LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Romelu Lukaku headed in his 19th goal of the Premier League season on Saturday as Everton beat West Bromwich Albion 3-0 to strengthen its bid to qualify for Europe.
After first-half strikes from Kevin Mirallas and Morgan Schneiderlin, Lukaku met Ross Barkley's cross in the 82nd minute for his seventh goal in his last five matches. The Belgium striker joins Tottenham forward Harry Kane at the top of the league's scoring leaderboard.
With a fifth successive league home win, Everton moved five points behind Liverpool, which is in the fourth Champions League place. Everton has played an extra game.
A place in the Europa League appears more attainable in Ronald Koeman's first season in charge, with seventh place set to secure qualification. Everton is in seventh and seven points ahead of eighth-placed West Brom.
Everton has not dropped a point at Goodison Park since a loss to Liverpool in December.
Lukaku played a key role in the opener against West Brom. Lukaku drifted out to the right and saw his pass inside ricochet off a couple of defenders. The ball fell to Ross Barkley, whose shot was parried by goalkeeper Ben Foster and Mirallas reacted quickest to find the net.
The second goal at the midway point stemmed from Lukaku's inkling to come out to the right. This time he turned inside, fended off Jonny Evans and slipped the ball through to Schneiderlin, who took a touch beyond Jake Livermore before clipping beyond Foster. It was Schneiderlin's first goal since leaving Manchester United for Everton in January.
It took until the 82nd minute for Lukaku to add to his goal haul against one of the clubs he was sent out on loan to during his three-year Chelsea career.
Now thriving at Everton, Lukaku has a career-high 19 league goals in a single season — a total that looks set to climb with two months remaining.