Match Analysis: West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Everton

Everton's Kevin Mirallas celebrates after scoring the opening goal against West Brom during their Premier League match on January 20, 2014
© AFP
Sports Mole dissects West Bromwich Albion's 1-1 draw with Everton at The Hawthorns.

Everton missed out on the chance to move up to fourth place in the Premier League after being held to a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion.

Kevin Mirallas fired the Blues in front in the first half, but the hosts were much improved after the break, finding a deserved equaliser through Diego Lugano.

Here, Sports Mole has dissected Pepe Mel's first game in charge of the Baggies to examine whether a draw was a fair result.

Match statistics

West Brom
Shots: 14
On target: 6
Possession: 50%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 16

Everton
Shots: 13
On target: 4
Possession: 50%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 12

Was the result fair?

Just about. The teams looked equally matched in the first period and Everton were slightly fortunate to go into half time with the lead. West Brom were superior after the break, bombarding the Blues box with crosses and carving out a well-deserved equaliser in the 75th minute. Mel's side may have been on top for most of the second half, but the fact that they squandered most of what they created must also be taken into account.

Everton's performance

Everton struggled to bring their A game this evening. They looked dangerous along the flanks through Mirallas and Bryan Oviedo, but target man Romelu Lukaku was frozen out of the game. Their marking was poor for Lugano's equaliser, and the usually-reliable Toffee's defence looked shaky under pressure in the latter stages.

West Brom's performance

The Baggies showed a lot of character this evening, particularly in the second half. They looked dangerous on the break, especially when Nicolas Anelka was in possession, and supplied plenty of crosses via Chris Brunt and James Morrison. Victor Anichebe's sheer strength also caused the Everton rear guard some problems when he joined the fray as a second-half substitute.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Chris Brunt: The Baggies captain was the driving force behind their efforts this evening, proving more than a handful for the Blues along the left wing. He sent dangerous crosses in to the Everton area, and tracked back to defend when required.

Biggest gaffe

Sylvain Distin straying offside four minutes into second-half stoppage time cost Everton a last-gasp winner this evening as a Leighton Baines free kick was scrambled over the line through a combination of Lukaku and Gareth Barry. In the Frenchman's defence, he put in a solid display otherwise.

Referee performance

Michael Oliver got the majority of his decisions correct, but missed a glaring yellow-card offence from Baines in the 67th minute as the England man cynically hacked Anelka. The five bookings he did hand out were all justifiable, though.

What next?

Everton: Everton visit Stevenage in the FA Cup before facing Liverpool in the Premier League in what promises to be a crunch Merseyside derby.

West Brom: Mel's second match in charge of the Baggies is an all-Midlands affair as they pay a visit to Aston Villa in the league.

West Brom's Diego Lugano heads in the equalising goal against Everton during their Premier League match on January 20, 2014
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