Starting XI: Pickford; Baines, Jagielka, Keane, Coleman; Davies, Rooney; Bolasie, Sigurdsson, Walcott; Tosun
Subs: Robles, Martina, Niasse, Klaassen, Baningime, Calvert-Lewin, Niasse
Brighton & Hove Albion
Starting XI: Ryan, Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert, Kayal, Propper, Izquierdo, Gross, Murray
Subs: Krul, Bruno, Goldson, Suttner, March, Ulloa, Locadia
Sam Allardyce named the attacking lineup at home that fans have been clamoring for all season long, more out of necessity than anything with Idrissa Gueye injured. And for the first half hour it looked great with Wayne Rooney as a defensive midfield pivot with Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson running around in front of him.
The Blues dominated possession and created plenty of half-chances but a well-drilled Brighton side kept them at bay and it was 0-0 at the half despite the hosts controlling the game.
Just when the natives were getting restless near the hour mark, Yannick Bolasie cut inside and his cross to the far post was met by Theo Walcott and Gatean Bong, and it went off the defender’s shin to give Everton the lead.
With the Blues in the ascendancy a neat sequence of passes from the Rooney-Siggy-Baines trio created an opening for Cenk Tosun, and he hammered his shot top corner and in off the underside of the bar.
There was even enough time for Rooney to miss a penalty that DOminic Calvert-Lewin won off former Blue Shane Duffy, but it didn’t matter in the end.
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