Everton could play a maximum of seven games before the first international break, and were looking to make it seven wins in all those fixtures, welcoming Brighton & Hove Albion to a very wet Goodison Park.
The Blues got off to a flying start, passing the ball niftily and carving all sorts of space for themselves in the visitor’s half. Dominic Calvert-Lewin almost got in the scorer’s column early testing Matty Ryan in the Brighton goal after just a couple of minutes.
However, the hottest striker in world soccer would not be kept off the scoresheet for too long, with a delightful Gylfi Sigurdsson cross from a quick short corner to the far post headed in perfectly after just a quarter of an hour.
The wet pitch and rainy conditions was making for some entertaining football with the ball zipping about and players losing their footing. Unfortunately, Richarlison appeared to re-aggravate his injured ankle from midweek after a sliding challenge from Tariq Lamptey, and was replaced by Alex Iwobi. Toffees will be sweating his fitness during the international break now.
Just before halftime, Jordan Pickford made the headlines again, and unfortunately, it was for all the wrong reasons, again. He mishandled a ball hit into the ground, and dropped it right at the feet of the waiting Maupay who did well to swivel and shoot home with both Yerry Mina and Michael Keane at sea too.
That dull roar you’ve been hearing, it’s a raging storm now around his present and future, with just two days left in this transfer window. However, Yerry Mina bailed him out in time added on, with Brighton’s marking from setpieces quite suspect and the Colombian defender dunking in on Dunk at the near post.
Everton had been tentative to end the first half, but started off the second period a calmer side. Their quick transitions from winning the ball in defence had looked dangerous all game long and twice they were able to take advantage of Brighton failing to fall back in time, with James Rodriguez the beneficiary both times, once from Alex Iwobi and then from Abdoulaye Doucoure.
The Everton fourth goal really seemed to get the Blues’ confidence up, with Mina really making his mark. He was a force to be reckoned with in the box after his goal, and threw himself into challenges and blocks with glee and generally foiling anything Brighton were able to get going.
Why Graham Potter did not choose to attack the Everton box with more aerial balls we will never know, especially with Pickford’s shattered confidence and the blustery conditions, but that was a big contributor surely to why they leave Goodison Park still without a win in their club’s history.
James came off with just a bit left to play for Theo Walcott, with the game won and overall a stellar performance from the side. There was a further blemish late on with Bissouma slamming home a stunning volley to make the score a more respectable 4-2. Pickford gets a pass on that one, absolutely nothing he could have done there.