Lukaku saves Toffees
Striker makes it seven in seven against West Ham
WEST HAM UNITED 1
Romelu Lukaku continued his remarkable scoring streak against West Ham to rescue a draw for Everton at Upton Park.
The Hammers must be getting sick of the sight of the Belgium striker, who made it seven goals in his last seven appearances against them with a well-taken equaliser.
Lukaku’s latest goal, shortly before half-time, cancelled out a classy opener from Manuel Lanzini and meant more frustration for West Ham against the Toffees.
The east London side have won only one of their last 18 encounters against Everton – and that victory came on penalties in the FA Cup third round last season.
Yet West Ham, who won away at Liverpool for the first time in 50 years earlier this term, looked on course to break another Merseyside hoodoo when Lanzini fired them into the lead.
They had already been the more threatening side with Victor Moses hitting the side-netting from Dimitri Payet’s cross and then heading another delivery from the Frenchman over the crossbar.
Left-back Aaron Cresswell also went close to opening the scoring fore the Hammers when he let fly from the edge of the area, his curler with the outside of his left boot flying just wide.
Everton were sluggish to start with by comparison, with Aroune Kone’s 20-yard drive which fizzed past the post all they and to show for the first half an hour.
And Lanzini made the breakthrough for the home side right on the halfhour mark after Moses’ low drive ricocheted to the edge of the area.
The 22-year-old Argentinian shaped as if to blast the ball back at goal but instead took a touch, looked up and curled a sublime effort over the Everton defence and into the top corner.
However, Lukaku got his now customary goal against the Hammers three minutes before half-time.
The big frontman was having a quiet game up until then, but when Gerard Deufolou threaded the ball between defenders James Tomkins and Winston Reid, he burst into life.
Lukaku easily took the ball around keeper Adrian and rolled it into the net for his ninth goal of the campaign.
West Ham lost their main creative source, Dimitri Payet, to injury shortly after half-time but they still came pushed for a winner.
Lanzini forced a fingertip save at his near post from Tim Howard with a low, angled drive from the corner of the box before Winston Reid headed Mak Noble’s corner narrowly over.
However, it was that man Lukaku who came closest to winning it when he prodded Brendan Galloway’s low cross inches wide with four minutes remaining.