West Ham United suffered a massive blow to their Champions League hopes as they were defeated 1-0 by Everton at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Irons have enjoyed quite the season but this result puts a huge dent on their chances of topping it off with something special. They remain fifth for the time being, but Liverpool could leapfrog them if they win their game in hand later this week.
It seems like their star man failed to deliver once again, and if he’s not at the races, the Hammers usually aren’t either.
There is no denying that Jesse Lingard has made a phenomenal impact since joining on loan from Manchester United in January – after all, he has provided nine goals and three assists in 13 starts to become their joint-top scorer.
However, the last two matches have been underwhelming by his standards, and that culminated in a disasterclass at a time when it really counted. As per SofaScore, the 28-year-old was graded as one of West Ham’s worst performers with a 6.1 rating – that was the joint-worst of any player to feature throughout the game.
In the number 10 role once again, Lingard struggled to get going. He had two shots blocked, failed to register a single successful dribble from two attempts, and committed three fouls (SofaScore).
Considering he has averaged 1.5 shots on target and 1.2 dribbles per outing this term, it was certainly far from what the 28-year-old would expect.
Furthermore, he evidently struggled with the physical threat on offer from the Toffees, especially with Allan back in the holding role. Lingard won just two of his 12 duels (17%) and also lost possession a whopping 15 times, meaning every five of his touches saw him gift the ball back to the visitors.
Last time out, the Irons had to come from behind to snatch victory at Burnley but that was largely down to the goalscoring exploits of Michail Antonio. If you’re being honest, it was another game where the England international appeared to be largely anonymous and missing that creative edge to his game.
He lost possession 14 times in that game, won just three of eight duels (37.5%) and was one of two starters to be graded worse than 7.0, as per SofaScore.
If the Hammers are to get their European quest back on track, then they need the £13.5m-rated dynamo on top form once again. Three straight games without a goal or assist is a worrying trend when the top four appears to be slipping out of reach.
Moyes must do what he can to bring the best back out of his playmaker, otherwise it could be an anti-climactic end to what has been a phenomenal campaign in east London.