Match ends, Everton 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.
Everton 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
Oumar Niasse scored just 56 seconds after coming on as a substitute to save a point for Everton in a match overshadowed by a broken leg for James McCarthy.
Niasse volleyed in a header back across goal from Theo Walcott, who was making his debut after arriving from Arsenal on Wednesday in a deal worth more than £20m.
Jay Rodriguez had scored his third goal in five matches to give West Brom a seventh-minute lead, and the visitors looked comfortable for the first hour.
Sadly, the most significant moment of the match was the season-ending injury suffered by McCarthy as he raced back to make a goal-saving challenge on Salomon Rondon.
Rondon was left in tears by the severity of the injury - he connected with McCarthy's leg instead of the ball - and the television match director decided to freeze the replay of the incident before the moment of impact.
McCarthy set for lengthy absence
Everton midfielder McCarthy has been troubled by hamstring problems during his time at Goodison Park, and only returned to the side in late December after more than two months out of action.
The Republic of Ireland international suffered his sickening injury just before the hour mark, with manager Sam Allardyce confirming afterwards that it was a fracture of tibia and fibula.
It was his own loose pass to Morgan Schneiderlin that lost possession, with Gareth Barry nipping in to send Rondon clear - but McCarthy raced back to slide the ball away from the Venezuelan.
But in doing so, the midfielder broke his right leg, with Rondon instantly aware of how bad the injury was and wiping away tears.
McCarthy was given oxygen before being carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital, with Rondon so shaken that West Brom manager Alan Pardew was initially unsure if the striker would be able to continue.
Watching on from the stand was McCarthy's team-mate Seamus Coleman, who has only recently returned to training after suffering a double leg break of his own while playing for the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier against Wales in March.
While Wales full-back Neil Taylor was sent off - and heavily criticised - for that challenge, there was no blame attached to Rondon for what was simply an awful accident.
Walcott's tough start
Walcott was brought from Arsenal during the week in to add attacking threat to an Everton side that had managed just four shots on target in their previous five Premier league matches.
He had not made a league start at Arsenal this season but was named in the line-up to face West Brom.
Allardyce - who was marking his 1,000th game as a manager - suggested afterwards that Everton had failed to play to his strengths, arguing that his team-mates had not played enough balls inside the full-back to make use of the England international's pace.
In the first half, Walcott did not touch the ball once inside the West Brom penalty area, and his most significant contribution was to pick up a yellow card for a late challenge on Grzegorz Krychowiak.
But in front of England manager Gareth Southgate, Walcott showed one or two encouraging moments late in the game.
His header, from Wayne Rooney's cross, set up Niasse for the equaliser, and there was also a sharp volley that goalkeeper Ben Foster beat away.
Walcott faces a big job to revive his club and international career after stalling at Arsenal; Everton need him to find his feet quickly.
Pardew's revival under way
West Brom remain in the relegation zone - three points from a position of safety - but there are signs that they are ready to put up a fight to stay in the Premier League.
They certainly had chances to secure a third successive victory in all competitions at the end of an emotional week at the club.
Before kick-off, Goodison Park held a minute's applause to remember Cyrille Regis, the iconic Albion striker who died last Sunday, aged 59.
Having paid tribute, West Brom's players started positively, with Krychowiak firing one good chance over the bar before playing through Rodriguez to drive a low shot beyond goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
It was Rodriguez's strike partner Rondon, though, who was Albion's main threat, powering one header just over from a Chris Brunt corner before half-time, and coming close to scoring on three occasions after the interval.
Pickford pushed away the first of those - a shot from the edge of the area - then watched a header drop just wide, and was helpless in stoppage time as the striker's dipping 25-yard shot bounced off the bar.
Man of the match - Salomon Rondon (West Brom)
'Frustration is an understatement' - reaction
Everton manager Sam Allardyce speaking to BBC Sport: "I think frustration is an understatement. I'm holding it in. The players know they didn't perform today. There was a lack of performance and we must pick ourselves up and work hard to be more ready mentally."
On Theo Walcott's debut: "Our players must understand where Theo likes to have the ball. Our players didn't pass well today. He's a great player with plenty of talent but we have to play in the right way."
West Brom manager Alan Pardew speaking to BBC Sport: "There was disappointment in the dressing room and I was pleased with that, not coming off celebrating a draw here because we should've won."
On Salomon Rondon's performance: "He was the outstanding player on the pitch and big Cyrille Regis would've been proud of him out there today. It was a fitting tribute and a great performance from Salomon."
Walcott ends 475-day assist drought - key stats
- Theo Walcott started a Premier League game for the first time since 26 April (Arsenal v Leicester), 269 days ago.
- Walcott registered his first Premier League assist in 28 games, since 2 October 2016 (Arsenal v Burnley), 475 days ago.
- Oumar Niasse has scored four goals as a substitute in the Premier League this season, a joint-high along with Olivier Giroud and Anthony Martial.
- Niasse scored just 56 seconds after coming off the bench, making the goal the fastest by a sub in the Premier League this season.
- Everton have gone six top-flight games without a win (three draws, three defeats), their longest run without a victory since April 2016 (seven games).
- West Brom have enjoyed just one win in their last 22 Premier League games, drawing 11 and losing 10.
- Jay Rodriguez has had a hand in three goals in his last four Premier League games (two goals, one assist), one more than he managed in his previous 19 for West Brom this season.
- Jonjoe Kenny (on 38 minutes) registered Everton's first shot on target in 251 minutes of Premier League action.
Everton, out of the FA Cup, have a break before their next Premier League game, at home to Leicester on 31 January (19:45 GMT). West Brom are back on Merseyside for an FA Cup trip to Liverpool next Saturday (19:45).
- 16McCarthySubstituted forRooneyat 61'minutes
- 2SchneiderlinBooked at 58mins
- 11WalcottBooked at 45mins
- 27VlasicSubstituted forBolasieat 45'minutes
- 14TosunSubstituted forNiasseat 69'minutes
- 25DawsonBooked at 88mins
- 6EvansSubstituted forMcAuleyat 80'minutes
- 11BruntSubstituted forLivermoreat 79'minutes
- 19RodriguezSubstituted forMcCleanat 79'minutes
- Stuart Attwell
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Everton 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.
Attempt missed. Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.
Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Jake Livermore.
Theo Walcott (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gareth Barry (West Bromwich Albion).
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Morgan Schneiderlin.
Attempt missed. Mason Holgate (Everton) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson following a set piece situation.
Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.
Hand ball by Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion).
Attempt missed. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Kieran Gibbs with a cross.
Wayne Rooney (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion).
Foul by Wayne Rooney (Everton).
Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Craig Dawson with a cross.
Attempt saved. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by James McClean.
Attempt saved. Yannick Bolasie (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Oumar Niasse.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Gareth McAuley replaces Jonny Evans because of an injury.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Jake Livermore replaces Chris Brunt.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. James McClean replaces Jay Rodriguez.
Attempt missed. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Chris Brunt with a cross.
Attempt saved. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Ahmed Hegazi.
Foul by Cuco Martina (Everton).
Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Theo Walcott (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion).
Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.
Attempt saved. Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gareth Barry.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) because of an injury.
Foul by Ashley Williams (Everton).
Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Goal! Everton 1, West Bromwich Albion 1. Oumar Niasse (Everton) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Theo Walcott with a headed pass.
Substitution, Everton. Oumar Niasse replaces Cenk Tosun.
Yannick Bolasie (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion).
Foul by Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton).
Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.