Ancelotti: Everton had to beat West Ham to keep European hopes alive

Lewis Oldham
Carlo Ancelotti Everton

Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with the attitude of his Everton players as they kept their hopes of playing in Europe next season alive by beating West Ham 1-0.

There was a slow start to the game at the London Stadium but Everton improved as the first half went on.

This led to them taking the lead in the 23rd minute. Ben Godfrey played a through ball to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The forward got away from Craig Dawson before he finished well from inside the area.

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West Ham improved after the restart but they failed to register a shot on target as they attempted to equalise.

The Toffees held on to secure their eleventh away victory of the season. Their home form has let them down this campaign as they remain eighth even with these three points. If Ancelotti’s side win their game in hand they will move three points behind fifth-placed West Ham.

As cited by BBC Sport, Ancelotti admitted that Everton’s hopes of playing in Europe would have been over had they lost to West Ham:

“The spirit was good, attitude good.

“We defended really well, it was not easy,” Ancelotti said. “But we covered the spaces in-between well and tried to play on the counter attack.

“In the second half we could do better but it doesn’t matter. All the times when we have won away it is this kind of performance, and with this we have won 11 away games, this is a lot.

“We knew it was a vital game because if we lost we are out [of European contention] no doubt because West Ham would go up, so it was vital and we are still in the fight.

“I’m not concerned about the possession West Ham had because possession doesn’t mean you score goals.

“We are not a possession team because we have different qualities. The correlation between possession and victory is not for football, it is for another sport.

“We knew that this was a vital game. There is another on Thursday against Villa and we have to be ready.

“The attitude is the base of this team, with the attitude we are dead.”