The Soccer Desk

David Moyes Takes Final Bow at Goodison, Leads Everton to 2-0 Victory

David-Moyes

You wouldn’t have thought David Moyes was leaving for Manchester United come season’s end the way Goodison Park was pulsing before, during and after Everton’s final home game of the season against West Ham.  The Everton faithful came out in full swing to send off David Moyes, selling out Goodison, and for fans watching from home, it must have felt like they were actually there.  Chants for Moyes and the mighty Blues rocked the historic park, and Toffee fans didn’t leave disappointed.

It was truly a perfect day, despite the rain for Everton, who closed out their home campaign with a 2-0 victory and a guaranteed sixth place spot.  West Ham barely showed up for this match, and despite some chances here and there, never had a chance against the Toffees, who made sure they sent off their boss in style.  Kevin Mirallas was the hero of the day, netting a brace for Everton with two lovely goals.

Mirallas’ first was done all on his own, and despite having some help off of a deflection for his second, it was also just as gratifying not just for him, but for the fans, and Moyes, who pumped his fists into the air after the goal.  Victor Anichebe was also a force all match long, and despite not scoring a goal, was given a standing ovation after being subbed out for Nikica Jelavić.  Even Jelavić, who had a down season to say the least, was given a warm welcome by the Everton faithful.

You also can’t talk about this match without talking about Leon Osman, who like Anichebe, was a force throughout the match, perhaps even more so than Anichebe, until he was taken out in the 88th to make way for veteran Tony Hibbert, who made his return to the Toffees after struggling with injuries all season long.

Defensively, it was a rather slow day for Everton, who did not have much to do when it came down to the West Ham attack.  US International Tim Howard would make a few key saves for the Blues, putting the icing on the cake for Moyes’ farewell with the shutout.

And it truly was Moyes’ day, as it was clearly evident he was holding back a lot of emotion during the match.  “It’s been really emotional from the moment I arrived today. All the stewards were clapping me – I didn’t know what to do.  I’m really fortunate that I had a reception like that today. I’m gobsmacked, very thankful and very humbled by what the people at Everton have shown me today,” Moyes told evertonfc.com.

After the match, Moyes was welcomed onto the pitch one more time at Goodison, taking his final bow and waving to the fans who have supported him throughout his 11 year run at the club.  Moyes had this to say about the fans, “What I’ll miss most about this Club is what you saw in the middle of the second half. The fans weren’t cheering me, they were cheering their football club and standing up for it.  I thought that was the toughest part of today for me, because the crowd showed how big Everton are and how much it means to them. That was a difficult time and I thought they were great. The team were terrific at that point in the game and I think the fans made it easy for them to go on and win.”

Everton play their final match of the season next Sunday when they head to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.  It will mark Moyes’ last match as team manager before heading to Manchester United in July.