Blues back to winning ways overcoming stubborn Baggies.​

Ronald Koeman, keen to get the Blues back to winning ways, rang the changes in dropping Gana Gueye and Funes Mori and selecting a starting eleven of: Robles, Baines, Jagielka , Williams, Coleman, Schneiderlin, Barry, Barkley, McCarthy, Mirallas and Lukaku.

Tony Pulis, also looking for his Albion side to recover from a home loss to Fat Sams’ Crystal Palace selected: Foster, Dawson, McCauley, Evans, Nyom, Livermore, Fletcher, Yacob, McClean, Robson-Kanu and Chadli.

The man in the middle with the whistle was Graham Scott.

Prior to the teams taking to the field, Everton paid a very special tribute to the one and only Golden Vision, Alex Young. A video tribute was followed by a guest appearance on the pitch by Derek Temple who spoke affectionately about his friendship on and off the field.

It was the returning Jagielka who created the first chance with a long ball that Evans inexplicably headed to Lukaku, but the Albion defence massed quickly to avert the danger for a corner.

The next Everton attack saw Coleman end up on the left flank and he worked the opening for a cross again turned away for a corner.

A super passing move on the quarter hour involving Schneiderlin, Davies, Barkley and Barry saw Lukaku shoot and beat Foster, but also the far post.

More good work from Barkley, who was seeing a lot of the ball, saw shooting opportunities for Mirallas and Davies with the visitors defence working overtime to block both efforts.

A third Blues corner saw Baines swing in a cross that Lukaku just couldn’t get a telling tough on as the Blues continued to have the better of the game, West Brom seemingly happy to time-waste and stifle.

On 36 minutes, Barkley exchanged passes with Mirallas and Schneiderlin, but saw his curling 25-yard effort clear the crossbar.

A rare West Brom foray forward saw Robles dive low to turn a Chadli shot wide, and that proved the spur for the Blues to finally take a deserved lead.

Superb strength and determination from Lukaku worked an opening for Barkley to shoot and when Foster failed to hold it, Kevin Mirallas was on hand to crash home the rebound.

Everton had claims for a penalty turned down after Colemsn went down in the box under a challenge from McClean, but it was merely a delay before the second goal came.

More superb work from Lukaku as he twisted and turned before finding Morgan Schneiderlin for his first goal in a blue shirt.

Half time: 2-0

Funes Mori replaced Baines for the second half and the first meaningful action saw Robles stand firm to parry a Chadli effort as the former Spurs man continued to be the only positive element in a dour Albion side.

The game continued to be predominantly Everton probing to find a way to unlock the smothering midfield and defensive tactics employed by Tony Pulis.

Schneiderlin and Mirallas combined to send Barkley into the box and he twisted and turned before hitting the side netting from a narrow angle.

Gana Gueye replaced Kevin Mirallas on 70 minutes ahead of Lukaku being felled on the edge of the box, but his free kick struck the wall.

West Brom made changes bringing Brunt, Rondon and Morrison on for McClean, Robson-Kanu and Yacob respectively.

Gareth Barry picked up the games first yellow card for pulling back Rondon and the Blues then added a super third on 81 minutes as Ross Barkley chipped a delicious curling cross for Romelu Lukaku to bury his header.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin came on for the final seven minutes, replacing Barry and Dawson drew a yellow for checking the youngster in full flight.

With time ticking down, Everton forged one more chance as a find cross field ball from Barkley picked out Coleman and when he fed Gana Gueye to cut inside and shoot, he was denied by the post.

Full time: 3-0.

Final summary.
As expected, West Brom came to spoil, smother and frustrate and to The credit of Everton, they kept plugging away and got their just desserts. Ross Barkley was a constant threat, probing from midfield with Mirallas adding pace and Davies energy as he was pushed forward.

Picking a man of the match was not easy, but credit to Jags on his return to the side and Williams looked a tad more comfortable alongside the skipper. Romelu Lukaku worked hard to make both the first half goals and his confident header at the end capped a solid if unspectacular display.

About The Author

Writer
wpDiscuz