David Moyes enjoyed a fitting Goodison Park farewell as Kevin Mirallas’ brace earned Everton a routine win over West Ham.
The Toffees gave their departing manager an appropriate send-off before he takes over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in July and could have increased the winning margin had it not been for Hammers duo Jussi Jaaskelainen and James Collins.
In his 213th final home match Moyes saw his side start in scintiallting fashion and break the deadlock after only six minutes. It was fitting that three of his most trusted lieutenants were involved as Leighton Baines, Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini combined to set up Mirallas, who guided a firm strike into the bottom corner from just inside the penalty area.
It took some steadfast defending from Collins and Jaaskelainen to deny the home side more goals as they kept out efforts from Fellaini and Victor Anichebe, prior to Kevin Nolan volleying narrowly wide at the other end in a rare attack for Sam Allardyce’s men.
Leon Osman fired wide after the break as Everton kept up their hunt for a second that came on the hour mark when Mirallas latched on to a well weighted pass from Darron Gibson and saw his shot loop in off Collins. Everton were in danger of running away with the game but couldn’t increase their goal tally as the Hammers shut up shop towards the end.
A largely anonymous Andy Carroll almost had the final say when he headed against the post from substitute Joe Cole’s cross but the day, inevitably, belonged to Moyes as he bid an emotional goodbye to the Goodison support.
David Moyes post-match…“There’s always a worry when you’re joining another club, but Everton fans were magnificent for me today. David Unsworth scored the first goal of my reign at Goodison 11 years ago after about 25 seconds. And I’m delighted I finished it off here with a win.”
Sam Allardyce post-match…“I’m bitterly disappointed. It’s always difficult to play at Goodison Park and David Moyes’s record speaks for itself. I warned the players but they chose to take no notice. It left us with a bad performance.”
Man of the Match…Kevin Mirallas: Never stood still for a second all afternoon and pestered the West Ham back four to the point of tears. His brace also illustrated a cool head in front of goal.
Flop of the Match…Mohamed Diame: After a season in which Diame has proved himself one of the Premier League’s most uncompromising of midfield enforcers, this limp display was wholly out of character. Deservedly hauled off at the break.