Romelu Lukaku improved his chances of winning the Premier League’s golden boot as Everton romped to a 3-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Belgian forward Lukaku followed first-half strikes from Kevin Mirallas and Morgan Schneiderlin with his 19th goal of the campaign in a one-sided affair at Goodison Park.
Ronald Koeman’s side have now won their last five homes to close the gap on sixth placed Manchester United to two points as they fight for a Europa League berth.
With Tottenham in FA Cup action this weekend, Lukaku, who has seven goals in his last five appearances, was able to join Harry Kane at the top of the division’s scorers chart.
Initially, Lukaku was off-target when Gareth Barry rolled a pass into his path in the 16th minute and he put his shot the wrong side of the post, as he did when he rose to meet a Leighton Baines cross moments later.
Lukaku bounced back to play a role in Everton’s opener in the 39th minute.
He drifted out to the right and saw his pass inside ricochet off a couple of Baggies defenders before falling to Ross Barkley, and though his shot was parried by Ben Foster, Mirallas reacted quickest to apply the finish.
Watched by British boxer and Everton fan Tony Bellew, the hosts struck again in first half stoppage-time.
Lukaku turned inside, fended off Jonny Evans and slipped in Schneiderlin to take a touch beyond Jake Livermore before clipping beyond Foster.
It was Schneiderlin’s maiden Everton goal, and his first in 511 days, following his January transfer from Manchester United.
Tom Davies and Barkley both impressed in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate and the latter set up Everton’s final goal.
Barkley delivered a teasing cross to the back-post, where Lukaku nodded home in the 82nd minute.