A barnstorming performance from David Unsworth’s Everton in the Interim Manager’s final game in charge at Goodison Park was enough to down David Moyes’ Hammers emphatically in his own return to Merseyside.
On a night that belonged to one man and one man only, Wayne Rooney opened the scoring for the home side in the opening exchanges from the rebound of his own penalty before doubling that advantage a short while later.
It would take a moment of pure magic from the former England Skipper to grab his hat-trick in the second period, before centre-back Ashley Williams added to our misery in the final ten minutes as the soon to be announced Blues Boss Sam Allardyce, formerly of West Ham United, watched on from the Stands.
A key home victory for Everton moves them all the way up to 13th position and out of danger for the meantime, whilst, The Claret & Blue Army made the long trip back to East London with the knowledge that their side remained 18th, in deep trouble after the heavy loss.
From the start in The North-West, Unsworth decided on as many as five alterations from Sunday’s embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Southampton at The St Mary’s Stadium.
Three of them came in defence as Captain Phil Jagielka, Michael Keane and Leighton Baines were replaced by Ashley Williams, Mason Holgate and Cuco Martina, whilst Tom Davies and club legend Wayne Rooney took the places of Morgan Schneiderlin and Kevin Mirallas.
Meanwhile, Moyes was forced into just a single change in the wake of last Friday night’s comeback home draw against Leicester City at The London Stadium.
This came in the attacking quarter with Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew coming in for the injured Andy Carroll, whilst 2016/2017 Hammer of the Year Michail Antonio made an eagerly-awaited return to the substitutes’ bench.
On a very chilly night indeed at in the heart of Liverpool, and having warded off some early pressure from the visitors, Unsworth’s men got off to a dream start, leading before the 20-minute mark.
However, the moment didn’t come without its controversy as Dominic Calvert-Lewin got to a loose ball that had come off Cheikhou Kouyate last before Joe Hart and the England No1 brought him down inside the area.
Referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot without hesitation but replays clearly showed that Hart had got a faint touch to the ball before making contact with the youngster.
His misfortune wouldn’t end there either, as Rooney stepped up to see his effort kept out by his former Three Lions teammate, before being presented with a simple headed tap in on the rebound.
The timing proved a huge blow to the confidence of the depleted bunch in Claret & Blue and there would be nothing controversial or fortunate about the way Everton doubled their advantage just ten minutes later.
Davies, having been played in the right delivered a superb low effort that was just missed by Jonjoe Kenny, finding Rooney, who made no mistake to find a half-empty net and make things comfortable for The Toffees at the interval.
But, at the start of the second-half, things would be far from it for them as The Hammers came out with some fighting spirit, albeit helped by the sharpness of substitute Diafra Sakho.
But, it would be a left-back, Aaron Cresswell, coming the closest early on with a thunderous strike that thudded off the bar, having exchanged passes with Manuel Lanzini.
Then, we were handed a lifeline as the sloppy Williams pulled down Sakho in the box giving Oliver no chance but to point to the spot, however a twist in the tale awaited.
Jordan Pickford, who had been The Premier League’s most expensive keeper in two different ways at the start of the evening, saved superbly to deny Lanzini from the spot diving low to his right, leaving Moyes and his Backroom Team shocked in the Technical Area.
A short while later, they could only stand in awe like the rest of Merseyside at the pure genius of a certain former Manchester United forward up-front as he netted his third.
The move started with Calvert-Lewin found himself chasing a loose ball with Hart once more, the keeper clearing it first this time 30 yards off his line with the ball racing into the path of Rooney.
What he came up with was truly spectacular, certainly a Goal of the Season contender from his own-half, making it the second time in his career he had netted in such audacious circumstances against The Irons, with shades of his March 2014 effort at Upton Park from slightly closer.
This left Williams, not so wondrously, to get to a Gylfi Sigurdsson corner before substitute Declan Rice and send a looping header into the top far corner of the net, Winston Reid’s injury moments before further damaging The Claret & Blue cause.
Moyes has now not won or scored a single goal in five matchups with his previous employers with three different clubs in total, the others being United and Sunderland.
Whilst, another Boss, Unsworth, a former player under the Scotsman can be proud of finishing his Caretaker spell with a magical win under the lights at Goodison.
Allardyce, waiting in the wings, will take charge of his first clash on Saturday afternoon, when Huddersfield Town will make the trip to Liverpool, in what is still a must-win game for the new Boss.
But, on the flip side, the storm clouds are now gathering over East London and things don’t look to be getting any brighter either, League leaders Manchester City are next up on Sunday.