West Brom ended their poor run of form with a shock 1-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park, mainly down to a tremendous rear-guard action from the 15th minute onwards.
It was a victory that will do little to silence the critics of manager Tony Pulis and his style of play, with West Brom having just 24 percent of possession over the game and registering just one shot on target. In terms of the statistics, it's barely an improvement from the display in the 1-0 defeat against Newcastle in West Brom's previous Premier League fixture.
However, it is a vitally important three points for Pulis' side, with Sunderland the only other team in and around the bottom of the table to pick up a win this weekend. It gives West Brom some much needed breathing space and will hopefully instil some confidence into the players.
While the statistics do show that Everton dominated a large part of the game, West Brom were fairly comfortable in the second half defending their lead and that is something which will please Pulis, considering some of the recent defensive errors made by his side.
With several key personnel returning to fitness at a crucial time in the season, Pulis will be hoping that this victory serves as a springboard for West Brom to push on to the 40-point mark as quickly as possible and also continue to advance in the FA Cup.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Ben Foster, 8 -- Despite Everton having 33 attempts at goal, Foster was rarely troubled. Made one good save from a deflected Aaron Lennon shot and commanded his area.
DF Craig Dawson, 8 -- Looked so much more comfortable at right-back having played on the opposite side in West Brom's previous game. Solid throughout and doubled up well with Jonny Evans to deal with Romelu Lukaku.
DF Jonny Evans, 7 -- West Brom look a much more confident side with Evans in his best position. Calm under pressure, made a couple of good blocks and marshalled the defence well.
DF Jonas Olsson, 9 -- The big Swedish centre-half rolled back the years with a committed display at the heart of the defence. Made crucial tackles, blocks, interceptions and a tremendous flick-on West Brom's goal.
DF James Chester, 6 -- Was given the run around at times by an in-form Lennon but stuck to his task manfully as he was once again used out of position. Another big contributor to West Brom's rearguard action.
MF Stephane Sessegnon, 7 -- It wasn't a game that suited Sessegnon as West Brom saw little of the ball and didn't really attack that often. Energetic contribution defensively and delivered the corner from which Salomon Rondon eventually scored.
MF Claudio Yacob, 8 -- Another tremendous performance in front of the defence, dropping deep enough to on occassions to play like a third centre-half.
MF Darren Fletcher, 6 -- Had little chance to get forward in support of Rondon but generally appeared more comfortable in a deeper midfield role alongside Yacob than in the No. 10 position that he's played in recently.
MF James McClean, 6 -- It was once again the defensive contribution of McClean that shone as he provided tremendous support for Chester as they doubled up on Lennon to keep him quiet. Seemed close to losing his head at times but managed to stay composed until being substituted.
FW Saido Berahino, 6 -- Another player who the game wasn't really suited to. Put in a good shift to support his teammates and encouraging to see him starting a game as he looks to regain full fitness.
FW Salomon Rondon, 7 -- Fighting a lone battle for long periods of the game as he tried to press from the front. Hold-up play was better than in recent weeks and was in the right place at the right time to get West Brom's winner.
MF Chris Brunt, 6 -- Took over the mantle from McClean in providing defensive support to Chester from the left midfield position. Unfortunate not to score from a rare West Brom counterattack.
MF Sandro, NR -- Brought on to shore things up in injury time.
FW Victor Anichebe, 5 -- Replaced the tiring Rondon but didn't lead the line with the same effectiveness or strength.