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Mirallas penalty miss extends dismal Everton run

20 January 2015, 08:54

London - Kevin Mirallas' first-half penalty miss proved costly as Everton's dismal run continued with a 0-0 Premier League draw at home to West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

The winger stepped up ahead of regular spot-kick taker Leighton Baines but blasted his effort against the foot of the post just before halftime after former Everton defender Joleon Lescott had been penalised for handball.

Mirallas did not emerge for the second half with Bryan Oviedo coming on.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez said the Belgian was replaced after picking up an injury and he did not have a problem with him taking the penalty ahead of Baines.

"He was not feeling 100 percent, he felt his hamstring straight after the penalty. That was the reason for the substitution," the Spaniard told Sky Sports.

"Our penalty taker is Leighton Baines but in the same way we had a penalty shootout against West Ham in the FA Cup, Kevin Mirallas took the penalty really well and wanted to take it."

Martinez said Mirallas had wanted to take the penalty and Baines was happy to let him do it.

Also read: Yaya Toure relishing role as Ivory Coast skipper

"At that moment Kevin felt really confident and wanted to take it. For me, Leighton is the number one penalty taker. At that point I would have been happy for the two players to discuss it," explained the manager.

"There are a few penalty takers in the squad and they could have stepped up in that moment, the big disappointment is we missed the penalty, not who took it."

Baines, who briefly consulted Mirallas before allowing the Belgian to take the penalty, has missed only one of the 16 spot-kicks he has taken in a Premier League game -- the first time coming in October against Manchester United.

Everton moved up one place to 12th but have now won one out of their last 13 matches in all competitions.

Not even a halftime video screen message from Hollywood great Sylvester Stallone, with the Goodison Park crowd filmed in a scene for the new Rocky film, could inspire Everton.

West Brom, who moved up to 14th and three points above the drop zone, are unbeaten in three league games since Tony Pulis took charge.

- Reuters


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