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5 Telling Stats from Everton’s 3-1 Win Over Brighton

A sign of things to come for the Blues?

Everton FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Evertonians walked home with a spring in their step after Everton’s 3-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday. It’s a weird feeling.

But can we start getting used to this or is another false-dawn upon us? Below we dissect the game (and the season to date) to see what the numbers are telling us.

Crossing Key

Blues have put in a league-high 256 crosses this season

Everton lead the way in the Premier League with the number of crosses put into the box this season, with Lucas Digne (third in league) putting in 76 and Gylfi Sigurdsson (fifth in league) putting in 75.

While Digne has been a constant down the left since coming into the team, Seamus Coleman was also back to his best against Brighton, putting in 10 crosses (five more than he’s attempted in any game this season) along with the Frenchman’s 14.

There’s no doubt that this was Everton’s most balanced performance of the season, with the Blues looking threatening from all areas of the pitch.

Walcott Starts Well…

…but fades second half for fewest touches in fifth consecutive match

Theo Walcott has been a peripheral figure for Everton in recent weeks, but the winger was much more lively in the first half against Brighton.

Heading into half-time, Walcott had touched the ball 24 times – with only Bernard seeing more of the ball among Everton’s front four.

However, Walcott disappeared again in the second half – save some dangerous diagonal runs – touching the ball just nine more times before being replaced in the 84th minute. For the fifth consecutive game in a row, Theo Walcott had the least touches of the ball of any outfield Everton player.

Many had expected Lookman or Tosun to come into the side ahead of this game, but will Marco Silva want to change a winning formula ahead of next weekend’s trip to Chelsea? The pair will have to make a real impression in Tuesday’s friendly against Gor Mahia if so.

Gueye: The Tackling Machine

Senegal midfielder tops league stats for tackling

Gana put in another six tackles at Goodison on Saturday, to ensure he remains miles ahead in the league’s tackling table. Gueye has made 55 tackles this season, significantly more than Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka in second with 44. His presence for the Blues can’t be underestimated.

Everton are also third in the league for the most tackles made, with 211 challenges.

Ruthless Richarlison

Brazilian now has six goals in nine games

While doubts remain whether Richarlison is the right man to lead the Everton line, there’s no doubt about the Brazilian’s finishing ability, with two precise strikes securing the points for the Blues.

Many fans – myself included – feel Richie is more effective from a wide position, but Silva may well stick to with what seems to be a winning formula.

The 21-year-old now has six goals in nine games for Everton this season, which puts him just one goal behind the league’s top scorers – Pierre Aubameyang, Eden Hazard and Sergio Aguero – despite missing two games through suspension.

Improvements All-Round

Statistical head-to-head compared to last season…

Average Stats Per Game: 2017/18 v 2018/19

Goals For: 1.16 v 1.73

Goals Against: 1.53 v 1.36

Shots: 9.4 v 13.7

Shots on Target: 3.2 v 4.8

Big Chances Created: 1.1 v 1.7

Hit Woodwork: 0.2 v 0.4

Passes: 388 v 425

Pass Accuracy: 74% v 78%

Crosses: 16.5 v 23.2

Tackles: 16.9 v 19.2

In case you thought your eyes may deceiving you while watching the Blues, there’s no doubt the team has approved across the board this season – as the above table clearly demonstrates. More goals scored, less conceded. More chances created, more shots, more passes, better passes, more crosses, more tackles. Things are heading in the right direction.