Resurgent Everton outclass West Ham to end losing run
Everton snapped a four-game losing streak as Bernard's superb solo goal in the first half and midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson's stunner in added time helped the struggling Premier League side beat West Ham United 2-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The Merseyside club were rewarded for a bright start in the 17th minute when Brazilian Bernard twisted and turned inside the penalty area before poking in from a tight angle after being played through by Theo Walcott.
Substitute Sigurdsson sealed the win with a fierce curled shot that flew past goalkeeper Roberto Jiminez into the top corner in the 92nd minute as Everton eased the pressure on manager Marco Silva and climbed out of the bottom three.
"There was a real purpose to our game today... it was a fantastic performance," Sigurdsson told BT Sport.
"They are dangerous going forward and their goalkeeper made some spectacular saves. I was pleased to come on and give us a bit of comfort."
Everton came into the match on the back of four consecutive league defeats that had turned up the heat on Silva, but there was little to suggest they were lacking in confidence despite missing several chances to further improve the scoreline.
The Portuguese has faced criticism for rigid tactics in recent weeks but his decision to deploy Richarlison as a striker paid off as the Brazilian troubled West Ham throughout and had a goal ruled out for offside after the break.
The opening goal came minutes after Tom Davies had an effort from point-blank range saved by Jiminez and shortly before Richarlison struck the post from the right.
Walcott, one of five changes to the team from Everton's last game against Burnley, struck the crossbar with a blistering volley in the 64th minute after Lucas Digne's free kick was headed away by West Ham's Angelo Ogbonna.
Alex Iwobi also missed a clear chance in the 77th minute as he shot straight at the keeper from close range.
"The game felt like we needed to start taking our chances, we had so many," Walcott said.
"The sense of urgency was what we needed. It showed how good we can be going forward. We know the quality in the team and we know what to expect from each other."
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini brought on Ukraine forward Andriy Yarmolenko in place of Felipe Anderson at the start of the second half and although the London side appeared a lot sharper, they were unable to score.
Everton, who have 10 points from their opening nine games and provisionally rose to 12th in the table, visit Brighton & Hove Albion next Saturday while West Ham, in eighth with 12 points, host promoted Sheffield United.