Three things we learned from West Brom - Everton
West Brom - Everton was a tense clash at the Hawthorns which saw the Toffees edge past the Baggies to boost their top four push.
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Richarlison headed home in the second half to grab all three points for the Toffees, who have now won three-straight games and Carlo Ancelotti’s boys are grinding out wins and they sit on 46 points.
West Brom battled hard and Mbaye Diagne went close on several occasions and had a goal ruled out by VAR as Sam Allardyce’s side are nine points from safety with 11 games to go.
Three things we learned
1. Clinical Toffees show their grit: For all of the class Carlo Ancelotti oozes, we often forget about how gritty his teams are. Everton have now won three-straight games and have kept three shutouts on the spin, and that will please Ancelotti. What will please him more is they backed up their win at Liverpool with two narrow wins against Southampton and West Brom and that is what will get them into the top four at the end of the season.
2. Diagne a real handful: He has been so unlucky in recent weeks and he gave Everton’s center backs a torrid evening. A loan signing in January, Sam Allardyce has found a gem in Diagne and even if West Brom are relegated, which looks likely, he will surely be in the Premier League with another club next season. Diagne is a menace in-behind, makes clever runs and is brilliant in the air. He’d be perfect at Burnley, West Ham and the likes of Newcastle.
3. Top four dream alive: When you look at their remaining games, they have a very easy finish to the season. Yes, they play Manchester City on the final day, but by then Pep Guardiola and his boys will just be thinking about the Champions League final (probably). Everton have a real chance of a top four finish and their run of games in early April, just after the international break, will be key. They face Chelsea next, which will be huge for both teams, but in April they have Spurs, Arsenal, Aston Villa and West Ham in a row. On current form, you’d fancy Everton to win at least three of those games. If they do that, surely a top four spot beckons.
Man of the Match: Mbaye Diagne - Went close on three occasions and thought he had scored a late, late equalizer. Has been really good since arriving on loan from Galatasaray. Surely another PL club will pick him up.
West Brom started brightly and came so close to taking the lead as Conor Gallagher’s cross found Mbaye Diange and his header was superbly clawed away by Jordan Pickford.
Diagne was a threat throughout the first half as Everton failed to get going in attack and West Brom harried and hassled the Toffees.
Richarlison was played in by Calvert-Lewin but his shot was deflected over and although Diagne threatened at the other end, Calvert-Lewin spurned the best chance as he hammered his shot straight at Sam Johnstone.
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West Brom went close twice early in the second half as Diagne flicked a header over and Gallagher flashed a cross just past everyone.
Everton then took the lead as Gylfi Sigurdsson jumped off the bench and after his corner was half-cleared, he whipped in a delightful cross that Richarlison headed home.
Late on the game opened up as West Brom went all out to try and grab a point and they thought they had in the 93rd minute as Diagne headed home but VAR ruled it out, correctly, for offside.