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Everton at Brighton: Instant Reaction | Solid 2-0 win for the Blues

Tidy defensive performance on a difficult away day

Brighton & Hove Albion v Everton - Premier League Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Everton created a bunch of chances in a highly entertaining game against a difficult opponent to win 2-0 and continue their unbeaten run to start the season. The Blues were very organized defensively all game long and even with their not optimal centreback pairing of Michael Keane and Mason Holgate, did well enough to foil Graham Potter’s high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion side.

A well-taken far-post shot from Demarai Gray and another neatly-dispatched penalty form Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave the Blues all three points as they climed into second place provisionally in the Premier League table.

Rafa Benitez named a straightforward side with Alex Iwobi dropping to the bench after an excellent showing midweek, but with nine first team players out due to a variety of reasons, Everton were expected to struggle playing their third away game in a week.

The game had started with the home side in the ascendancy as they controlled possession like expected. However, Everton came into their own as the half progressed and Yves Bissouma’s influence waned.

The first goal came just before the half from a perfectly-weighted ball from Allan who was excellent all day in both the defensive and attacking phases of the game. The Brazilian midfielder found Gray streaking into space, and the forward driblled past one man before smacking a shot low and into the far post with Robert Sanchez beaten all ends up.

Brighton didn’t come into the second half all fired up or anything, and Everton continued to pick them apart methodically in the middle. Another fantastic throughball from Allan found an overlapping Seamus Coleman in the box and he was clumsily fouled for a penalty.

There were some unsavory scenes after that though, with Richarlison grabbing the ball despite Calvert-Lewin being the designated penalty taker. It took Coleman, Andros Townsend and Allan to calm Richarlison down and take the ball away before DCL coolly slotted home in the exact spot he did last weekend at Leeds United.

The Seagulls threw everything they had forward in an attempt to pull a goal back but Everton were not really made to sweat at all as they retained their defensive structure to give the Toffees their first away win at the Amex Stadium in the Premier League era.

Even with a stripped-down squad with only eights subs on the bench and two of them goalies, Rafa Benitez produced a masterclass to ensure the Blues go into the international break soaring on a high.