Victor Anichebe came off the bench to grab a late winner as Everton beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at the Hawthorns on Sunday to climb into the top half of the Premier League.
Thrown on in the 65th minute for his first appearance since August, the Nigerian striker pounced on a poor defensive header by Paul Scharner to score from close range three minutes from time for his first goal since March 2010.
“I’ve been waiting patiently since the start of the season ... but unfortunately I went away with Nigeria [in September] and got injured,” Anichebe said. “The manager said: ‘Go on, you’ve worked hard to get back here, just go on and help the team,’ which is what I did.”
The win lifted Everton three places to ninth, extending the team’s unbeaten streak to four matches.
“It’s a good run, we have to carry on,” Everton defender Sylvain Distin said. “We have to turn the draws into victories and that would be even better.”
West Brom, the league’s lowest scorers at home with just seven goals in 10 matches, created more opportunities in a lackluster game, but they failed to register a shot on target, with Peter Odemwingie wasting their best chance when he volleyed over the bar in the 47th minute.
Shane Long, Odemwingie’s strike partner, headed over another decent opportunity in the 18th minute.