West Ham 0-0 Everton: Ronald Koeman's men left frustrated at London Stadium
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 22/04/17 7:36pm
Everton suffered a setback in their bid for a top-five Premier League finish as they were held to a 0-0 draw by West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday.
In a game of very few chances, West Ham, marshalled by Jose Fonte and James Collins, nullified the threat of the Premier League's top goalscorer Romelu Lukaku, who barely had a shot on goal.
The hosts were the more threatening side as the game wore on with Manuel Lanzini and James Collins both forcing saves from Maarten Stekelenburg, but neither side could break the deadlock on what was a frustrating afternoon in east London.
The point inches Slaven Bilic's side closer to top-flight safety - they are now seven points above the drop zone with four matches remaining.
Everton, they move back above Arsenal into sixth but are two points behind Manchester United in fifth having played three more games than Jose Mourinho's men, who take on Burnley live on Nissan Super Sunday.
West Ham made four changes with Jonathan Calleri making his first Premier League start in place of the injured Andy Carroll, while there was a change in goal for Everton with Stekelenburg replacing Joel Robles.
There was a slow start to proceedings at the London Stadium with the pace of the game representing that of an end of season game.
Adrian, who was back in goal in place of Darren Randolph, nearly produced a costly error when his clearance was charged down by Lukaku, but the Spanish goalkeeper quickly pounced on the ball ahead of Kevin Mirallas.
It took until the 29th minute for the first shot to come and it fell to West Ham but Havard Nordtveit's deflected strike was easily saved by Stekelenburg.
Cheikhou Kouyate then found some space 25 yards from goal but fired his shot wide of the post before Collins headed wide from Lanzini's cross as West Ham finished the half the stronger of the two sides.
Ronaldo Koeman reacted at the break by sending on Gareth Barry and Ademola Lookman for Idrissa Gueye and Tom Davies.
But it was West Ham who continued their momentum and Lanzini was in the thick of the action again.
Andre Ayew picked out Edimilson Fernandes in acres of space on the right flank and the Swiss midfielder's scuffed shot found its way to Lanzini, but defender Phil Jagielka came to the rescue for the visitors, throwing himself at the shot to block with his head.
Lukaku had a brief sight of goal as he found space on the right before brusting into the penalty area and beating Collins. However, the Belgium international dwindled on the ball too long as Fonte was there to dispossess the forward.
Lookman, who had looked bright since coming off the bench, produced Everton's best shot of the game after 71 minutes, dragging a shot wide of Adrian's post. Moments later, the 19-year-old created another opening on the left-hand side but sent effort just over the crossbar.
Another half-chance went begging for Ronald Koeman's side late on as substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin produced the perfect cross for Lukaku but the ball sailed over the head of the Belgian.
A last throw of the dice from West Ham in the final 10 minutes saw a corner find Fonte at the back post but his header was saved by Stekelenburg.
West Ham: Adrian (6), Collins (8), Fonte (8), Reid (8), Masuaku (7), Fernandes (6), Nordtveit (7), Kouyate (6), Lanzini (7), Ayew (6), Calleri (6).
Subs used: Cresswell (6), Sakho (6).
Everton: Stekelenburg (7), Holgate (8), Jagielka (7), Williams (7), Baines (7), Gueye (5), Schneiderlin (7), Davies (6), Barkley (5), Mirallas (5), Lukaku (6).
Subs used: Barry (6), Calvert-Lewin (6), Lookman (7).
Man of the Match: James Collins