Fulltime Thoughts - Everton were the dominant side for the first seventy minutes, and will be disappointed to have scored just once. However Ancelotti decided to buckle down with that one-goal lead and things got hairy in the end, but at the end of the day the Blues deserved to win and they did.
90+4’ - There’s the final whistle, relief all around after toughing out the last twenty or so minutes in the end. Ugly at times, but all three points and that’s what matters.
90+2’ - Sidibe rolling around trying to kill more clock, but will it get added on?
90’ - Nervous, nervous, nervous right now at Goodison. It’ll be four minutes added on.
88’ - OH MY WORD! That was ridiculously close. Murray got on the end of a deflected pass and his toe-poke carries over Pickford, and just past the post. Whewwwwww.
84’ - The last change is not going to be Moise Kean who has been warming up all game, instead it’s Yerry Mina now on for Lucas Digne, three-man backline with Holgate on the left now.
80’ - Murray gets his head to a cross in but Pickford saves well, then looks to have injured himself hitting the post.
Dunk shoves Digne aside and heads a corner well over. Dangerous game this the Blues are playing with sitting back and giving away possession.
74’ - Second sub will be Seamus Coleman on for Theo Walcott. Sidibe will go up to right midfield, Davies on left midfield.
Richarlison runs onto a Davies long ball and wins a corner on the right. Digne takes.. goes over everyone and hits the post! Keane heads it back, hits the bar, and then DCL jumps on the rebound and its a goal!! No it’s not, VAR judges it to have gone off his arm and in, so no goal. What’s worse, he gets a yellow card to add insult to the injury to his head for an intentional handball.
73’ - Bernard looks tired, he’s done well, and he’s coming off now for Fabian Delph.
The visitors have made all their changes too, with target man Glenn Murray on too.
68’ - Digne on a counter and lofts a long ball for DCL to chase.. the striker is tugged back but the referee is unmoved, he does get a shot off on goal, but Ryan saves.
Excellent movement from the Blues, passing the ball around and getting in and between the Brighton lines.
66’ - A good move for the Blues creates another good chance. Walcott’s deep cross is won by Bernard and he cuts it back into the centre, DCL’s deft flick towards goal hits Ryan in the chest and the opportunity is wasted. The goalie had no idea about that, was just in the right position.
61’ - Digne rushes forward on a 4-on-4 counter attack, and wins a corner off Duffy. Sigurdsson’s inswinger is won by Keane who climbs over Dunk, but it’s well over. That’s Keane for you.
59’ - Brighton have switched to a back-four and are looking much more aggressive.
Davies hangs Sigurdsson out to dry in the middle with a weak pass, the Icelander is pretty weak himself and loses it, but chases and wins it back.
55’ - Bernard and Digne getting pleny of joy on the left, a cross into Richarlison is shot towards goal, but Lewis Dunk slides in bravely and blocks for a corner, which is then cleared.
53’ - Whoa, close! Trossard cuts in from the left and curls a quick shot over Pickford and it comes back off the bar! That looked a lot like the one we conceded during the Derby last weekend.
50’ - Duffy gets a forearm in on DCL’s head as he goes up for a header from a Sidibe cross, the striker is fine. VAR reviews for a handball, but nothing there.
Second before that Montoya barges into the back of Holgate in the box, but the referee is unmoved. Come on!
47’ - Whew Everton get lucky. First Trossard dances through the midfield and then his shot is weak and wide. Then the Blues trying to play out the back see Davies caught in possession, loses the ball and Brighton have a clear shot on goal but the ref saves Davies’ blushes.
46’ - Second half underway, no changes.
Halftime Stats - Good reaction so far from the players, everyone’s been involved in a positive manner.
45+2’ - There’s halftime. That goal will do the players’ confidence good, because they deserved to be ahead here.
45’ - It’ll be two minutes added on, but before that Brighton have a corner and it goes quiet at Goodison. The visitors bizarrely take it short and the Blues can clear it for a throw.
41’ - Blues almost make it two. A freekick from the right by Sigurdsson is going to an unmarked Michael Keane, but Shane Duffy gets a touch on it and the Everton defender makes a hash of it.
39’ - Magical goal from Richarlison! Wow! The Brazilian turns deftly in the box beats Adam Webster and curls it into the far post, what a goal ladies and gentlemen!
In case you missed Richarlison's goal pic.twitter.com/MXK8ODh6tK— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 11, 2020
37’ - Bernard leads another break and finds Richarlison on the right, his quick shot is saved well by Ryan who parries it to safety.
34’ - This is like Sunday again. Walcott again behind the backline and has a chance from a tight angle, but looks to square it instead and it’s cleared.
30’ - Richarlison gets tackled into the advertising hoardings, and is grimacing, testing out his right ankle, but he will be back on the pitch.
24’ - DCL.. ooh. The striker gets behind and is at the left touchline, doesn’t see much support in the box so he tries to curl one in over the goalie and in at the far post, goes just, just wide. That would have been pretty.
22’ - Quarter mark of the game, still 0-0. Brighton have not really posed any threat whatsoever. Everton will be disappointed that for all their passing they haven’t scored. Silva’s side often failed to win games like this when they didn’t score early, what can Ancelotti do differently?
20’ - Bernard leads a break again, the ball comes to Walcott’s feet and his shot is blocked, he goes down again. Didn’t look like a penalty, and the VAR assessment agrees.
15’ - Bernard with another beautiful ball behind the backline, this time DCL runs out of room as Ryan comes out to close the angle down.
11’ - Everton make a quick break and Bernard is looking to put Richarlison through with a long diagonal pass, but Matty Ryan comes out to claim it.
9’ - After that VAR frustration it’s gone quiet here again. Everton are passing the ball around well and Brighton are yet to show up really.
5’ - Walcott gets behind the backline, Dunk tugs him back strongly enough to mess up his shot which is saved, and the referee is not interested in a penalty?! That is as clear as day!
VAR reviews it and confirms no penalty, ridiculous. Had he gone down instead of trying to play on would likely have gotten the call too.
3’ - Sigurdsson gives away a freekick just outside the box. Trossard swings in a cross behind the high line, no one can get solid contact and Pickford gathers.
1’ - Underway at Goodison Park. Deathly quiet for the first couple of minutes, not a song, nothing.
Starting lineups - Well then. Carlo Ancelotti has put the cat among the pigeons with that lineup hasn’t he? For the fans that were hoping that Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Delph, Walcott et al would never play for Everton again, the venerable manager has Sigurdsson as captain for the day, and Walcott out on the right.
Everton might look like a club in crisis, but that’s nothing some wins in a row wouldn’t fix, especially with some less challenging teams on the horizon.
It starts with Brighton & Hove Albion visiting Goodison Park today. The Toffees are sitting in 11th place in the Premier League table with 25 points, but sixth place is just six points away right now. Conversely, the relegation zone is also just five points away in this compressed league.
Carlo Ancelotti’s big challenge this weekend is going to be finding a squad that is well-rested, fit and motivated to play after last weekend’s derby humiliation, without finding a way to enrage the fickle fanbase at home.
Visitors Brighton & Hove Albion are in 14th place, one point behind the Blues. The Seagulls had an up-and-down December, with one win in their last five games and a home draw against Chelsea on New Year’s Day.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 22
Date and start time: Saturday, January 11th at 7:00 a.m. PT / 10:00 a.m ET / 3:00 p.m. BST
Weather: 54°F/12°C, cloudy, 19% chance of precipitation, 20 mph winds
How to Watch/Listen
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Gamethread: Comments section below starting one hour before game time
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Starting XI: Pickford, Sidibe, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Davies, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Lossl, Coleman, Baines, Delph, Mina, Schneiderlin, Kean
Starting XI: Ryan, Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Webster, Bernardo, Stephens, Propper, Trossard, Maupay, Jahanbakhsh.
Subs: Button, Schelotto, Bissouma, Gross, March, Alzate, Murray.
The Blues previous meeting this season with Brighton was the highly controversial comeback win for the hosts, which started with a dubious VAR penalty being awarded to the hosts, and an own goal capping off the 3-2 loss. Ironically, before that intervention from the television ref, the Blues had been in complete control coming back themselves from a goal down to lead 2-1 and what was looking like Marco Silva’s first Premier League comeback win with the Blues. That dream remained unfulfilled before he was sacked.
The last time Brighton visited Goodison was in November 2018, with Richarlison’s brace around a rare Seamus Coleman goal giving the Blues a 3-1 win.