Woeful West Ham sunk by Rooney hat-trick
PUBLISHED: 22:12 29 November 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
The Hammers had a penalty saved as they were thumped by Everton
Everton 4 West Ham United 0
Wayne Rooney’s stunning hat-trick plunged West Ham deeper into the relegation mire on a dismal night at Goodison Park.
As former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce watched from the stands as he prepates to take over as manager at Everton, a former Toffees boss in David Moyes could not believe what he was watching as his team capitulated in unbelievable style.
West Ham boss Moyes was forced to make one change from the team that grabbed a 1-1 draw with Leicester City at the London Stadium as Andy Carroll was inured in training and Andre Ayew started in his place. It proved to be a disastrous selection as Ayew was left isolated and out of position, while Diafra Sakho was left on the bench until the start of the second half.
There was better news for the Hammers on the bench with Michail Antonio returning from injury to be among the subs, as was young striker Toni M artinez, who has been a revelation for the under-23s.
West Ham started third bottom in the Premier League with fellow strugglers Everton just one place and two points above them.
It was a cautious start from both teams with West Ham’s only real effort coming on 15 minutes when Pablo Zabaleta’s low cross was grabbed by Jordan Pickford as Ayew waited to pounce.
But just two minutes later, disaster struck for the Hammers. Pedro Obiang’s tackle on Wayne Rooney simply put the ball into the path of Dominic Calvert-Lewin who was clean through. He was felled by Joe Hart in the box and despite him getting a hand on the ball, a penalty was given.
The drama didn’t end there though. Rooney took the spot-kick and though Hart made a fine save, the rebound fell invitingly for Rooney to head home.
And things got worse for the Hammeers just before the half hour as Everton made it 2-0.
It was a case of woeful defending again as Everton broke forward and it was fed to Rooney on the left side of the penalty area and he finished with aplomb to give West Ham a massive mountain to climb.
For the rest of the first half, they never looked like getting back into the game. Aside from some speedy runs from Arthur Masuaku and a decent free kick from Manuel Lanzini which was desperately cleared by Everton, the Hammers never really offered anything going forward and Moyes was left to deliver an effective half-time team talk that may have contained one or two expletives after a woeful 45 minutes.
He chose to bring on striker Diafra Sakho in place of midfield man Pedro Obiang as he looked to find a way back into the match against a side who had won just one of their last 12 games in all competitions.
And it did seem to make a difference as Ayew was at last given some support and West Ham began to put the pressure on the nervy Everton defence.
On 52 minutes West Ham had two chances to haul themselves back into it. First Lanzini let fly from 25 yards with a shot that stung Pickford’s hands, while second later, Aaron Cresswell beat the keeper only for the ball to crash against the crossbar.
Lanzini’s prompting began to hurt the Toffees and Arnautovic got into a decent position, but couldn’t put any power behind his shot as Pickford gathered comfortably.
And it looked like they had grabbed a lifeline when Sakho was fouled in the box by Ashley Williams, only for Lanzini to see his penalty saved by the Everton stopper.
It was to prove a killer blow for the Hammers chances, although Michail Antonio was thrown into the fray for the ineffective Arnautovic.
But just as West Ham looked to pressure the home side they were hit by a brilliant sucker punch. Hart cleared under pressure from Calvert-Lewin, but he only found Rooney who drove the ball incredibly into the empty net from the halfway line.
It was cruel on West Ham, as the third goal was completely against the run of play, but they were the architects of their own downfall as poor team selection led to a terrible first half and by the time it was rectified, the game was running away from them.
And after Winston Reid had limped off injured once again, Everton rubbed salt into the West Ham wounds when Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner was headed home by Williams to make it 4-0.
It is still early in the season, but after this demoralising defeat, they now face a trip to leaders Manchester City on Sunday, before home games against Chelsea and Arsenal and it is already looking like a long, hard season for Moyes and his Hammers.
West Ham: Hart; Zabaleta, Reid (Rice 71), Ogbonna, Cresswell; Kouyate, Obiang (Sakho h/t); Arnautvic (Antonio 62), Lanzini, Masuaku; Ayew.
Unused subs: Adrian, Noble, Fernandes, Martinez.
Referee: Michael Oliver.