Everton boost European hopes with hard-fought win at West Ham

Everton's English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (L) shoots to score his team's first goal as West Ham United's English defender Craig Dawson (2nd L) closes in during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Everton at The London Stadium, in east London on May 9, 2021.

Everton reinforced their European credentials with a hard-earned win away to Champions League hopefuls West Ham.

After being fourth in the Premier League at the turn of the year, the Toffees slipped to eighth having won just six of their first 18 league games in 2021.

But Ben Godfrey's slide-rule pass allowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score his 16th league goal of the season in the first half at London Stadium.

And manager Carlo Ancelotti's decision to play with three centre-backs was justified as his side defended resolutely to secure a second straight away win having also won 1-0 at Arsenal last month.

Everton remain eighth but are now one point behind seventh-placed Tottenham and three behind fifth-placed West Ham - with a game in hand on both.

Newcastle's win at fourth-placed Leicester on Friday boosted the Hammers' hopes of clinching Champions League qualification, but this defeat keeps them five points off the top four with just three games left.

A Europa League spot would be some consolation for David Moyes' men and his former club Everton aim to join them after claiming their 11th away win in the league this season - and their fifth in London.

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