Premier League
Everton 2-0 West Ham United 

Sunday, 12th May 2013
by Staff Writer

A Kevin Mirallas brace was enough to condemn West Ham United to their traditional defeat on Merseyside.

Whilst victories at Goodison Park haven't been quite as hard to come by as successes on the other side of Stanley Park, where United haven't won since 1963, there was already an air of inevitability about this one before a ball was kicked.

With David Moyes bidding farewell to the Everton faithful on his final home match in charge, it was bound to be an emotional occasion - and one in which a West Ham win was never part of the script.

No doubt to Evertonians' eternal gratitude, West Ham rarely threatened to ruin Moyes' farewell party and were distinctly second best as the home side ran out comfortable winners thanks to a goal in each half from the in-form, 25-year-old Belgian.

After a breathtaking start from the Toffees, the opening goal arrived with just six minutes on the clock. Mirallas (full name Kevin Antonio Joel Gislain Mirallas y Castillo, no less) sidefooted his team ahead after West Ham were carved open in what would prove to be a tough opening half for Allardyce's team.

Yet despite being on the backfoot for much of the first period - West Ham had just 33 per cent of possession in contrast to Everton's 67 per cent - United had chances to equalise and went close to restoring parity when Kevin Nolan's 33rd-minute drive forced a smart stop from Toffees 'keeper Tim Howard.

Half chances also fell to Mo Diame and Nolan - again - but Jussi Jaaskelainen proved to be the busier of the two stoppers in the first half, with the veteran frustrating Leon Osman, Victor Anichebe and Sylvain Distin on seperate occasions.

Jaaskelainen was to prove essential in keeping the scoreline respectable as the game wore on with Everton threatening to run riot after the break. In stark contrast, several of West Ham's players appeared to have one eye on their forthcoming summer holidays already.

Time and again the Finn denied Everton efforts, with one save from Leon Osman being particularly noteworthy. Fellaini, Osman (again) and Anichebe were similarly denied - whilst Pienaar and Anichebe failed to find the target when it seemed harder to miss.

As it was, the veteran stopper's defences were to be breached on just one further occasion - when Mirallas doubled his tally for the day on the hour mark with a looping volley that took a wicked deflection off James Collins before nestling in the back of the net.

For all West Ham's endeavour - what little of it there was, anyway - they managed just two shots on target, doing nothing to dispel the continuing concerns over the team's disappointing form away from home this season. Everton, for their part, managed 13 from a total of 23 efforts on goal.

For West Ham it was a game that carried little importance, meant little in terms of league placings and was, quite frankly, a game that is best forgotten.

Heads now turn to the final game of the campaign, when relegated Reading and their inflatable-laden fans prepare to bid sayonara to the Premier League when visiting the Boleyn Ground next Sunday.

Those who aren't boycotting the game due to West Ham's "outrageous" ??49 ticket price, that is...

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Player Ratings

Jussi Jaaskelainen
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Guy Demel
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Joey O Brien
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James Collins
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Winston Reid
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Mo Diame
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Gary O Neil
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Matt Jarvis
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Jack Collison
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Kevin Nolan
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Andy Carroll
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Carlton Cole
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Joe Cole
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Mark Noble
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Stephen Henderson
Did not play.

Emanuel Pogatetz
Did not play.

Matt Taylor
Did not play.

Ricardo Vaz Te
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, Joey O Brien, James Collins, Winston Reid, Mo Diame, Gary O Neil, Matt Jarvis, Jack Collison, Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll.

Goals: None.

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Everton: .

Subs not used: .

Goals: .

Booked: .

Sent off: None.

Referee: Phil Dowd.

Attendance: 39,475.

Man of the Match: Kevin Nolan.