The Sunday Post (Dundee)

Koeman off the mark as Barry bags the victory

WEST BROM 1 McAuley (9) EVERTON 2 Mirallas (45), Barry (60)


RONALD KOEMAN got his first Premier League victory as Everton manager as West Brom lost at The Hawthorns in front of new owner GuochuanLa­i.

Lai, who heads the Chinese investment group which, at the beginning of this month, completed its takeover of the club, saw his team make the perfect start to their home campaign as Gareth McAuley headed Albion into an early lead.

However, goals from Kevin Mirallas and Gareth Barry either side of half-time saw Koeman claim his first threepoint haul as Toffees boss after drawing 1-1 at home to Tottenham on the opening day.

West Brom’s opening goal came after eight minutes following some good forward play from Salomon Rondon. The Venezuela internatio­nal used his strength to hold off Ramiro Funes Mori and control Craig Gardner’s long ball into the box before getting off a shot that Maarten Stekelenbu­rg did well to come out and block.

From the resulting corner – an inswinger from Gardner – McAuley jumped highest between Mirallas and Phil Jagielka to head home at the far post from two yards out.

After 37 minutes Romelu Lukaku, who was once on-loan at West Brom, was brought on in place of James McCarthy in what looked like a tactical switch by Koeman.

Lukaku was not directly involved but the switch did quickly bring a reward as Everton equalised in the final minute of the half. A lovely

one-touch passing move started by Mirallas just outside the penalty area and involving Barry and Ross Barkley was given the finish it deserved by the Belgian internatio­nal when he beat Foster with a low shot from 12 yards out.

The second half began with a series of chances for either side to take the lead – before Everton eventually obliged on the hour.

Foster was called into action when he had to push away a Funes Mori header. From the resulting corner, Mason Holgate’s scuffed volley looped towards the far post where Barry, on his 100th Premier League appearance for the Toffees, headed the ball home from almost the exact position where McAuley had previously scored for West Brom.

Barkley should have extended the lead after 72 minutes, but he powered a near-post header wide from a pin-point cross from substitute Yannick Bolasie, who was making his debut following his reported £25 million arrival from Crystal Palace this week.

Lukaku, on his return, was denied a late goal by Foster when through on the home goalkeeper, while a last-gasp chance to earn a point for The Baggies was put over the crossbar by Rondon.

 ??  ?? Everton’s Lukaku and Barry celebrate.
Everton’s Lukaku and Barry celebrate.

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