Fulltime Thoughts - Tidy performance from the Blues, with very solid performances from both Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure (again). A lot of credit too to the embattled defensive pair of Michael Keane and Mason Holgate who did not put a foot or head wrong.
90+5’ - There’s the fulltime whistle, Everton deserved every one of the three points they get here today, 2-0 the final score.
90’ - Gomes wins a corner on the left. Taken short and possession retained in front of the Everton fans.
87’ - Richarlison tugged back by Trossard as Iwobi’s cross comes in, and he goes down! Penalty!! VAR looks at it and says no penalty, come on!!
83’ - Bissouma finds Maupay who then has a shooting chance but puts it wide.
Richy finds Iwobi wide open down the sideline, he cuts in and wins a corner. Cleared, but Gomes fires straight at Sanchez and he spills it, but gathers before a black shirt can get in there.
80’ - Trossard attempt, takes Pickford two tries to gather under pressure.
The Blues are doing very well to hold off the hosts. Gray comes off now for Andre Gomes, with Benitez bolstering the midfield.
78’ - Another counter at speed from Gray, he finds Doucoure in space, and the midfielder dances around before shooting straight at Sanchez, rebound falls temptingly loose and the goalie can collect a second before Townsend gets to it. Richy was available too.
76’ - Iwobi launches a quick counter, he finds Richarlison in space a bit wide and the Brazilian chooses to hammer his shot, and it’s wide into the side netting.
70’ - Looks like trouble here for DCL, he was already playing with a toe injury and now seems to have pulled a muscle or something. He’s coming off for Alex Iwobi now.
65’ - Richy is not letting all this affect him, almost presses Sanchez into a fatal error.
Keane feels hard done by with Jon Moss giving Brighton a freekick from about 30+ yards out for a handball. Trossard will hook this into the box, off the wall and wide for a corner.
Corner is cleared.
61’ - Townsend nicks the ball and is running away from Bissouma who tugs him back and is booked.
Richarlison clips a breaking Bissouma and he’s booked too. This looked more like a repetition card than the severity of the tackle.
58’ - GOAL, 2-0!! Cool as ice from DCL who shrugs off all the drama going on around him and the striker deposits it just like he did against Leeds last weekend. Sanchez guessed right but like Meslier last week, can’t stop it due to the power and placement.
56’ - PENALTY!! Allan with a fantastic through ball for Coleman to run into and Veltman fouls the Everton player. Jon Moss has no hesitation and points to the spot.
Drama, Richarlison has grabbed the ball despite DCL and Townsend’s protestations. Coleman gets up from where he was fouled and takes the ball and hands it to DCL. Richarlison is livid and the crowd is loving it. What nonsense from the Brazilian!!
51’ - Brighton chance from a counter, Trossard can’t connect properly and Jon Moss has given a freekick on the edge of the box, central location.
Pascal Gross to take, through the wall and Pickford saves very well!! Richy was out of position and the ball went straight at the goalie with power, and Doucoure can clear for a corner, whew.
Corner pings around before Veltman shoots way over. Pressure building up now.
49’ - Richarlison and Bissouma are both still going at it, neither is ceding any ground to the other. Everton’s phase of possession late in the first half coincided with the midfielder’s waning influence after his injury.
46’ - Second half underway.
Halftime Thoughts - The Toffees grew into the game as the first half went on, goal was just reward after a number of missed chances.
45+3’ - There’s the halftime whistle, Everton lead 1-0.
45+1’ - Blues win a corner that is overhit again by Digne, Allan can cross back into the box and Sanchez is brave to get it from a mess of players in the box.
45’ - Allan almost gets a second assist! The midfielder charges forward into the box and with a delightful backheel sets up DCL for the shot, dragged wide of the far post.
42’ - GOAL!! DEMARAI GRAY!!
Allan sees a huge space for Gray to run into and he goes steaming into space, jinks past a defender and finds the far corner low, goalie beaten and it’s 1-0 Everton!
40’ - Good attacking move by Brighton is finally ended with the Blues clearing and then starting their own dangerous counter which is also cleared. Better this from both sides.
33’ - Delightful flick from Richy sees Coleman in space, he can cross but it’s just behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin, another chance wasted.
Another turnover and Richarlison has a shooting chance from outside the box, way over. Really need to take advantage of these opportunities.
31’ - Ooh, another chance! Richy presses the goalie into a giveaway, Townsend finds Doucoure and instead of passing to a wide open Gray he chooses to shoot, and blasts it over with the defence in disarray. That was poor.
28’ - Allan and Doucoure steal the ball in the middle and start a counter, Gray finds Townsend whose left-footed shot at the near post is saved very well for a corner.
Digne takes and again Sanchez can collect easily. Need to put more pressure on the ball on setpieces, but need better delivery from Digne too.
25’ - Now Bissouma is on the ground, just sat down off the ball. His foot is getting attended to, possibly from a Richarlison tackle a few minutes ago. He limps off but is coming right back on.
21’ - Everton are doing better now with managing the Brighton press and retaining possession in the hosts’ half.
Coleman cross blocked by Bissouma’s shoulder for a corner. VAR had a look at that one too. Digne to take, overhit and the goalie Sanchez collects easily.
16’ - Brighton counter at pace and win a corner off a Keane block. Duffy gets to it but Coleman does enough to dissuade him and it goes wide.
15’ - Bissouma has been charged with keeping Richarlison quiet and is doing it well so far. Gray does get free and his cross into the box is perfect but Townsend lets it run and there’s no one behind him to pounce.
13’ - Maupay with a shot from far away, over the bar and Pickford had that covered.
Gray looked to have fallen awkwardly, but is up again.
10’ - Keane blocks a Trossard cross for the first corner of the game. Brighton are dangerous from setpieces, high ball into the box misses everyone and the Blues can clear.
Everton’s first solid sequence of passes sees them hold the ball in the attacking third but the ball is cleared without a real shooting chance.
5’ - Rough start to the game here for Leandro Trossard. Caught by a stray kick in the first minute and then now takes a Michael Keane clearance off his face.
Turnovers the story for Everton so far as they keep losing the ball.
1’ - Underway at the Amex.
The lineups are out, and Rafa Benitez will not have either Yerry Mina or Ben Godfrey, so it’s back to that problematic Michael Keane & Mason Holgate partnership again. Squad depth looking really thin very early in the season with Tom Davies and Jean-Phillippe Gbamin also not available.
Everton didn’t even bother naming a ninth player for the bench, and that is after having two goalies on it already. Yikes.
Everton’s missing almost makes a whole starting XI - Injured/isolation: Mina, Godfrey, Delph, Davies, Gbamin, Tosun; Leaving/in limbo: Sigurdsson, James, Kean
Everton’s start to the new season under a new manager could have been worse or could have been better, but all things told two wins and a draw away at Leeds United is a pretty reasonable way to get a campaign started with Rafa Benitez in charge. The new boss has instilled a different mindset early on with the Toffees looking a lot more resilient to adversity, something that previous squads have not been able to overcome at the mental level.
The Toffees cannot be blamed if they are slightly distracted today, with rumours continuing to swirl around the futures of a number of players - Richarlison, James Rodriguez and Moise Kean being the primary ones.
Brighton & Hove Albion have three wins from three games in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup second round, and Graham Potter’s side will be looking to continue that excellent form going at home with fans in the stands as well. Potter had been linked with the Everton manager job previously, so the stakes might be a bit higher today.
Competition: Premier League Matchweek 3
Date and start time: Saturday, August 28th at 7:00 a.m. PT / 10:00 a.m ET / 3:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: AmEx Stadium, Brighton England, United Kingdom
Weather: 64°F/18°C, cloudy, 19% chance of precipitation, 11 mph winds
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Starting XI: Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Digne, Allan, Doucoure, Gray, Townsend, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Begovic, Lonergan, Kenny, Nkounkou, Iwobi, Gordon, Gomes, Branthwaite
Starting XI: Sanchez, Webster, Dunk, Bissouma, Maupay, Mac Allister, Trossard, Gross, Lallana, Moder, Duffy
Subs: Steele, Connolly, Mwepu, Alzate, Welbeck, Zeqiri, Roberts, Richards, Veltman
The Blues have never won at Brighton in the Premier League era, losing twice and drawing the other two times. The last time they travelled South was the dull dreary affair ending up 0-0.