Match ReportEverton played out another gritty but uneventful goalless draw at the Hawthorns to add to last Saturday's point against Chelsea.
The Blues' defensive resilience under Sam Allardyce which has helped him remain unbeaten since taking the reins at Goodison Park heading into the final continues but there was precious little to excite the travelling fans in the way of attack against a West Brom side that hasn't won a Premier League game since August.
Allardyce made changes from the team that started against Chelsea on Saturday, deploying Michael Keane, Mason Holgate and Ashley Williams in a central defensive three and replacing the injured Idrissa Gueye with Tom Davies.
The headline from the team selection, however, was the return of Yannick Bolasie after more than a year out with a serious knee injury. The Congolese winger managed an hour before being replaced by Aaron Lennon and while he wasn't able to influence much going forward, he provided some energy, threw in some tricks and tried one curling shot in an otherwise impotent first-half display from the visitors.
It was West Brom who went closest in the first 45 minutes. Craig Dawson had arguably the best one when he headed Matt Phillips' cross over. Chris Brunt also tried one shot from distance that Jordan Pickford did well to hold rather than parry away while Ahmed Hegazi headed a free kick onto the roof of the net.
Salomon Rondon really should have broken the deadlock five minutes into the second half when he shrugged off the attentions of Holgate but slashed his shot horribly wide.
Williams had a looping header comfortably caught at the other end, Everton's first official effort on target for more than three halves of football, before Jonjoe Kenny blocked Brunt's goal-bound effort at the other.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who had spent the game in his customary isolated target-man mode, made way for Oumar Niasse in a double change in the 61st minute but Allardyce's side remain unadventurous and woefully bereft of creativity.
Jay Rodriguez dropped a header wide for the Baggies and Davies side-footed over for the Toffees but it wasn't until very late in the contest that the visitors finally sparked into life in an attacking sense.
Niasse had a shot saved well by Ben Foster in the final minute but the game finished 0-0, a result that keeps Everton ninth but sharpens the focus on what plans Allardyce may have to improve the team going forward in the coming weeks.
Matchday UpdatesEverton's remarkable new-found defensive solidity under Sam Allardyce was in evidence again at the Hawthorns against struggling West Brom.
Yannick Bolasie was given a start for the first time since recovering, while was still ruled out with the flu.
Phil Jagielka wasn't asked to play another 90 minutes with Williams (as captain) and Holgate reunited at the back. Idrissa Gueye's injury picked up against Chelsea meant Tom Davies coming back into the side.
Rondon came very close to scoring the opener for the home side on 5 minutes, a wicked cross from the Everton right clipped his heel and flew wide. For Everton, Calvert-Lewin got wide behind the West Brom defence but his cross was controolled by Barry.
Another attack for the home side again came close to scoring, Phillips crossing well from the left this time a back-header from Solomon across the Everton goal but there was no-one there to convert.
Bolasie got some touches down the left until fouled by Barry, giving Sigurdsson a chance to swing in a wicked one that just bounced harmless through and out for a goal-kick.
Another corner was defended by Pickford punching wide but the ball came right back and Dawson powered his header just over the Everton bar. Bolasie put on a good cross to win Everton's first corner that Sigurdsson swung in well but no-one could profit. As the ball went back to midfield, Livermore fouled Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson delivered another very dangerous ball in.
Bolasie saw some space and took a potshot from distance that was well off target. Bolasie showed some more good touches, beating his man and putting in a decent cross, but West Brom were able to clear it. Bolasie was then fouled but no free-kick and he exuberantly fouled his man in return, leading to a West Brom attack and corner that Pickford punched clear.
Some better passing down the left saw a cross come in for Calvert-Lewin but he couldn't control it and Martina then fouled to stop the breakaway which ended with Dawson heading over. Another Everton attack seemed to be shaping well, with good passing around the West Brom Area, but there was no end product.
Brunt took a decent shot that Pickford had covered all the way. Bolasie appeared to win the ball in a tussle with Phillips and Brunt delivered well to the far post but the header was onto the top of the net.
The half came to an end with both sides looking fairly evenly matched, West Brom having had the better chances, Everton not really doing enough on the end of some fine deliveries from Sigurdsson.
The game restarted in similar fashion with no changes. Rondon got behind the Everton defence, beating Holgate, but slips as he tries to shoot, blasting wide. Clever work from Bolasie fed Kenny and his cross was blocked behind for a corner. Rondon had pulled his hamstring with that shot and was replaced by Robson-Kanu.
Davies played to Bolasie's feet but the forward was called offside. Keane headed straight to Blunt and it needed smart response from Kenny to block the shot. After the hour mark, Bolasie and Calvert-Lewin were withdrawn to be replaced by Lennon and Bolasie, but West Brom continued to have the better ideas in terms of attack.
Sigurdsson next free-kick was poor and easily defended, Dawson getting a card for holding back Martina but Sigurdssson's delivery was again short. The ball fell nicely for Davies but he fired over. Another foul, almost identical by Dawson, was not punished but Sigurdsson's delivery was spurned yet again as the Blues continued to live dangerously at the other end of the field.
A couple of West Brom corners were defended and Holgate had to head away a very good cross fro another corner st West Brom threatened, Holgate, heading behind for the fourth corner in a tight spell, Pickford punching the last one away while being impeded.
West Brom kept probing, winning yet another corner that Pickford punched away, then he fielded an incoming shot with confidence. At the other end, the attack looked frankly lame, Davies turning away from goal rather than trying to use the ball to create something, and Everton had still not created a clear chance on Foster's goal into the final 10 minutes.
Another West Brom attack and Williams was called for a high foot, right in the dee, Phillips blasting well over from the free-kick. The ball seemed to fall well for Gibbs but Kenny coming on put him off and he screwed the shot well off target.
Everton tried to build down the left but a poor giveaway by Davies put them under pressure again. Another fantastic cross was headed away brilliantly by Kenny. Another corner again handled well byu Pickford, and Davies was withdrawn fro Baningime.
Niasse and Lennon finally got behind the West Brom defence but the angle was too tight for him to beat Foster, despite getting two bites of the cherry. Each side tried to fashion something in the 3 minutes of added time but it was not happening and Everton came away with a point and another clean sheet to extend Sam Allardyce's increasingly remarkable unbeaten record since taking over the reins.
Kick-off: 3pm, Tuesday 26 December 2017 West Brom:
Subs not Used: Nyom, Yacob, Myhill, McAuley.
West Brom:Foster, Dawson [Y:65'], Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs, Phillips (88' McClean), Livermore (69' Krychowiak), Barry, Brunt, Rodriguez, Rondon (52' Robson-Kanu).
Everton: Pickford, Keane, Williams, Holgate, Kenny, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Davies (87' Baningime), Martina, Bolasie (61' Lennon), Calvert-Lewin (61' Niasse).
Subs not Used: Jagielka, Sandro, Lookman, Robles.
Referee: Roger East
Match PreviewEverton's year finishes with back-to-back away games, the first of which is at the Hawthorns against struggling West Brom.
Sam Allardyce has already indicated that Phil Jagielka won't be asked to play another 90 minutes so soon after the goalless draw with Swansea which should mean at least one unforced change from the manager.
Idrissa Gueye's injury picked up against the Champions will mean at least one more alteration to the side that started on Saturday, with perhaps Tom Davies coming into the a similar formation or Wayne Rooney could return to play in the more withdrawn role in which he was so successful against West Ham and Huddersfield recently.
Kick-off: 3pm, Tuesday 26 December 2017
Referee: Roger East
Last Time: West Brom 1-2 Everton