Premier League - Mulumbu seals WBA victory

Sat, 14 May 15:00:00 2011

West Brom beat 10-man Everton 1-0 to move into the top half of the Premier League.

Match Highlights: West

Youssouf Mulumbu's early strike proved to be the difference between the sides in an enthralling contest at the Hawthorns.

Peter Odemwingie had already become the first Albion player to score in five successive top-flight matches for over 40 years, but was unable to add to his tally despite another inspired display.

Everton toiled for an equaliser, with Victor Anichebe coming closest to scoring, but had to play the last 14 minutes with 10 men after Diniyar Bilyaletdinov was shown a straight red card for a rash tackle on James Morrison, only four minutes after the Russian came on as a substitute.

While the decision may be viewed as harsh by David Moyes, it was an ill-advised lunge in a harmless area of the field.

From a neutral perspective, however, the dismissal added spice to what was already a thrilling contest.

West Brom, reborn under Roy Hodgson, have moved away from the relegation zone into mid-table safety while Everton's injury curse has been lifted to sanction another end-of-season flourish.

But Moyes's side were without the talismanic Tim Cahill, whose energy and presence in attack provides the Toffees with the ammunition to trouble the very best of defences.

But it was in defence that Everton were exposed and it was the Premier League's Player of the Month, Odemwingie, who created the game's only goal.

Collecting Chris Brunt's speculative high ball, Odemwingie nudged Sylvain Distin out of the way before cutting the ball back to Mulumbu, who could not miss from close range as he notched up his sixth goal of the season.

Everton dominated possession throughout the first half and they created their first major opportunity when Anichebe turned away from Jonas Olsson on the edge of the box, but Scott Carson saved the Everton forward's shot well with his legs.

Just as an Everton equaliser looked likely, West Brom's Jerome Thomas squandered a golden opportunity to double the home side's lead.

Winning the ball 25 yards from goal and driving towards the target, Thomas's jinking run saw him beat two Everton players and round Tim Howard, but Thomas's shot was cleared off the line by Tony Hibbert when Thomas had the goal at his mercy.

Odemwingie and Anichebe both squandered headed chances to score in the minutes before the break.

Everton upped their game in the second half and, while it remained a free-flowing game, the Toffees were unable to unlock a stubborn West Brom back-line; testament to the effect Hodgson has had since arriving at the club.

The excellent Olsson was a rock in the second half for West Brom, denying Anichebe the space within which to create the kind of opportunities that troubled the home side in the first half.

The Baggies, while resolute in defence throughout the second half, created only one clear chance and it fell to Simon Cox after great work by Odemwingie.

Odemwingie beat Jagielka easily down the left wing and put a low ball across the face of goal to Cox who, sliding in at the far post, was inches away from turning the ball into the net.

Everton continued to push for the equaliser though, and Bilyaletdinov should have done better when he fired over from 12 yards, unable to keep his shot down after a good low cross by Hibbert.

But just a few moments later came Bilyaletdinov's red-mist moment, from which point on Everton struggled to create any chances of note as West Brom held on for a win in their last home game of the season.

Michael Da Silva / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account