Meite error sinks Baggies
A West Brom mix-up proved costly as Everton claimed the three points and Yakubu netted his 100th goal.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 23/08/08 7:29pm
A West Brom defensive error proved costly as Everton claimed the three points and Yakubu netted his 100th Premiership goal.
Leon Osman and Yakubu were on hand to give the Toffees a 2-0 lead, but the away side were in for a tense finish as Roman Bednar scored a penalty in the dying minutes.
The game started sloppily with neither side recording a clear-cut chance. After good possession from the Baggies, Ishmael Miller had a great chance to open the scoring, but failed to connect with a header.
The game needed a little bit of magic which came from Mikel Arteta as he played a defence-splitting pass into Osman who took a couple of touches and drilled the ball home.
Everton were then 2-0 up when West Brom's new signing Abdoulaye Meite failed to clear a long ball from Joleon Lescott and Yakubu pounced to nod the ball past Scott Carson.
But the Toffees were in for a tense last few minutes as Phil Neville handled in the box and Bednar fired the penalty past Tim Howard into the bottom corner.
David Moyes' side, shorn of several key players through injury, looked to be suffering a hangover from their last-gasp defeat by Blackburn against an Albion side who played some fluent football.
But they lacked the killer touch - bar a late Bednar penalty - and were given a taste of the harsh realities of Premiership football as the Toffees took advantage of the few chances that came their way.
There were some promising Baggies' performances as Joseph Yobo had to head clear a whipped-in cross from Robert Koren after he was found in space by debutant Gianni Zuiverloon who had been on Olympic duty with Holland.
Koren was not too far wide with a low drive and Chris Brunt cut in from the left flank and was only inches away from scoring with a dipping drive from 30 yards out.
Albion began the second half in the same vein as the first - on the attack - and there were few signs of it in the opening minutes with Howard twice called into action, most notably denying a good effort from Miller's lob.
But it was Everton who made their chances count, against the run of play, through an Osman strike, in the 65th minute. Moments before, youngster Jack Rodwell was denied his first ever Premiership goal when his header was ruled out for a foul.
Mowbray responded by bringing on Bednar and Sherjill MacDonald in place of the impressive but tiring Koren and Do-Heon Kim.
Osman came close to doubling Everton's lead with a volley from 20 yards which was only a foot over the bar.
Then a mix-up between Carson and Meite allowed Yakubu to nip in and head the second goal with 14 minutes remaining.Bednar converted an 89th-minute penalty after a Phil Neville handball, but Everton held on for the three points.
|West Bromwich Albion||Team Statistics||Everton|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||3|
|10||Shots off Target||2|