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Ancelotti gets timing right as Everton maintain Champions League push

West Brom 0 -1 Everton

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Everton's Richarlison (centre) celebrates with Gylfi Sigurdsson after scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns. Photo: Alex Pantling/PA Wire

Everton's Richarlison (centre) celebrates with Gylfi Sigurdsson after scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns. Photo: Alex Pantling/PA Wire

Everton's Richarlison (centre) celebrates with Gylfi Sigurdsson after scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns. Photo: Alex Pantling/PA Wire

Forty-three seconds was all it required for Carlo Ancelotti’s latest masterstroke to propel Everton further into the scramble for a Champions League place.

With the Toffees underwhelming and appearing devoid of inspiration, Ancelotti introduced Gylfi Sigurdsson and was rewarded instantly as the substitute’s wonderful cross presented Richarlison with his sixth goal in six games.

They have now equalled their Premier League record of nine away wins and qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League for the first time remains a realistic target.

“We had an idea a set-piece might win it,” Sigurdsson said.

“We are confident after a couple of good results. But it is tight at the top. We have to keep going and work hard. If we get on a run we have a chance.”

Former Everton manager Sam Allardyce will reflect ruefully on a 16th defeat of the season, which leaves his team still some distance from safety.

His West Brom team had controlled large portions of the match, with an injury-time ‘goal’ from Mbaye Diagne disallowed due to offside.

 

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