Final score 1-0 - Disappointing today from the Blues. The formation choice looked wrong from the outset, and as Adam had forewarned, and though hitting the woodwork twice didn’t help, the effort just wasn’t there for Everton.
90+4’ - It’s over, the Blues have lost.
90’ - Blues win another freekick this time more central, this is Digne territory surely?
The Frenchman takes it but it’s low and poor, straight at the wall.
There’ll be four minutes of time added on.
87’ - Sigurdsson wins an easy freekick in the right channel, his freekick is exquisite.. Zouma gets his head to it and it goes off the top of the bar! So close, again.
86’ - Brighton are slowly grinding the clock down, Blues are letting themselves down though with giveaways and needless fouls.
81’ - The third change is Oumar Niasse.. and it’s Bernard going off. Don’t know what shape we’re playing, but Niasse’s energy up top should be fun.
79’ - Theo Walcott has done a lot more defensively today, but makes two terrible errors. Gives the ball away cheaply in a dangerous spot near the box, and then makes a mess of a clearance giving up a corner. Yikes.
74’ - Shout out to Florin Andone - the Brighton player has had a helluva game today against the Blues, his workrate has been excellent and he’s been a nuisance all over the pitch. He comes off for dangerman Glenn Murray, who will occupy the Blues’ CBs.
68’ - Bernard with a fantastic turn and run down the left, comes into the box and instead of centering tries to turn and shoot, miserable effort actually goes out for a throw-in.
64’ - Silva has seen enough and is finally sending on Gylfi Sigurdsson. He won’t be on for the corner now, Digne takes it, but it’s cleared. Yerry Mina goes off, Blues in their customary 4-2-3-1 now.
60’ - Everton attack, and the ball falls to Richarlison, his shot is parried onto the post by Button! Digne’s rebound is blocked for a corner, which is then cleared.
The game has burst into life now.
57’ - Mina continuing to cement his reputation as an awful tackler, gives away a dangerous freekick at the edge of the box down the right. Andone with a sharp header and Pickford parries away for another corner - great save, straight at him though.
Brighton keep the pressure up with another couple of corners and the hosts finally score! Immediately called offside and it’s waved off, but then the referee and assistant ref confer and it’s given a goal. The ball went off Gomes and fell to Locadia completely unmarked. 1-0 to Brighton.
52’ - Some drama now. Richarlison goes down, writhing around and Brighton choose to play on. The Blues are incensed and when it finally goes out for a home corner Bernard gets in March’s face. He is booked for his outburst and the corner is cleared.
50’ - Mina gets too close to Propper who turns and leaves him for dead.. Andone’s shot is well-blocked by Zouma for a corner. Deep corner is headed wide.
Mina then turns the ball over and Andone gets a shot directly at Pickford.
46’ - Everton get us underway, no changes that we can see.
Good observation from the commentators - the last time the Blues played here last season Ronald Koeman was the manager and Wayne Rooney scored. How times have changed.
Halftime - The Blues rode their luck at times, but have certainly had the better of the chances in the first forty-five minutes. It’s still 0-0, will Marco Silva make any changes?
45+1’ - Seagulls try to play the ball out and an errant backpass goes for a corner. It’s taken short but a shove by Gomes in the box ends the half.
42’ - Gueye steals a misplaced pass and runs into the final third, but when it makes sense to shoot he stops to look for a pass that is cleared.
Richarlison with an excellent cushioned header from a cross, but ball is cleared just before Bernard can get to it. So close again.
40’ - As Chris said on the RBM Twitter -
“Weird how when Everton decide to play football they start to run Brighton off the field”
35’ - Propper makes a move into the box, and Mina comes across to hoof it clear. Corner.. Solly March takes it, and once again it’s low and cleared by Richarlison. He’s gotten to a lot of those it seems today.
32’ - Close again! Bernard makes a good run at the box, and another Walcott cross goes to the far post where Gueye comes racing in, but it’s too high and wide.
30’ - Now Gueye comes steaming in and fires a shot from distance, it’s deflected but straight at the goalie.
29’ - Richarlison shot saved and rebound falls to Coleman who dallies on the ball and his shot is blocked. Another missed chance there.
27’ - Close! Debutant goalkeeper David Button spills a Walcott cross, and Bernard loses it in in his feet.. ball is loose and goal open, but Richarlison is offside.
21’ - Everton have seen more of the ball, but have gotten nothing from Theo Walcott or Richarlison so far.
15’ - Pickford makes a big save, rushing into a Gross cross as Andone charges into him. Couple of shots charged down and cleared. Brighton have their tails up now.
14’ - Yerry Mina clotheslines Andone who got past him on the Blues’ right. Dangerous freekick deep, Richarlison heads clear.
12’ - Bernard smartly wins a corner down the left. Lucas Digne’s outswinger, cleared.. Bernard returns it and Michael Keane once again cannot hit the target with his header. Sigh.
8’ - Everton very one-dimensional in the rare occasions they have had the ball, looking for Coleman down the right or a long ball to Richarlison.
3’ - As feared, Everton are not seeing any of the ball at all with the two wings backs sitting back and Gomes and Gueye right in front of the backline. Giant hole in the middle of the park.
1’ - We’re underway in Everton’s 4,500th game in the top flight, the most in English history. The Blues are in their third kits today, the black and pink number.
Lineups - Marco Silva decides to stick with the 3-4-3, but makes two changes with Richarlison replacing Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Idrissa Gueye back and Gylfi Sigurdsson sitting. Cenk Tosun misses out again as reports circulate that he insists in staying with the Blues and winning his starting spot back.
One surprise from the Seagulls lineup with striker Glenn Murray on the bench. An aerial battle between him and the Blues’ towering CB trio would’ve been something to watch.
Everton have one of the worst road records in the top half of the Premier League, and would like to follow up the battering of Burnley midweek with another away win at Brighton & Hove Albion as the season starts its second half.
The Blues play 4 games in 10 days during this hectic holiday schedule, and this will the be third of that quartet. As far as injuries go, Ademola Lookman is the only doubt after failing to recover from an ankle issue.
Chris Hughton has his charges up to 13th in the Premier League table, ten points off the relegation zone, and ten points off a European spot as well. Brighton have done well at home this season, with only two losses (both to top six sides) and holding Arsenal to very merited draw on Boxing Day.
Date and start time: Saturday, December 29th at 7:00 a.m. PT / 10:00 a.m ET / 3:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: American Express Community (Falmer) Stadium, Brighton, England
Weather: 53°F/12°C, cloudy, 11% chance of precipitation, 12 mph winds
How to Watch/Listen
TV: N/A - United States; N/A - United Kingdom, TSN 1 - Canada
Radio: Everton Match Centre, TalkSport Radio World, TalkSport 2 Radio UK
Gamethread: Liveblog will be updated above from one hour before kickoff
Starting XI: Pickford; Mina, Keane, Zouma; Digne, Gomes, Gueye, Coleman; Bernard, Richarlison, Walcott.
Subs: Stekelenburg, Baines, Jagielka, Sigurdsson, Davies, Niasse, Calvert-Lewin
Starting XI: Button; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; March, Pröpper, Stephens, Groß; Andone, Locadia.
Subs: Steele, Balogun, Bong, Kayal, Murray, Gyokeres, Bissouma
This is the second time the two sides meet this season, with the Blues winning the Goodison Park leg 3-1 in early November. Richarlison had grabbed a brace and Seamus Coleman the third while Lewis Dunk had scored off a setpiece.
Last season’s clash at the Amex was a dull affair, with Anthony Knockaert scoring the opener late, and Wayne Rooney dispatching a penalty in time added on for a 1-1 final score that was a touch lucky for the visitors.