A poor start saw the Toffees fall behind early, and had there been any of the faithful at Goodison, boos would have been abundant. Despite some nervy moments, Everton battled back, even taking the lead before a Kieran Gibbs straight red saw the home team play the entirety of the second half up a man. Certainly a positive result because of the three points, but Carlo Ancelotti has some work to do.
With his 32nd birthday swiftly approaching, Seamus Coleman is no longer the automatic choice at right back he once was. This does not mean, however, that he shouldn’t be the first-choice at said position — today proved why. There were, admittedly, several times when West Brom’s Grady Diangana got the better of the Irishman, but Coleman’s overall performance did wonders for the case in favor of leaving Jonjoe Kenny on the bench. Coleman consistently won the ball in a defensive position and pushed up the pitch. He was the reason Everton won so many corners (11), as he displayed his tireless work rate to get behind defenders and to put the ball in the box.
Even on the wrong side of 30, Coleman was able to create space for himself against West Brom, running at defenders who did poorly to underestimate the veteran. It was his delivery that set up the opening goal, and he was able to keep possession when the team needed to slow down the game’s tempo — playing against ten helped. Also of note, against the Baggies, Coleman became the sixth player to achieve the accomplishment of 250-career starts for Everton in the Premier League. Hats off to Seamus; let’s enjoy and marvel at his agelessness for as long as we can.
After an early set piece that Dominic Calvert-Lewin failed to convert, it was fair to wonder if the skilled striker might be in for an off day. Any questions regarding Calvert-Lewin’s goal-scoring abilities were shortly thereafter quashed when he got on the end of a loose ball in the box and neatly flicked a back-heel shot past West Brom goalie Sam Johnstone. With 15 goals last season, the young Englishman should reach that tally by the end of October at the rate he’s scoring.
Just after the 60’, James Rodríguez hit a perfectly weighted ball over the backline to Richarlison, who had made a darting run, with the Brazilian squaring a ball to Calvert-Lewin, who made no mistake, earning his second goal of the contest. Only four minutes after he secured the brace, Everton’s number nine was back at it. On an out-swinging corner driven in by James, Calvert-Lewin rose up to meet the ball with the back of his head and still managed to score — it was just that kind of day for him. The only downside to Calvert-Lewin’s hat trick, no fans in the stadium to celebrate with. Calvert-Lewin has been frank about how instrumental Duncan Ferguson has been in his development, so part of the praise for today’s goalscoring clinic must be given to Big Dunc as well.
Everton’s New Number 19
James only needed three touches to fire Everton into the lead. In the 45’, the Colombian international received a pass from Richarlison, took one touch to control the ball, one touch to put it onto his favored left foot, and one touch to send a screaming shot into the bottom right-hand corner. What is sure to be his first of many Merseyside goals, James is scoffing at those who suggested he had “dropped off” or he would “struggle to adjust to the Prem.” By scoring his first Everton goal, James illustrated what makes him such a dynamic threat. With three touches of the ball, he made up for an otherwise uneventful first — he creates the improbable. Despite scoring in the 45’, he wasn’t done with his first half action. An innocent bump on Gibbs led to the defender hitting James, thus earning a red card.
James carried his superb form into the second half, as he became more engaged and active on the ball. Cutting in from the right wing, he picked out left back Lucas Digne on various occasions, stretching an already thin West Brom side. His field awareness and manipulation of open space allows Everton’s number 19 to pick his passes and demonstrate his creativity. James was the impetus for Calvert-Lewin’s second goal and delivered the corner that Calvert-Lewin pounced on for his third goal. Perhaps the moment that epitomizes how James is adapting to life in England was when he was withdrawn from the game. He and Ancelotti embraced, both were all smiles, and the Italian manager whispered what can only be considered words of encouragement to the Colombian. The best part of all this, it’s only September.
| This pair, though.— Everton (@Everton) September 19, 2020
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