Everton entered the Premier League top four as Richarlison’s 65th-minute header was enough to secure a 1-0 win over West Brom at the Hawthorns.
Mbaye Diagne was denied a dramatic late equalizer in the third minute of stoppage time when his arrival was ruled out for offside.
The forward saw an early header shoved off by Jordan Pickford before Dominic Calvert-Lewin came close as Sam Johnstone prevented his shot at close range.
But Everton took control in the second half and found the breakthrough when substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross was returned by Richarlison for his fourth goal in as many games.
The visitors’ third consecutive league win puts them in Champions League places ahead of Liverpool’s meeting with Chelsea, live on Sky Sports. West Brom remains in 19th place after 27 games, nine points behind safety.
West Brom: Johnstone (6), Furlong (6), Bartley (6), O’Shea (7), Maitland-Niles (6), Yokuslu (7), Townsend (6), Gallagher (7), Phillips (6), Pereira (6), Diagne (7).
Submarines: Robson-Kanu (n / a), Snodgrass (n / a).
Everton: Pickford (7), Holgate (7), Keane (7), Godfrey (7), Digne (7), Doucoure (6), Gomes (7), Bernard (6), Iwobi (5), Richarlison (8), Calvert-Lewin (6).
Submarines: Allan (7), Sigurdsson (7), King (n / a).
Man of the match: Richarlison.
Inspired change keeps Everton on track
Everton were favorites to seize the opportunity, but recent losses to Newcastle and Fulham have served as uplifting tales against the teams in and around the battle deep inside.
It took a while, but West Brom is showing signs of improvement under former Everton boss Sam Allardyce and entered the game on a three-game unbeaten streak, having kept the sheets clean against Burnley and Brighton during their two previous outings.
The hosts got off to a good start and were denied the opener within two minutes when Conor Gallagher’s cross was met by Diagne, but his head was brilliantly grabbed by Pickford.
West Brom had taken just four points out of a possible 39 against teams currently in the top half of the table, but they continued to win as Pickford was once again forced into action by Matt Phillips from afar.
Half of Everton’s eight pre-game league losses came against teams currently in the last seven, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side grew in the game and came closer after 38 minutes.
A nice pass from Bernard inside to Abdoulaye Doucoure led Dominic Calvert-Lewin to prepare Richarlison for the shot, but the ball hit Darnell Furlong’s boot and burst on the roof of the net.
An even better chance was falling to Calvert-Lewin before the interval as another pass from Bernard fell nicely for the England striker after swerving on his way off Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but Johnstone did kept his effort at close range.
West Brom started the second period with precision as Matheus Pereira’s shot was dealt by Pickford before another nasty Gallagher cross dodged Diagne at the far post. Ancelotti had seen enough training and quickly changed formation as Allan brought more control to his midfield.
Semi Ajayi was back after a ban, but Sam Allardyce named the defender on the bench, staying with the same side that beat Brighton 1-0 at the Hawthorns on Saturday. Grady Diangana and Branislav Ivanovic were completely missing but Robert Snodgrass was fit enough to join Ajayi on the substitute list.
Everton were left without Tom Davies and James Rodriguez as Carlo Ancelotti made two changes to the squad that beat Southampton 1-0 at Goodison Park. Allan and Gylfi Sigurdsson fell on the bench as Bernard and Alex Iwobi started.
But it was his second modification that paid instant dividends just past the hour. Sigurdsson had been on the pitch for 43 seconds when, with just his fourth touchdown, his cross was led by Richarlison after Diagne failed to get through the Icelandic’s initial turn.
Sky Sports’ Andy Hinchcliffe said: “What a substitution of Carlo Ancelotti, sending Sigurdsson. That’s what Everton are calling for: quality delivery in the box.”
Everton nearly doubled their lead when Lucas Digne’s reduction was attacked by Calvert-Lewin as Allardyce turned to Hal Robson-Kanu and Robert Snodgrass off his bench for the final 10 minutes.
Diagne believed he snatched a point by collecting the Maitland-Niles cross on his chest before snapping his shot inside the post – but the offside flag came to Everton’s rescue.
What the managers said
West Brom Patron Sam allardyce: “It’s little game-changing moments. The first few moments with the header and Pickford saves him. So what I consider to be a penalty for us for fouling Diagne in the box. If we take a 1- lead. 0 is good for us, we start well then we slip for a moment and we concede.
“We score a great goal at the end and he’s two millimeters offside and you realize you don’t have the luck you deserve. Now we have to beat Newcastle on Sunday and get closer to the teams above from us I can give the guys a chance a lot of credit but unfortunately no points.
“We struggled to score goals from day one and it was still the case tonight. Everton had a chance for Calvert-Lewin and the goal. We had more chances but we didn’t take them.
“We were able to get more than one point today. We don’t even have that today. We have to fix that now on Sunday. It will be a matter of mentality. Courage and determination and your heart size. We need to get through the pain barrier. We will always feel the mental and physical exhaustion of this game. “
Man of the Match – Richarlison
There was relief for Carlo Ancelotti and his Everton team at the final whistle.
The visitors had been below their best, but still found a way to win for a third game in a row, bouncing above local rivals Liverpool for a few hours and into the top four.
It was a familiar source who proved the difference, as was the case against Southampton on Monday.
Sky Sports’ Andy Hinchcliffe said: “Richarlison has underlined how important he is to Everton. He’s in good shape and at times he’s practically unplayable.
“He’s got a bit of everything: great skill, pace, strength and is good in the air. Sigurdsson’s ball was great but he had to make it home.”
Player reaction: ‘We knew we had to defend deeply’
Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson told Sky Sports:
“Never in doubt! Keano (Michael Keane) assures me it was offside. Dominic (Calvert-Lewin) scored a lot of goals but Richarlison is now stepping in at the right time. 1-0 in the last game and today.
“It’s been six points since he won us in the last two. It was a tough game. We knew they would defend deeply and well. We had a hunch that a set piece could win it. With Allan at come, he wanted us on the field, ball and play. He did well and I got help.
“We’re confident after a few good results. But it’s tight at the top. We have to keep going and work hard. If we run we have a chance.”
Analysis: ‘Everton need to work harder for top four dream’
Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp:
“It was not a quality game, but Gylfi Sigurdsson is a quality player. He has the ability with his right foot to place the ball in large areas. He does not try to over-hit the center. . it floated. to allow someone to get on it. It’s a really good header from a standing jump from Richarlison. “
Ashley Cole told Sky Sports:
“If I’m really being honest and we wanted to break down Everton’s challenge for the top four, they have to work harder. I think on the sidelines, they have to press with a little more intensity. I I saw 0-0 players walk, and they weren’t really there.
“But if they want to keep fighting for the dream of the top four, Carlo will make them work harder.”
Everton double down again – Opta Stats
- It was Everton’s fifth Premier League brace against West Brom – against no team he has done more in the history of the competition.
- Everton have won nine Premier League away games this season, their highest number of road games in a single campaign in the competition (also in 2008-09).
- Everton have scored more header goals than any other Premier League team this season, with Richarlison’s winner being their 11th goal this season.
- No team has failed to score in more Premier League home games this season than West Brom (8), with the Baggies also conceding 33 league-top goals in home games this season.
West Brom will host Newcastle at the Hawthorns on Sunday; the kick-off is at 12 noon. Everton travel to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday; kick off is at 6 p.m.