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Everton 2 - 0 West Brom

I think we can safely surmise that West Brom are racing certainties to get relegated this season. Not because we beat them but because they didn't beat us... when we were pretty much woeful.

You could predict the lack of entertainment that was to be served up when we saw empty seats and hollow chants from all sides of the ground.

You could predict the lack of entertainment that was to be served up when we saw empty seats and hollow chants from all sides of the ground. Maybe it was the Arteta injury hangover affecting the fans, or maybe everyone is saving themselves for next Sunday...either way the atmosphere and performance were not in keeping with what we have been seeing over the last few months from the Blues.

Without the sprinkling of excellent work from Pienaar, Baines, Cahill, Jags and a successful Saha cameo this game had the makings of a giant handful of salt being rubbed into all the recent wounds our players have picked up. And I fear it would have tipped a few fans' delicate emotional state into deep blue depths.

However, after a sterling effort by Fulham at the rapidly declining Arsenal this result could turn out absolutely vital for our 'double' (FA Cup and Top 4 finish) - we now need our friends from the Potteries to do us a favour against Villa.

There is not much to report from today's game apart from we were pretty bad. Yet, you can't argue with another clean sheet (thanks to a great goal line stop by Jags) and well taken goals, albeit with a little help from some generous defending.

A slow start by both teams soon changed into a slower middle and then a slow painful finish - but I will take that and a 2-0 win with 11-ish fit-ish players any day.

Our own Duracell bunny Pienaar was a beacon throughout and Baines combined well with both Gosling and Pienaar (who switched sides a few times) to create many openings down the left. The first goal was created when Pienaar drew a foul from one of West Brom's plodding defenders and the subsequent left sided free kick from Baines was headed home by the criminally unmarked Cahill in the 35th minute. The Street End did not go quite as berserk as we have seen recently - I think we all presumed that was game over against a team we should be beating anyway.

Half time came and went and the hope was that the second half would see us press on and improve our goal difference.

That hope quickly faded as West Brom came back into the game and tested Howard throughout - again only through a lack of quality on our part rather than anything they did to break us down.

Fellaini got booked as usual - I don't think it was for breaking into a sweat, as that accusation could never be levelled at our record signing.

Fellaini got booked as usual - I don't think it was for breaking into a sweat, as that accusation could never be levelled at our record signing.

The man with the hair was replaced by Saha in the 59th minute and the Frenchman looked lively and enthusiastic. Is it just me, or does he have a natural limp? It must be habit. Thankfully he has another useful habit of bagging good goals and creating chances from nothing, and he did exactly that in the 69th minute. Receiving the ball from a Pienaar pass-cum-tackle he instantly turned his marker and fired the ball with natural ease into the bottom corner past the vastly overrated and ear endowed Carson from 20 yards into the Park End goal.

Which reminds me. What is it with the latest trend to kick into the Street End in the first half when we win the toss? To be fair it is not important as long as we win but some traditions are nice to keep, and it just annoys me.

The annoyance was only appeased when Castillo made an appearance. I think this guy has it all... if he wants to be a professional clown. When he comes on the pitch I invariably end up watching him instead of the ball as he aimlessly struts around on his tip-toes in that kind of manic disillusioned manner normally reserved for slight mentalists. Watching him trying to act like a footballer is one of my favourite past times, I just hope I can't do it after this season is out. He seems like a very decent guy and his interviews are genuine and warm, he just isn't very good and it is a true testament to our injury list and DM's opinion of Andy Van that he even gets a place on the pitch. Saying that, if he somehow gets the winner at Wembley I will get a 'Casti is God' tattoo in a shot.

I digress.

After Saha's clinical finish the game was effectively won and all the players clearly thought the same - apart from Luke Moore who smashed the ball into the bar from about 25 yards (this guy looked West Brom's best player but was thankfully on the bench for most of the game) with 5 minutes left.

All in all a good day of results and an important win - albeit taken for granted by both players and fans alike which we all know is dangerous.

My MOM goes to Pienaar for his relentless pursuit of the ball, opposing players and a decent pass. Good displays from Jags, Baines and Cahill should also be acknowledged - and I hope the club has an ample supply of cotton wool for Saha.

On the flipside Fellaini needs to sort both his hair and work rate out whilst Castillo makes me laugh.

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