Saha's cameo seals win

Everton 2 West Bromwich 0

David Moyes has enough players out until the summer to begin a pre-season tour already. He may learn in the next few days if Victor Anichebe will join Mikel Arteta and Yakubu on that particular bus, so just as well he has such fabled powers of alchemy.

Moyes knows Louis Saha is not the player Sir Alex Ferguson told his old mate Walter Smith about when he said, seven years back, that if he could have "one striker in the world" it would be him, but he heard all he needed to know when he asked Phil Neville's opinion this summer. "I told him that United sold Ruud van Nistelrooy because of him," Neville revealed. "Joleon Lescott tells a story of when he was at Wolves and couldn't get near him in one game."

'Balsa Man' is what United's Red Issue fanzine called Saha before he left Old Trafford and the words "Louis couldn't finish training" has become a recent Friday lunchtime mantra in press briefings at Finch Farm.

But Saha's desire to maintain a career at the top end of the Premier League, reflected in his initial willingness to train for no pay until fit, is unmistakable.

"That is what has impressed me," Moyes said. "I don't see him as a malingerer or somebody that isn't looking to play. I see somebody who wants to play. I think he wanted to get rid of the injury-prone tag, and he will probably say he is making contribution for us. When we took him, we always knew it would be a risk regarding his injuries, but we are doing all we can to get him playing as often as he can."

The player dubbed King Louis by some of Everton's players when he arrived – "he had that kind of an aura," according to Neville – proved, in the way he stroked a ball under his studs, and span to thunder Everton's second goal that he, like Tim Cahill, can do the job which Yakubu and Anichebe were earmarked for and which Jo, on Saturday's evidence, looks incapable of. He has four goals in 12 games for Everton (though he started only six of those), was a matchwinner against Fulham and West Ham, a force in Everton's draw at Newcastle a week ago and could be a critical part of Moyes' FA Cup plans, with Jo Cup-tied.

How Tony Mowbray, looking increasingly doomed, could use a fraction of that force. Luke Moore rattled the bar but has still scored one goal in a year at Albion.

Everton's hunger to clinch the old trophy outstrips anyone's. Moyes, who lost Tony Hibbert to a thigh strain, didn't risk Joleon Lescott, who was on four yellow cards, and only played Phil Neville, who had totted up as many, because Jack Rodwell was injured. But there will be more than fingers to cross, where Saha's match readiness for the quarter final against Middlesbrough is concerned.

"He has ice on his thigh and I could see clearly that he was carrying his thigh during the game," Moyes said. "That's a concern for me because I don't want anybody doing that."

Goals: Cahill (36) 1-0, Saha (70) 2-0

Everton (4-4-2): Howard; Hibbert (Osman, 19), Yobo, Jagielka, Baines; Gosling, Neville, Fellaini (Saha, 60), Pienaar; Cahill, Jo (Castillo, 75). Substitutes not used: Nash (gk), Lescott, Van der Meyde, Jacobsen.

West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Carson; Zuiverloon, Meite, Donk, Robinson; Morrison, Koren, Borja Valero (Greening, 53), Brunt; Simpson (Moore, 57), Fortuné (Teixeira, 89). Substitutes not used: Kiely (gk), Hoefkens, Cech, Menseguez

Referee: S Bennett (Kent)

Booked: Everton Fellaini West Bromwich Albion Greening

Man of the Match: Pienaar

Attendance: 33,898

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London