Everton 0-0 West Bromwich Albion: Toffees dominant despite creating very little
Everton’s middling Premier League season and West Bromwich Albion’s tempting of relegation fate continued on Monday as the Toffees and Baggies played to a dull 0-0 draw at Goodison Park.
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Everton were by far the better side on the day, controlling 69 percent of possession, outshooting their opponents 17 to five and creating the game’s only serious scoring chance. That said, Roberto Martinez’s side continued once again to lack the sort of cutting edge that made them one of the 2013-14 season’s surprise overachievers.
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Everton were awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute as Joleon Lescott handled the ball inside his own penalty area, but rather than regular penalty taker Leighton Baines stepping up to the spot, midfielder Kevin Mirallas insisted upon a lengthy debate with Baine that he would be taking the spot kick. Mirallas ultimately pulled his effort wide, nicking Ben Foster’s right-hand post and caroming out of play.
Mirallas was subbed off at halftime with no injury reported. In a game that offered little in terms of scoring chances, Mirallas’s selfish decision and shocking miss undoubtedly cost his side a pair of points.
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Everton continued their dominance as the second half wore on, but struggled to break down a deep, resolute West Brom defense. Romelu Lukaku had a a decent chance blocked by Lescott in the 58th minute before Gareth Barry was fouled on the edge of the penalty area. Ross Barkley’s ensuing free kick deflected off the wall and just wide of the post.
The result sees Everton remain in 12th place (23 points) and West Brom (22) leapfrog Aston Villa into 14th place, three points clear of Hull City in 18th, the final relegation place.
Everton: Robles, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines, Besic (Kone 79'), Barry, Mirallas (Oviedo 46'), Barkley, Naismith, Lukaku
West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Wisdom, McAuley, Lescott, Baird, Gardner, Brunt, Yacob, Morrison (Sessegnon 65'), Anichebe (Ideye 79'), Berahino (Dorrans 70')