A late strike from Tomas Soucek gave West Ham United a 1-0 win at Everton in the first Premier League game of 2021 that had been short on fireworks until the Czech midfielder’s well-deserved winner in the 86th minute.

The Hammers lost goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to injury during the warm-up but his replacement Darren Randolph barely had a save to make as Everton struggled to break down their rearguard.

It took until just before halftime for either side to register a shot on target as Everton’s Brazilian winger Bernard fired a fizzing drive goalwards, but Randolph was alert to the danger and got down smartly to keep the ball out.

The introduction of Mikhail Antonio as a 59th-minute substitute provided a much-needed shot in the arm for West Ham and it had a flurry of chances in quick succession around the hour mark, but it was Soucek’s late strike that sealed it.


Uruguayan academics…

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