West Brom v Everton
Everton were unable to make it three league wins in a row as they were beaten by West Brom.
The Toffees had been building a head of steam with wins over Manchester United and Aston Villa but were derailed by a disciplined and hard-working Baggies outfit.
Second half goals from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley were enough to halt the Blues’ charge.
After rotating in midweek David Moyes restored the same starting XI which saw his side race into a 3-0 half time lead at Villa.
But there was little of the fluency and panache on display this time around.
Initially Everton had looked keen to pick up where they had left off at Villa Park seven days earlier and after some neat passing Pienaar saw an effort blocked by McAuley.
Nikica Jelavic headed a corner wide and the Croat was then denied a penalty after clashing with the guilty looking Claudio Yacob 17 minutes in.
But then came the pivotal moment of the half as Gibson limped off through injury.
Tony Hibbert came on to replace him with Phil Neville moving to midfield.
But with Everton deprived of their fulcrum in the centre of the pitch, Albion began to assert their dominance.
After Steven Reid had tested Howard from range Long missed the chance of the half when he headed Liam Ridgewell’s cross against the bar.
Marouane Fellaini looped his own headed effort on to the roof of the net shortly after the half hour but the home side were undeniably on top.
And on the 45 minute mark James Morrison marched through the defence and saw his shot repelled by the firm outstretched left palm of Tim Howard.
Baines stole in early in the second period only to see a drive blocked away for a corner, with Fellaini turning and dragging his effort wide when the resultant flag-kick was pumped back into the box.
Seeking to inject some dynamism into Everton’s play Moyes replaced Naismith with Kevin Mirallas.
The new man immediately set up his compatriot Fellaini but his back post shot was skewed horribly over the bar.
It proved a costly miss as Albion’s own sub Peter Odemwingie centred for Long to convert with 25 minutes left.
Mirallas tested Foster with a deflected effort and Moyes threw Victor Anichebe into the mix but instead of forcing an equaliser, it was the home side who doubled their lead.
Youssouf Mulumbu extended Howard from range and McAuley headed in the corner at the near post with eight minutes left.