Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin shine as Everton batter 10-man West Brom

Everton’s James Rodriguez celebrates scoring their second goal against West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park in Liverpool, September 19, 2020. ― Reuters pic
Everton’s James Rodriguez celebrates scoring their second goal against West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park in Liverpool, September 19, 2020. ― Reuters pic

LIVERPOOL, Sept 19 ― Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez scored his first Premier League goal and Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagged a hat-trick as Everton thrashed 10-man West Bromwich Albion 5-2 at Goodison Park on Saturday.

West Brom started brightly and opened the scoring through Grady Diangana, but when Calvert-Lewin equalised following an intervention from the Video Assistant Referee, Everton took control.

They scored five goals in 35 minutes as West Brom capitulated following a needless red card for defender Kieran Gibbs.

Rodriguez whipped Everton in front from the edge of the box, and Michael Keane and Calvert-Lewin ensured it was two wins from two in the Premier League so far this season.

It all started well for the visitors when Diangana fired past home goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after running 60 metres for his first top-flight goal, and they might have been 2-0 up when Jake Livermore struck a post.

Everton found an equaliser through Calvert-Lewin’s clever close-range back heel that was initially disallowed for offside, a decision over-ruled by VAR as the touch into the striker’s path came via a slight deflection off West Brom defender Darnell Furlong.

The home side were in front just before halftime as Richarlison wriggled past a couple of challenges before feeding Rodriguez, who speared a low drive into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Gibbs was sent-off shortly afterwards and could have no complaints as he pushed Rodriguez in the face, while Baggies boss Bilic was similarly punished by referee Mike Dean for his vehement complaints at halftime.

West Brom equalised minutes into the second period with a free-kick of real quality from Matheus Pereira, but Michael Keane restored Everton’s lead with a tap-in after the ball fell loose in the box following Lucas Digne’s free-kick.

Rodriguez’s delightful pass then put Richarlison behind the West Brom defence and his cross was bundled over the line by Calvert-Lewin.

The striker completed his hat-trick with a header from Digne’s corner as Everton threatened to run riot.

The home side appeared sloppy at times compared with their 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur in their season opener, but they have continued to improve dramatically from last season.

For West Brom, however, eight goals conceded in two games shows the measure of their task since winning promotion to the Premier League. ― Reuters

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