De Zerbi delighted with Albion's second-half show

Head coach reflects on 4-1 win at Everton which lifted Albion up to eighth in the table.

By Bruce Talbot • 03 January 2023

By Simon Davies
Roberto De Zerbi leads the applause for the travelling fans after Albion's 4-1 win at Everton.

Roberto De Zerbi hailed a ‘fantastic’ second-half performance as Albion swept aside Everton 4-1 to record their best away win in the Premier League.

Kaoru Mitoma scored for the third successive away league match to give Albion a deserved first-half lead before Everton were swept away by three goals in five minutes from Evan Ferguson, on his full Premier League debut, Solly March and Pascal Gross. Demarai Gray got one back with a stoppage-time penalty.

After seeing his side move up to eighth in the table, the Italian said, “In the first half I didn’t like the quality of our play in defensive spaces, but I can understand this, every Premier League game is difficult.

“But we asked more of ourselves and the second half was amazing, there was a different quality to our play – we played well. We played with more energy and scored more goals, I am only sad because of their goal. Their goal changed nothing today, but it could [do so] at the end of the season. But it is an important result and I am happy."

By Simon Davies
Albion players celebrate their fourth goal with scorer Pascal Gross.

De Zerbi singled out Ferguson, 18, and Jeremy Sarmiento, who made his first top-flight start and set up Ferguson’s goal.

“I’m happy for Evan, he played a fantastic game,” he added. “He has big potential and I think he can help us in the second part of the season. With Danny Welbeck, he can be very important as our strikers. Evan could become a great striker because he has all the qualities, both physical and technical.

“It was a mature performance by Evan. My job is to give him and the other young players the possibility to play. Sarmiento played a good game too and I want to progress with young players.”