Fellaini scores injury-time equaliser to save point

Everton 2 West Ham 2

Marouane Fellaini hit an injury-time equaliser as Everton twice came from behind to deny struggling West Ham a much-needed win this afternoon.

The Hammers and their beleaguered manager Avram Grant seemed on course for victory at Goodison Park as Frederic Piquionne headed them in front for the second time six minutes from time.

But Piquionne was sent off for celebrating with fans and the Hammers, who remain bottom of the Barclays Premier League, were denied as Fellaini struck.

The visitors had taken the lead after 27 minutes as the once goal-shy Jonathan Spector found the net for the fourth time in two months but Diniyar Bilyaletdinov came off the Everton bench to level.

The result was yet another blow for Grant, whose position has again been the subject of heavy speculation over the past week.

Yet for most of the game his team, with the returning Scott Parker driving them forward, the visitors acquitted themselves superbly.

The Hammers gave their fans early encouragement as top scorer Piquionne, back in the side after recovering from dental surgery, burst into the area and fired over from a tight angle.

Mark Noble went even closer moments later as he was picked out by Parker on the 18-yard line but his chip just dipped over the bar.

Everton toughened up after those early scares and began to assert themselves more in midfield.

Fellaini exposed the Hammers defence when he played in Jermaine Beckford but the striker's flick back was cleared.

Beckford had an opportunity himself as he raced onto a through-ball from Mikel Arteta but Matthew Upson just did enough to break his stride and Robert Green blocked.

West Ham responded well and snatched the lead as Luis Boa Morte latched onto a Noble pass and squared for the inrushing Spector to slide home from the penalty spot.

It was a goal that lifted the Hammers and, with Parker instrumental, they dictated play for the rest of the first half.

Piquionne was inches away from adding a second as he rose to meet a Spector cross with a firm header that struck the far post and rolled across goal to safety.

Everton survived another scare before the interval as Boa Morte poked the ball past Tim Howard but was adjudged offside.

Everton boss David Moyes decided to change his attack by sending on Saha, fit again after a thigh strain, for Beckford at half-time.

The hosts enjoyed prolonged spells of possession as the second half got under way but were unable to prise open West Ham's hard-working defence.

Wayne Bridge, after a much-criticised debut last week following his loan move from Manchester City, seemed assured up against the threat of Seamus Coleman on the Everton right.

Saha appealed for a penalty after a challenge from James Tomkins but referee Peter Walton gave nothing.

West Ham caught Everton on the counter-attack as Parker charged through midfield but Howard comfortably dealt with his long-range shot.

Zavon Hines also went close with an acrobatic attempt to turn in a Spector cross but his volley flashed wide.

At the other Saha threatened after being picked out by Leon Osman but the Frenchman got the ball caught under his feet and was unable to shoot.

Everton pulled level 13 minutes from time as Bilyaletdinov, sent on for the ineffective Victor Anichebe eight minutes earlier, beat Green with a fierce drive.

Fellaini rose the highest to meet Phil Neville's cross and his nod down was helped into the Russian's path by Piquionne.

Bilyaletdinov, who has been challenged to fill the boots of the departed Steven Pienaar, made no mistake as he caught the ball with a sweet half-volley into the bottom corner.

Coleman could have added a second moments later as he cut inside from the right but shot narrowly over.

Green then produced a brilliant save to deny Saha from close range and Coleman put the rebound over the bar.

But as the Toffees pressed for a winner, they were caught by a sucker punch.

Bridge found room on the left to swing in a cross and Piquionne jumped to place a looping header over Howard and into the top corner.

The downside for Piquionne - who had been booked four minutes earlier - was that in his jubilation he jumped the advertising hoardings and was shown a second yellow card.

West Ham attempted to play safe by substituting substitute Freddie Sears, who had been on the field just nine minutes, and sending on defender Winston Reid.

It proved to no avail as Fellaini jinked his way into the area in injury time to secure a point for Everton.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness