Albion fall to defeat against Toffees
ALBION were rocked by a Romelu Lukaku-inspired comeback which saw Everton retrieve a two-goal deficit for a dramatic Barclays Premier League win.
It leaves Tony Pulis’s team still looking for a first Hawthorns win of the campaign after a contest which came to life in spectacular fashion after the break.
An even opening period had been short of clear chances, James Morrison registering Albion’s best early effort with 20-yard strike Tim Howard held before Ross Barkley missed from close range as Gerard Deulofeu’s cross eluded the Baggies cover.
That had followed a blow for Albion with Jonas Olsson, who had replaced an injured Gareth McAuley in defence, limping out on 28 minutes to be replaced by James Chester.
It was a wonderful spot by Mozza which provided the breakthrough as the midfielder slipped the perfect pass into the path of Saido Berahino’s diagonal run on 40 minutes and his finish was too strong for Howard.
And Albion opened the second half with a flurry of pressure which then reaped a second goal.
After James McClean had fired over and a Darren Fletcher header had been diverted wide for a corner, the momentum paid off with Craig Dawson rising to head home direct from Brunt’s wonderful flag kick.
But Everton launched a stirring comeback - that could not be disputed.
Albion old boy Lukaku started it by out-leaping Chester to head a James McCarthy cross beyond Boaz Myhill within two minutes.
And after a vital challenge from Brendan Galloway had denied Berahino his second, Lukaku played substitute Arouna Kone through with a clever pass for a 75th minute equaliser. It was tight but the visitors may have benefitted from a marginal offside call.
By then Albion had had to change with Salomon Rondon limping away to be replaced by Craig Gardner as Berahino switched to the centre.
But it was Lukaku who had the decisive final save bundling the ball home from a tight angle after another Deulofeu cross had unnerved Albion.
Full credit to the Baggies fans who gave their old favourite a standing ovation when he made way for Aaron Lennon.
But they so nearly had an equaliser to celebrate as late sub Rickie Lambert came agonisingly close with a curling shot from Chester’s cross.
ALBION: Myhill; Dawson. Evans, Olsson (Chester, 28), Brunt; Fletcher, Yacob (Lambert 85); McClean, Morrison, Berahino; Rondon (Gardner 68).
Subs: Lindegaard, Anichebe, Lambert, McManaman, Gnabry.
Goals: Berahino (41); Dawson (53).
EVERTON: Howard; Galloway, Mori, Jagielka, Browning (Gibson 72); Naismith (Kone 72); Barkley, Barry, McCarthy, Deulofeu; Lukaku (Lennon 88). Subs: Robles, Gibson, McGeady, Oviedo, Osman.
Goals: Lukaku (55, 84); Kone (75).
Bookings: Naismith (64, dissent); McCarthy (69, simulation); Kone (75 unsporting behaviour).
Referee: Robert Madley (Wakefield).
Albion Man of the Match: James McClean.