Five things learned from Everton's victory over West Ham: Lukaku has made key improvement

Everton manager Ronald Koeman greets West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic before the match

Everton secured an important 2-0 victory against West Ham yesterday.

Everton's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their first goal

Everton finally ended their run of five games without a win with a victory against West Ham. Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley put the Blues five points behind league leaders Manchester City.

Both goals came in the second-half, Lukaku has now scored in the last nine meetings against the Hammers. Here are five things we learned from Everton's victory:

Phil Jagielka will struggle to get back into the side

Everton's Phil Jagielka in action

Ronald Koeman dropped Everton captain Phil Jagielka to the bench following the Blues 2-1 defeat last weekend to Burnley. Ramiro Funes Mori replaced the defender at the back. Jagielka has been showing some early signs recently that he is slowing down and shouldn't be starting every week.

The 34-year-old's absence wasn't missed, the back four put in a solid performance whilst keeping another clean sheet. After yesterday's great defensive display, Koeman is likely to pick Funes Mori in favour of Jagielka for Saturday's game against Chelsea.

Ross Barkley can gain confidence from his performance

Everton's Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley was without doubt the Blues best player on the pitch. The midfielder has rightly picked up a lot of criticism lately for poor performances with Koeman even dropping Barkley to the bench against Manchester City.

The 22-year-old silenced the critics by putting in a mature performance and producing a fine finish to double the toffees lead. Barkley must not let yesterday become a one off, he must learn to consistently deliver every week.

Lukaku's first touch is better than last year

Everton's Romelu Lukaku in action

One of the main problems with Romelu Lukaku last season was his awful first touch of the ball. The 23-year-old is improving each week under Koeman. The Belgium international occupied the West Ham defence and once again helped guide the Blues to victory.

A brilliant Yannick Bolasie assist allowed Lukaku to easily head the ball in the back of the net. Everton need Lukaku - without him the Blues would struggle.

Kevin Mirallas needs to step up

The attacking force of Kevin Mirallas has been non-existent this season, the Belgium international again failed to step up against West Ham. The 29-year-old has had plenty of chances to show what he is capable of doing but he has so far failed to deliver to his full potential. Koeman should take action and drop the midfielder against Chelsea.

Gareth Barry is still vital to Everton

Everton's Gareth Barry in action

At 35, there are no signs of Gareth Barry slowing down yet. His performances are often at the centre of a win for the Blues and yesterday was no different. The midfielder constantly demanded possession and worked hard throughout the game. Barry is a vital part of Everton and played a fundamental part in helping the Blues bounce back.

 

 

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