Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Everton 2 West Brom 0

There is nothing Everton fans love more than the prospect of a Merseyside power shift.

There have been periods in recent seasons when it seemed David Moyes’s side were capable of outperforming their neighbours. In the one year his team did — claiming the fourth Champions League spot in 2005 – the Anfield club ruined everything by actually winning the competition a week later.

As Everton moved above Liverpool in the league with a straightforward home win over West Brom, the conversation again focused on whether they could remain in a position of superiority until the end of the season.

Liverpool will edge back in front if they win at Newcastle on Sunday, but the imminent FA Cup semi-final and unexpected head-to-head in the league has created a scrap for Merseyside bragging rights.

“If you’d told me at the start of the season we’d be so close to Liverpool with seven games to go, I’m not sure I would have believed you,” said Moyes.

Leon Osman and Victor Anichebe secured the points. Osman’s effort will go down as an own goal by Gareth McAuley as it took a heavy deflection off the West Brom man. After a lull, Everton reasserted their superiority in the second half as substitute Anichebe rammed home from the edge of the box.

Everton had a clear chance as early as the second minute when an inviting Leighton Baines cross tested the West Brom defence, but Osman headed wastefully over.

Darron Gibson hit a ferocious 20-yard strike inches above the woodwork as Roy Hodgson’s side were still gasping for breath.

McAuley’s own goal should have been the platform for a relaxed afternoon, but an air of complacency descended after the opener. West Brom almost took advantage in the 27th minute when Paul Scharner forced Tim Howard into his first – and only –save of the afternoon before Shane Long accidentally blocked Chris Blunt’s follow-up effort.

The second half was dire until Anichebe struck a classy second. Steven Pienaar could have added a brilliant third in the 75th minute after outstanding link-up play with Jelavic, but it wasn’t to be.

“There wasn’t much between the teams until the second goal,” suggested Hodgson. “We missed a cutting edge, but we need four more points and we’ve seven more games to get them.”

The gulf was much greater than Hodgson implied.

After the exertions in the Cup and continued upward mobility in the league, this has become one of the most pleasurable weeks — if not the most significant — in Everton’s season.

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