LONDON (AFP) – Dominic Calvert-Lewin hit a hat-trick and James Rodriguez bagged his first Premier League goal as Everton crushed West Bromwich Albion 5-2 to extend their perfect start to the season yesterday.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side fell behind to Grady Diangana’s early goal at Goodison Park. But Calvert-Lewin equalised and James put them ahead before West Brom imploded. Kieran Gibbs was dismissed for pushing James in the face in first half stoppage-time.
Then Albion boss Slaven Bilic was sent to the stands after storming onto the pitch for a furious rant at referee Mike Dean.
Matheus Pereira equalised for Albion after the interval, but Michael Keane restored Everton’s lead and Calvert-Lewin sealed the points with his second and third goals.
At 23, Calvert-Lewin is the youngest Englishman to score a Premier League hat-trick for Everton.
After a summer spending spree, Ancelotti is under pressure to deliver a big improvement on last season’s 12th place finish and the early signs are promising. Having beaten Tottenham in their opening game, Everton have started a Premier League season with consecutive victories for the first time since 2012-13.
Calvert-Lewin already has four goals and Colombia midfielder James, making his first home appearance since his GBP12 million from Real Madrid, looks a quality addition.
If West Brom are to avoid an immediate return to the Championship, they will have to improve their defence rapidly after shipping eight goals in successive defeats.
Diangana put West Brom ahead in the 10th minute when he advanced from inside his own half before drilling a long-range drive past Jordan Pickford. Calvert-Lewin equalised in the 31st minute with a back-heel from virtually on the goalline after Albion defender Darnell Furlong inadvertently headed Seamus Coleman’s cross into his path.
The goal was initially disallowed for offside before a VAR review changed the decision in Everton’s favour.
James put Everton in front in the 45th minute when he took Richarlison’s pass and lashed a fine low finish into the far corner from 20 yards.
Gibbs added to West Brom’s woes when he was sent off for lashing out at James in retaliation for a challenge by the Colombian.
Bilic lost his cool as well moments later, angrily telling Dean that his decisions could “kill” his team.
Now watching from the stands after his dismissal, Bilic saw Pereira equalise with a superb free-kick in the 47th minute. But Keane poked Everton back in front after Richarlison’s header was pushed out by Sam Johnstone in the 54th minute.
Calvert-Lewin struck again in the 62nd minute, the striker sliding in to meet Richarlison’s cross with a close-range finish. And Calvert-Lewin’s red-hot start to the season continued four minutes later when he completed his hat-trick as the ball bounced off his back into the net.