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Everton 5 – 2 West Brom
by James Nalton
at Goodison Park
DOMINIC CALVERT-LEWIN drew comparisons to one of the game’s great goalscorers after netting his first senior hat-trick in Everton’s exciting win against West Brom on Saturday.
The 23-year-old topped the Premier League scoring charts with four in two games and has shown that he can fit perfectly into Carlo Ancelotti’s new-look lineup.
Stadiums lack atmosphere and feeling without fans, but there was no shortage of commotion from those who filled it on Saturday as they went about their day jobs.
Seven goals, two red cards, some outstanding individual performances on both sides and a manager who ended up watching the game from the press box — it was an event-filled occasion.
But it was Calvert-Lewin who claimed the match ball and the headlines, as well as a flattering comparison to one of the game’s great goalscorers from his manager.
Aside from the occasional piece of hold-up play, the Englishman did little but try his luck in front goal.
He made just ten passes throughout the game but managed to take six shots. There was nothing lucky about the three that found the net, though, and this type of poaching is something he has been working on in training.
“A striker has to score with one touch,” Everton manager Ancelotti said of Calvert-Lewin after the game.
“I told him that with more than one touch it is difficult to score. He’s scored four goals [this season] all with one touch.
“I had a fantastic striker in [Filippo] Inzaghi, who scored 300 goals and 210 with one touch.
“A striker has to be focused in the box and I think Calvert-Lewin understands really well because in the box he has speed, he jumps really high, he has power.
“Where he has improved more is there, in the box. He’s more focused.”
West Brom opened the scoring following a mix-up between James Rodriguez and Andre Gomes. The loose ball was intercepted by Grady Diangana who ran almost the length of the pitch before firing past Jordan Pickford from distance.
It set the tone for a game full of great goals. And though Calvert-Lewin’s were less spectacular, they were impressive in their own way.
The first was back-heeled past keeper Sam Johnstone as the ball dropped to Calvert-Lewin from Richarlison’s knock-down via Darnell Furlong. Had the ball not touched the West Brom right-back the goalscorer would have been offside — a poached goal of which Inzaghi would be proud.
New signing Rodriguez has demonstrated his creative class already in an Everton shirt. But on his home debut he was also able to score his first goal for the club — a fizzed left-footed effort into the bottom corner from outside the box.
James was also involved in the first red-card incident after Kieran Gibbs pushed the Colombian in the face. It was an easy decision for Mike Dean to make, though the red card for West Brom manager Slaven Bilic, shown after the half-time whistle as the Croatian protested, appeared harsh.
Initially, West Brom weren’t deterred by the loss of their left-back from the pitch and their manager from the sidelines — levelling the scores via an expertly taken free-kick from Matheus Pereira.
But following this wake-up call, Everton turned on the style.
Michael Keane turned home a rebound after Richarlison’s header from Lucas Digne’s free-kick was saved. Calvert-Lewin’s second came after a sublime scooped ball over the top from James found Richarlison, whose shot across goal was turned in by the number nine.
The hat-trick was completed when he diverted a Rodriguez corner goalwards, unconventionally. It was a stooping attempt at a header, taking a chance that Keane in front of him would miss the ball, and the goal may have even gone in off his shoulder.
“The manager is on to me every day about one-touch finishes and being in the box, being in the right areas to put the ball in the back of the net,” Calvert-Lewin told Everton TV.
“Thankfully, today I was. It’s nice to know what I’m working on in training is coming off on the pitch and that’s the biggest reward, really.”
Everton play Fleetwood Town in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, before a tricky trip to Crystal Palace next Saturday in the Premier League.
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