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  • Everton 2-2 Westham United: Yakubu, Ilan great-header

    Everton's formidable winning run at Goodison Park in the Premier League was ended by West Ham as the beleaguered Gianfranco Zola claimed a point in a 2-2 draw.

    David Moyes's side sought their eighth consecutive league win at Goodison Park, but the Hammers salvaged a point to move a point clear of Hull City and the relegation zone in a feisty encounter on Merseyside which ended in enthralling fashion.

    Diniyar Bilyaletdinov opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a close-range header, and Mido squandered a glorious opportunity to equalise with a dismal penalty later in the first half, but defender Manuel Da Costa drew the visitors level on the hour mark after a goalmouth scramble.

    The hosts were left fuming as Louis Saha was denied a fierce shout for a penalty midway through the second half, but Yakubu restored their lead in the 85th minute with a powerful header, before substitute Ilan equalised two minutes later with a clinical finish to earn his side a point.

    Zola's frustration was compounded as Valon Behrami pulled up in the West Ham warm-up with a hamstring strain as Junior Stanislas was subsequently restored to the starting line-up.

    The first half began at a frantic pace in glorious sunshine, but it was a scrappy opening as Carlton Cole, Mido and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov all went down temporarily after sustaining early knocks.

    West Ham's afternoon took another early blow as Scott Parker was booked for a mistimed challenge on Tim Cahill with the midfielder now set to miss the matches against Sunderland and Liverpool as a result of being cautioned for the 10th time.

    The Hammers were held under the cosh for much of the opening period as Everton stroked the ball around mesmerically, and with alarming ease from Zola's perspective as the Italian paced the touchline in agitated fashion.

    Everton inflicted the blow in the 24th minute, following a period of incessant pressure, as Bilyaletdinov was on hand to head home from close range after a poor attempted clearance from Jonathan Spector flew straight up in the air.

    West Ham were handed a reprieve in the shape of a penalty kick as Sylvain Distin and Carlton Cole tangled in the Everton box and, after a long delay, referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot and booked the Frenchman.

    Both managers were left irate as Zola could not understand why Distin, as the last man, was only shown the yellow card, while David Moyes felt the contact was minimal on Cole.

    But Moyes was the one punching the air seconds later as Mido planted a dreadful penalty tamely to Howard's right, and the American made a fine save to preserve the hosts' lead.

    Everton, buoyed by the missed penalty, continued in the same vein as before as another slick move in the West Ham half saw Bilyaletdinov cut inside from the right and play a crisp one-two with Cahill before firing a shot narrowly over the crossbar.

    The atmosphere was slightly subdued at the start of the second half as a scrappy period of play ensued and neither side was able to stamp their authority on proceedings.

    Leighton Baines went down clutching his knee just after the break, but after an anxious few minutes for everyone at Goodison Park, the England left-back got back to his feet gingerly and managed to shake off the knock.

    West Ham suddenly sprung to life on the hour mark as Mark Noble rattled the crossbar with an audacious chip from the edge off the Everton penalty area, and the midfielder was desperately unfortunate with Howard comprehensively beaten.

    But seconds later the visitors were level: Da Costa stabbed a loose ball beyond Howard as a desperate goalmouth scramble culminated in the Portugese netting his second Hammers goal to level the restore parity for his side.

    Yakubu was introduced at the expense of the Everton goalscorer Bilyaletdinov as David Moyes simmered furiously on the touchline, clearly disgusted by his side's second half showing.

    West Ham broke incisively in the 65th minute through the pace of Stanislas, but Cole dragged his snap shot wide after he latched on to a through ball from the winger.

    If the Goodison Park faithful were less than impressed with referee Webb from the outset, they were apoplectic with rage as Saha was clumsily bundled over by Da Costa as the Frenchman hurtled into the West Ham box, only for the official to shake his head disdainfully.

    Yakubu capitalised on some slack marking from Matthew Upson and Da Costa to head powerfully past Green five minutes from time. But, undeterred, the Hammers were level once more as substitute Ilan rose to head his second league goal of the season from Faubert's pinpoint cross to claim a valuable point for West Ham and their Italian boss.
    Dan Quarrell / Eurosport



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