West Ham collects first points with 3-1 victory at Everton

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Andriy Yarmolenko helped West Ham collect its first points of the Premier League season, scoring twice in a 3-1 victory at Everton on Sunday.

West Ham had scored just twice in its opening four matches, but matched that in the opening 31 minutes at Goodison Park thanks to Yarmolenko, who joined in the offseason from Borussia Dortmund.

Everton manager Marco Silva’s tactical substitution a minute before halftime paid instant dividends as Gylfi Sigurdsson pulled a goal back in stoppage time. But Marko Arnautovic’s third of the season confirmed Everton’s first loss of the campaign.

Everton had most of the possession in the opening half-hour but created little and then conceded from the visitors’ first threat.

Cenk Tosun lost the ball inside West Ham’s half and it was quickly played over the top to release Arnautovic on the counterattack and the forward squared for the unmarked Yarmolenko to shoot into the net.

Despite Everton deploying two holding midfielders, the Hammers were now controlling the central area. Although goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s distribution error contributed to the second goal, it had more to do with Yarmolenko’s quality. Pickford’s throw was short of Lucas Digne and Mark Noble nipped in to present the Ukraine international with the opportunity. Cutting in from the right, Yarmolenko held off from shooting initially before curling a left-footed strike inside the far post.

Everton’s response was unconvincing. Although Theo Walcott’s ambitious first-time volley from the corner of the penalty area forced Lukasz Fabianski to tip over, Tosun shot straight at the goalkeeper when he had better options around him.

Arthur Masuaku escaped with a yellow card for a high challenge which caught Walcott on the back of his neck before Marco Silva made his bold 44th-minute change, swapping Morgan Schneiderlin and sending on winger Bernard.

It meant Sigurdsson dropped into a deeper midfield role and from there he charged on to Jonjoe Kenny’s cross to head in his first league goal since February.

Fitness issues meant Bernard had played just five minutes since his arrival without a fee after leaving Shakhtar Donetsk, but he appeared to have changed the complexion of the game as Everton were a different side after the break.

However, the Toffees conceded their ninth goal in five matches when Pedro Obiang broke into the box to combine for Arnautovic to slide home in the 61st.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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