West Brom put in one of their most disappointing performances of the season as they surrendered meekly to a 3-0 defeat against Everton, the team one place above Tony Pulis' side in the table. West Brom rarely threatened Everton, who were given almost free reign to attack with Hal Robson-Kanu left horribly isolated up front in a rare start for the Welshman. It is a worrying sign that since hitting 40 points, Pulis' team have put in two of their worst performances in the losses to Crystal Palace and now Everton.
One again, there were few positives that could be drawn from this performance, other than maybe Everton were restricted to just three goals. Nacer Chadli had one of his brighter games in some time, looking like the only player capable of threatening Everton in the final third.
Individually, nobody had a shocking game as such, it was just that many of the players were below par compared to what they've produced this season. The main negative is the way West Brom have retreated into their shell and started playing the kind of negative football that was turning fans against Pulis. West Brom have only taken one point from their fixtures against sides above them, a worrying trend that they seem to have no way of solving.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- The absence of Matty Phillips has really hurt West Brom in recent weeks, his pace and ability to go past a player is crucial to Pulis' style of play. Some of his selections for this fixture were baffling though. Chris Brunt and James Morrison have been key players in West Brom's success this season and therefore it seemed to strange to rest them in what was West Brom's biggest remaining fixture, with Phillips absent too, Pulis' team were without three of its most influential players this season and it showed.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Ben Foster, 5 -- Will have been disappointed with his save from Ross Barkley's shot, pushing the ball straight into the path of Kevin Mirallas rather than away from goal. Could do nothing about the other two goals.
DF Craig Dawson, 6 -- The more effective of West Brom's two full-backs, had a couple of forays forward that came with decent delivery. Picked up another yellow card, meaning he is now one more booking away from a two-game ban.
DF Gareth McAuley, 6 -- Relished the physical battle that Lukaku presented him with, and dealt with it far better than his defensive partner Jonny Evans. Won eight headers as part of what was a rear-guard action from the start.
DF Jonny Evans, 5 -- Had a poor start when his header put Lukaku in on goal and didn't recover from that. Struggled with the power of the Belgian physically and was unusually flustered on the ball.
DF Allan Nyom, 5 -- His marking was poor for Everton's third goal and there were a few other haphazard defensive moments that could have been punished. Couldn't get forward in the way he normally does.
MF Nacer Chadli, 7 -- By far and away West Brom's best player, which will be encouraging after his poor display against Crystal Palace in the previous fixture. Linked play from midfield and managed to get a few decent efforts in on goal.
MF Jake Livermore, 6 -- It was another industrious performance from Livermore in a slightly more advanced position than in recent weeks, but he will have been disappointed to lose track of Morgan Schneiderlin for the second goal.
MF Claudio Yacob, 6 -- For the first 40 minutes he helped to disrupt the constant stream of Everton attack but struggled after that point, too often on the wrong side of the Everton midfield and constantly fouling.
MF Darren Fletcher, 6 -- Led West Brom's pressing game from the very start of the game but didn't have enough of the ball to impact the game in the right areas.
MF James McClean, 6 -- A rare opportunity for the winger but wasn't afforded the chance to have any real influence going forward due to the way the team was set up, often acting as a second full-back to cover his marauding international teammate Seamus Coleman.
FW Hal Robson-Kanu, 6 -- Held the ball up well on the few occasions he had the chance to, but other than that, was simply chasing lost causes and pressing the Everton defence often by himself.
MF Chris Brunt, 5 -- Wasn't able to influence the game, mainly due to West Brom's lack of possession.
FW Salomon Rondon, 5 -- Seemed refreshed coming off the bench rather than starting but fared no better than Robson-Kanu.
MF James Morrison, n/a -- Added a bit of zip and creativity to an otherwise lacklustre performance, with more signs of a good understanding with Chadli being developed.