Everton 0-1 West Brom: Salomon Rondon claims winner at Goodison
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 14/02/16 7:55am
West Brom narrowly beat Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park for their first taste of victory in the Premier League since January 2.
West Brom's winner came from the chest of forward Salomon Rondon, who tapped in Jonas Olsson's looping header from close range in the 14th minute.
Everton, who had 76 per cent possession and 34 attempts on goal, had several chances to equalise in both halves as both Ross Barkley and Tom Cleverley hit the woodwork, but West Brom held on for their first league away win since October 24.
The result leaves the Baggies in 13th place, eight clear of the relegation zone, while Everton are in 10th, five points off the top six.
Tony Pulis named Saido Berahino in his starting line-up for the first Premier League game since October 31, while Everton were unchanged from their 3-0 win at Stoke last weekend.
Everton had the first opportunity of the game in the opening minutes as they piled on the pressure, but Olsson was on hand to block Seamus Coleman's low effort from inside the area.
West Brom took the lead as Rondon chested Olsson's looping header over the line after Stephane Sessegnon's left-wing corner, and though Olsson celebrated with his team-mates, the Venezuelan looked to get the last touch on the goal line.
Everton created a flurry of chances to equalise before the break, the first falling to Ramiro Funes Mori whose unmarked header from six yards from a Bryan Oviedo corner was cleared off the line by the foot of Claudio Yacob.
Aaron Lennon's deflected volley was then acrobatically turned over the bar by Ben Foster, before Barkley hit the right-hand post from 20 yards with a fine curling effort.
It was then Tom Cleverley's turn to hit the upright with an over-hit cross from the left, but West Brom managed to go into the break ahead.
Everton midfielder Gareth Barry's fierce effort from 25 yards rose just over the bar on the hour mark, while at the other end Chris Brunt's low effort from the left went inches wide of the right post following a rare West Brom break.
Olsson threw his body on the line with 10 minutes remaining to block Barry's close-range effort, before Barkley miscued his effort from 16 yards well over the bar, despite being in yards of space.
The defeat was Everton's sixth at home this season, while each of West Brom's four away wins this term have come by 1-0 scorelines.
Soccer Saturday verdict - Alan McInally
I thought Everton would win the game today for the simple reason that West Brom were so poor last week. Low and behold, they put in a defensive performance like this. The reaction Tony Pulis has got from his players was incredible. They were defending for their lives. Roberto Martinez will be raging. Lennon was sensational in the first half. Everton created enough chances, but they just couldn't score. 17 attempts in the first half is incredible. Ross Barkley had a good game, but he didn't influence the game enough for his ability. It is a massive, massive three points for West Brom.
Everton: Joel (6), Oviedo (6), Mori (6), Jagielka (6), Coleman (6), Barry (6), McCarthy (6), Cleverley (6), Barkley (5), Lennon (7), Lukaku (5)
Subs: Osman (N/A), Deulofeu (6), Kone (6)
West Brom: Foster (6); Olsson (8), Chester (6), Yacob (8), Evans (7), McClean (7), Berahino (6), Fletcher (6), Dawson (7), Sessegnon (7), Rondon (7)
Subs: Anichebe (6), Brunt (6), Sandro (N/A)
Man of the match: Claudio Yacob