10-man Everton, keeping the Toffees in relegation peril.
At London Stadium, Aaron Cresswell curled a superb free-kick past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to open the opener for the hosts.
Everton, who had not won a league match away from home since August 28, started the second half brightly, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin hitting the post and crossbar before Mason Holgate’s well-controlled half-volley equalized.
They were equal for only five minutes, though. Michail Antonio broke clear of the Everton defence, but his shot was stopped by Pickford. The rebound went to Jarrod Bowen, who had returned to the team after a fractured foot, and he directed the ball into an unguarded net.
The visitors’ problems were compounded when captain Michael Keane was sent off midway through the half for his second bookable offence, resulting from his second late challenge on Antonio. After that, there was no way back for the tourists.
Everton are in 17th place in the Premier League, three points ahead of Watford in 18th. On Wednesday, they go to Burnley, who are currently in 19th place.
West Ham is still dreaming
It was a much-needed win for West Ham, who had slid to ninth in the table after two losses in their previous three games had shattered their chances of automatic qualification for Europe.
The Hammers have never qualified for the Champions League and are currently three points behind Tottenham in fourth place. Spurs, who thrashed Newcastle 5-1 later on Sunday, have a game in hand, while Arsenal are three games behind the Hammers in fifth place.
This is the latest achievement for David Moyes’ team, who face Lyon in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday, with Barcelona a possible semi-final opponent if they advance.
If they win that competition, it will be their first European trophy since winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965, and they will be guaranteed a place in the Champions League regardless of where they finish in the Premier League.
Cresswell’s superb free-kick gave them the lead in front of a raucous London Stadium crowd, and they had chances to make it 2-0, but Pablo Fornals’ shot went just wide, and Antonio, after past Pickford, could only shoot into the side-netting from a close angle.
Those errors appeared to cost Everton when Holgate, a late replacement for Donny van de Beek after he was injured in the warm-up, superbly handled a half-volley after Richarlison had nudged the ball into his path.
Everton’s Alex Iwobi lost possession a few minutes later, Antonio broke clear, and Bowen scored the follow-up for his 13th goal of the season in all competitions.
Everton’s dreadful away form continues.
Everton’s poor run of form in games played away from Goodison Park continued with this result. Indeed, their six points from 14 away games this season are the lowest of all of the Premier League’s or EFL’s 92 teams.
After being beaten 5-0 and 4-0 by Tottenham and Crystal Palace in their previous two away games, manager Frank Lampard challenged his team to show character after the second of those defeats.
He’ll be thrilled with how they started the second half and their equalizer, but he’ll be as angry with how they rapidly fell behind again and Keane’s dismissal after he forced Michael Oliver to dismiss him for a dangerous sliding challenge on Antonio while already on a yellow card.
Everton, which just disclosed losses of £120.9 million for the 2020-21 season, has competed in English football’s top flight every season since 1954-55, but they are up against it with 10 games left in the season.