LONDON • Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his first senior hat-trick in yesterday’s 5-2 mauling of 10-man West Bromwich Albion, as the Toffees suggested they could be a real threat for the European places this season.
With a vastly improved midfield that includes new signing James Rodriguez, Everton created 32 goal attempts in their opening two Premier League matches. Four of them were converted by Calvert-Lewin, the match-winner at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
For the first time since the 2012-13 season, Everton – who finished 12th last term – have registered back-to-back wins at the start of a top-flight campaign.
“The players have come back with more ambition and motivation. The new signings have helped us be more motivated. Good momentum for us,” said Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti, whose also started new boys Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan in midfield.
“I’m really pleased for James Rodriguez. A new country, a new league – it was not so easy.
“But he made it easy because he has a lot of quality. A fantastic player.
“Dominic Calvert-Lewin has developed really well. He’s working really well, more confidence.”
Playmaker Rodriguez impressed with his vision and technique against Spurs and backed that performance up by getting involved in three of the hosts’ five goals.
It all started well for the visitors when Grady Diangana fired past Jordan Pickford after running 60 metres for his first top-flight goal, and they might have been 2-0 up when Jake Livermore struck a post.
But, when Calvert-Lewin equalised following an intervention from the Video Assistant Referee, Everton took control.
They scored five goals in 35 minutes as West Brom capitulated following a needless red card for defender Kieran Gibbs for pushing Rodriguez in the face. Rodriguez whipped Everton in front from the edge of the box, before Baggies boss Slaven Bilic was sent off by referee Mike Dean for his vehement complaints at half-time.
He’s on me every day for one-touch finishes and being in the box to put the ball in the back of the net. It’s nice to know that what I am working on in training is coming off.
DOMINIC CALVERT-LEWIN, Everton’s hat-trick hero, on manager Carlo Ancelotti helping him hone his predatory skills.
West Brom equalised minutes into the second period with a free kick from Matheus Pereira, but Michael Keane restored Everton’s lead with a tap-in.
Rodriguez’s pass then put Richarlison behind the West Brom defence and his cross was bundled in by Calvert-Lewin. The striker completed his hat-trick with a header from Lucas Digne’s corner.
“You look at the quality we have got on the ball, it was important we utilised the extra man,” said Calvert-Lewin, 23.
“We created space and chances, and I was happy to be in the box to tap them in.”
He hailed the impact of Ancelotti, who is helping him hone his predatory instincts in the box.
“He’s on me every day for one-touch finishes and being in the box to put the ball in the back of the net,” he added. “It’s nice to know that what I am working on in training is coming off.”
Leeds were involved in another 4-3 thriller yesterday, this time beating fellow newly promoted outfit Fulham at Elland Road.
Leeds let a 4-1 lead slip but hung on for their first points after losing to champions Liverpool last week.