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West Ham: Nayef Aguerd saved Moyes’ job vs EFC

West Ham United have finally picked up a win in the Premier League, as they welcomed a truly toothless Everton side to the London Stadium.

Both teams went into the game in abysmal form, and as such shared a place towards the foot of the table.

But having downed the Toffees, the Irons have now risen to 15th in the table despite plenty of teams still to play. It may not be a huge change, but it ends their barren run and allows David Moyes to start looking up the table once more.

It was a game where both sides were lacking in confidence, which translated into a nervy opening half.

However, all nerves evaporated when Jarrod Bowen stole in behind, latching onto a flick-on to lash past Jordan Pickford.

Then, just seven minutes later and before the break, Michail Antonio stole around the sliding James Tarkowski to power a ball into the box. Bowen was once again in the right spot as he ran onto it to smash home.

These would be the only two goals of the game, despite the Merseyside outfit attempting to force the issue after the restart and Emerson striking the crossbar midway through the second half.

Although many might point to Bowen as the man of the match, given his two-goal display, it was the defensive solidity that restricted the visitors to just two shots on target that truly won them this game.

Affording 68% of the ball to Frank Lampard’s side, it was Nayef Aguerd who was the busiest man in the stadium, dealing with the aerial onslaught brought on by the Blues.

His exploits alongside Angelo Ogbonna were lauded by writer Craig Morrison after the match, who wrote: “Ogbonna and Aguerd were fantastic today at the back.”

Did Aguerd impress you today?

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The statistics back that up, as the Moroccan was handed a 7.6 rating by Sofascore. This was only bested by the former Hull City wide man of anyone on the field.

With 71 touches of the ball, his 83% pass accuracy helped keep things ticking over despite their lack of possession.

However, it was his mammoth 11 clearances that truly stood out, as everything that made its way into his box was removed with finesse.

He paired this with five tackles, and of the 12 duels he would compete in, he lost just two. This marked a success rate of 83% as he foiled Everton on every occasion.

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West Ham United manager David Moyes before the match

1. West Ham kicked off 2022 with an away win against Crystal Palace. Which player scored a brace?

Bowen may win the plaudits as the match-winner, but without Aguerd it may have allowed the travelling side back into the match. 

His presence was integral in securing West Ham’s first league win since October and now allows them to truly kickstart their season – not to mention potentially saving Moyes’ job in the West Ham dugout.