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West Brom 0-2 Everton: Player Ratings

An better performance led to a first win of the season for Everton, but there is still much room for improvement

Mark Thompson

Tim Howard - 8

The weekend victory saw a return to form for Howard after his sorry showing against Chelsea prior to the international break. A couple of crosses were still flapped at, as ever, but on the whole the Bearded Wonder was assured in the face of a pretty meagre West Brom attack. A superb late double save to deny Saido Berahino and Georgios Samaras rounded off a fine display.

Seamus Coleman - 7

Solid but unspectacular, Coleman turned in a workmanlike performance at The Hawthorns. He was tireless working down the right flank, but has yet to strike up the same rapport with Aiden McGeady that he has with Kevin Mirallas, leaving him somewhat inhibited going forward.

John Stones - 7

It's odd that a 20-year-old should provide the steadying influence in a Premier League defence but Stones did just that against the Baggies. Though tested by Berahino's pace throughout, the young defender helped keep the opposition forwards quiet for the most part, and made a spectacular covering tackle on the one occasion he was caught dawdling.

Phil Jagielka - 6

An improved showing from the Everton captain though that isn't necessarily saying much after the debacle at Chelsea. Jagielka was clearly uncomfortable with being shifted left in the centre back pairing, and resorted to clearances and long balls far more often than he need have, but his defensive performance was enough to nullify the impotent West Brom forward line.

Leighton Baines - 6

A strange game for Baines, who was probing and effective in the opposition half but somewhat lax in Everton's own. He was involved in the build-up to both of the Toffees' goals, but a poor clearance in the first half very nearly led to a Chris Brunt equaliser.

Gareth Barry - 8

The orchestrator from the base of Everton's midfield, Barry was the dominant force in the middle of the park on Saturday. In terms of both winning the ball and distributing it he was the Blues' best player, and while James Morrison and Craig Gardner are hardly all-action midfielders, Barry kept them both shackled.

James McCarthy - 5

An uncharacteristically poor performance from McCarthy, whose passing was somewhat wayward compared with his midfield partner. The Irishman covered a lot of ground, but was deservedly booked for a poor challenge in the second half and was responsible for gifting the opposition their late chance thanks to another misplaced pass.

Aiden McGeady - 6

As with every McGeady performance, there were flashes of brilliance, particularly with the winger's confidence evidently sky high after his international heroics, but the end product against West Brom was disappointing.

Kevin Mirallas - 8

His goal was fortuitous to say the least but Mirallas had an excellent game overall, tearing through the West Brom defence almost at will and linking fluidly with Baines and Naismith down the left flank. A deft backheel almost set Leon Osman up for what would have been a fantastic goal, but more importantly the Belgian looked fit and hungry after a slow start to the season.

Steven Naismith - 6

The dream run had to end somewhere, though it ought not to have been here, as Naismith conspired to blast over from eight yards with the goal at his mercy. Elsewhere, the Scot was busy in his more withdrawn role behind Romelu Lukaku, though his creative capacity remains limited and he didn't manage to create much of an opening after half time.

Romelu Lukaku - 8

He's still clearly not fully fit, but Lukaku remains a menace even when not operating at peak capacity. Some electrifying runs at the West Brom defence made up for the occasional poor touch, and his second-minute goal was a truly sublime finish. Lukaku often gets characterised as a battering ram, but this was a reminder of the finesse he also possesses.


Leon Osman - 7

Osman often excels against lower standard opposition, and he played well in an advanced role after replacing Lukaku in the second half. But for a pair of excellent saves by Ben Foster, he may capped his cameo with a brace.

Muhamed Besic - N/A

Besic wisely laid off the backheels this week, but still managed to pick up a booking after all of one minute on the field. Still very much putting the rough in ‘rough diamond'.

Man of the Match - Kevin Mirallas

Everton's most dangerous attacking threat against a West Brom defence that was mostly solid when they weren't gifting Everton goals. Mirallas was about the only bright spot in the defeat against Chelsea, and his confidence, fitness and performances all appear to be peaking after a quiet first couple of weeks. It's a good thing too - until Ross Barkley returns, the Belgian is Everton's most dynamic attacking player.