Everton 1-1 West Bromwich Albion: Niasse leveller spares Big Sam's blushes

Everton 1-1 West Bromwich Albion: Niasse leveller spares Big Sam's blushes

The striker's second-half equaliser prevented an embarrassing defeat for the Toffees, whilst West Brom may feel it was a missed opportunity for three points.

Oliver Emmerson

For a man who they're trying to offload during the January window, Oumar Niasse is becoming quite the saviour for Everton.

The striker came off the bench, scoring within 60 seconds, to level up as the Blues drew 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon.

Jay-Rod with the opener

Much of the hype ahead of the match had been centred around Everton's signing of Theo Walcott from Arsenal earlier this week, the 28-year-old assisting Niasse on his debut.

However, another English winger made the most vital contribution of the first-half, Jay Rodgriguez putting Albion ahead in the opening ten minutes.

Grzegorz Krychowiak played the ball in-behind for him with an effortless yet difficult swing of the boot, bending the ball beyond the Everton defence with the outside of his right foot, Rodriguez latching on and dispatching a cool finish past Jordan Pickford.

Dominating possession is rarely attributed to a Sam Allardyce side, but that's what Everton did after the goal, lowly West Brom getting in the trenches and refusing to come out.

You could argue that it was the right tactic to implement, the Toffees toothless in possession, only managing to record their first league shot on target in 2017 through Jonjoe Kenny's 37th minute effort.

The Baggies were content to soak up pressure and hit their opponents on the counter attack, Salomon Rondon heading over from Chris Brunt's corner on the stroke of half-time.

From bad to good for the Blues

Rondon was involved in another big incident after the interval, on the receiving end of a superb last-ditch tackle from James McCarthy as he was poised to shoot inside the box.

Unfortunately for Everton, McCarthy did some damage to himself when going for the tackle, stretchered off with a suspected broken leg.

There was better news after the restart though, Niasse levelling after replacing the man brought into the club to replace him, Cenk Tosun.

Walcott had suffered a frustrating day up to that point, but intelligently nodded the ball across the area into Niasse's path from Wayne Rooney's ball, the Senegal striker volleying home.

A precious point

Sam Allardyce described the draw as a "precious point" after the game, Everton fans would have been forgiven for thinking "putrid" would have been a better description.

He was grateful to cling on for a draw though as some poor defending nearly saw Everton lose the momentum generated by their equaliser, Pickford in good form to deny Rondon in the late stages.

Everton stay ninth, West Brom stay 19th. A precious point for the visitors, perhaps.