Everton took advantage of a feeble showing from West Ham to cruise to victory and move past the Hammers into the top half of the Premier League table.
Marco Silva’s side were utterly dominant in a sparkling first-half showing which could have brought them more than goals from Kurt Zouma and Bernard.
West Ham were looking for a fourth home Premier League win in a row for the first time in 17 years but had no answer to the visitors’ energy and imagination and were only saved from an embarrassing scoreline by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and the woodwork.
Everton were less impressive after the break, but by then the damage had been done, and Silva’s side are now just a point behind Wolves in seventh with the prospect of Europa League football once more on the horizon.
Fluid Everton at their best
Both clubs are approaching the end of the first season of their latest expensive reboots under new management – and on this evidence there are far more reasons for optimism on Merseyside.
Silva has not won over everyone at Goodison Park but this attacking display, fresh from a win over Chelsea before the international break, bodes well.
Right from kick-off the visitors were quicker in body and mind, forcing mistakes at the back and taking a fifth-minute lead when Zouma was allowed to head Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner down and in.
If the marking from Issa Diop and the placement of captain Aaron Cresswell on the post was slack, it merely set the template for the rest of the opening period as the Hammers’ back four were picked apart almost at will.
Everton’s front four of Bernard, Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were able to get in on goal time and again, with only a combination of desperate clearances, poor final balls and the alert keeping of Fabianski preventing the visitors from piling on the misery.
Bernard eventually added the inevitable second when he tapped in Seamus Coleman’s low cross as Everton helped themselves to seven shots on target – their highest total in the first half of a Premier League game since November 2012 against Reading.
The second half was largely uneventful, although Richarlison did thump a header against the crossbar and Fabianski ended the night with seven saves – six more than England number one Jordan Pickford was required to make at the other end.
More to follow.