Jarrod Bowen scored twice as West Ham United beat fellow struggler Everton 2-0 at the London Stadium on Saturday, taking all three points in a match billed as a “must-win” for both teams.
The defeat - Everton’s sixth in its last seven league games - will add to the pressure on manager Frank Lampard, while for West Ham boss David Moyes victory will be sweet relief after his side took just one point from the last 21 available.
Bowen scored his goals in a seven-minute first half spell, first netting from close range after Emerson Palmieri’s cross was flicked into his path. He was set up for his second by good work on the right wing by Michail Antonio, whose cross was timed perfectly for the incoming forward.
Everton went close late in the half when Alex Iwobi’s goal-bound effort was deflected onto the woodwork by Declan Rice, and they were much improved in the second half but could not find a way back into the game.
It is more misery for Everton fans, who had a sit-in protest at Goodison Park last weekend following defeat to Southampton, calling for the club’s board to be sacked. Those calls will likely grow louder in the coming days.
West Ham is next in action in the FA Cup fourth round when they travel to Derby County on January 30, while Everton hosts leader Arsenal in the Premier League on February 4.
Aston Villa pips Southampton
Southampton suffered a blow in their bid to avoid Premier League relegation as it went down 1-0 at home to Aston Villa in a match disrupted by a rogue drone on Saturday.
Ollie Watkins struck Villa’s winner in the 77th minute off a free kick by Douglas Luiz shortly after Saints had been controversially denied the opening goal by VAR.
The home crowd had erupted when Southampton skipper James Ward-Prowse’s deflected effort found the net in the 63rd minute but their joy was cut short with substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi deemed to have fouled Jacob Ramsey in the box.
Moussa Djenepo came close to a late equaliser but Villa held on for a third successive away league win as its resurgence under new manager Unai Emery continued.
Southampton, which could have escaped the drop zone with a victory, remains bottom with 15 points from 20 games. Villa stays 11th on 28 points.