Lukaku pulls Toffees out of sticky spot

An exuberant Romelu Lukaku doing a somersault after scoring Everton's winning goal as the Toffees came back from 0-2 down to win 3-2 against West Bromwich Albion. Everton move up to fifth in the Premier League table.
An exuberant Romelu Lukaku doing a somersault after scoring Everton's winning goal as the Toffees came back from 0-2 down to win 3-2 against West Bromwich Albion. Everton move up to fifth in the Premier League table.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Used to winning matches for his side at the Hawthorns, Everton striker Romelu Lukaku revealed that he felt confident of victory on Monday - even when his side were facing a two-goal deficit.

The Toffees found themselves 0-2 down against West Bromwich Albion in the 54th minute when Craig Dawson scored from a corner for the hosts, adding to Saido Berahino's first-half opener.

However, Lukaku took over, netting twice and setting up another goal to secure the 3-2 win in the English Premier League.

His first top-flight goals for six weeks came against the club he played for on loan from Chelsea in the 2012-13 campaign, as the Hawthorns proved a happy hunting ground once again.

"It shows a good mentality from the team, and I never had the feeling that we would lose the game," Lukaku told the Echo.

"Thankfully Geri (Gerard Deulofeu) put a good ball into the box and we scored a great first goal and from then it was over for them."

It was only the second time Everton have won in the Premier League after being two goals down, following on from their comeback win over Wimbledon in 1994.

They remain unbeaten on their travels this season, and leapt to fifth in the table with 12 points from seven games. Everton manager Roberto Martinez attributed the comeback to the whole team, but had special praise for Lukaku.

"He has an elite brain and you can see when he puts his mind to it, he can achieve anything," he said.

"I always said Rom has got that unique strength of being the man the team need.

"It wasn't a coincidence he was the one who scored the goal straight after.

"When you look at the way West Brom defend, they are very good in what they do. He had a real desire to get on the end of the crosses and it made a real difference."

Indeed, the turnaround was particularly impressive given the track record of West Brom manager Tony Pulis, who is known for his well-organised sides.

Since he took charge of the club in January, the Baggies have kept more clean sheets in the Premier League than any other side (14).

However, Pulis said West Brom were hurt by the loss of defenders Gareth McAuley, who was ruled out of the match, and Jonas Olsson, who was forced off due to a groin injury.

"They are two players that when crosses come in, they defend them very well, and Everton have scored off two crosses," he told reporters.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2015, with the headline 'Lukaku pulls Toffees out of sticky spot'. Print Edition | Subscribe