Controversy rained down on Goodison Park yet again as Everton were dragged right back into the relegation battle after failing to ensure their Premier League status for next season against Brentford. With just two games remaining, Everton must win against Patrick Viera’s Crystal Palace at Goodison Park to mathematically clinch survival and make sure they aren’t in need of points when they visit the Emirates on Championship Sunday.
Flipped on its Head
It’s quite the obvious take, but I’ll make it anyways. Jarrad Branthwaite’s sending off completely and utterly changed this game. Everton were 1-0 up, dominating, and should have had a chance to make it two from 12 yards. Instead, Michael Oliver decided not to call the most blatant grabbing of the jersey possible, and a long ball over the top combined with a naive young defender led to the Toffees being forced to play with 10 men for over 70 minutes. I have no doubt Everton would have won this game if the referees were competent... or impartial.
Let’s just put it this way: that first half was absolutely mental. I had to take some deep breaths and drink a glass of water to calm down at half-time after all that had transpired. Unfortunately, the second half was even less enjoyable from an Evertonian perspective.
4 - Everton v Brentford is just the fourth match in Premier League history to see a first-half red card, own goal and penalty, after Coventry v Wimbledon (Nov 1995), Charlton v Aston Villa (April 2001) and Tottenham v Fulham (Feb 2003). Eventful. #EVEBRE— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 15, 2022
Riding Their Luck
With this victory, Brentford have now won the same amount of games in their last 10 as Manchester City. Yes, that’s the same Manchester City that are one win away from clinching a fourth Premier League title in the last five years. This wasn’t the best time to be playing Brentford, and they’ve recently been an entirely different team than the one that got smacked 4-1 in Frank Lampard’s debut as Everton manager earlier this season.
Most Premier League wins since the start of March:— Squawka (@Squawka) May 15, 2022
◎ 8 - Liverpool (10 games)
◎ 8 - Spurs (12 games)
◎ 7 - Man City (10 games)
◎ 7 - Arsenal (12 games)
◉ 7 - Brentford (10 games)
The Bees keeping up with the big boys. pic.twitter.com/wDTcARIYJ2
As I already mentioned, Jarrad Branthwaite’s red card never should have happened. Rondon’s, however, was clear as day. It was an awful tackle. Simply idiotic. He came on as a substitute with 6 minutes left with the goal of getting Everton back into the game, and instead, he put the final nail in the coffin by getting sent off less than 5 minutes after stepping onto the pitch. Simply moronic.
Everton's defeat to Brentford was only the second game in the club's history where they had a player sent off in both halves. The only other game was against Barnsley in the FA Cup in January 1915 (George Harrison in the first half, Bobby Parker in the second half). #EFC— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) May 16, 2022
The Largest Disgrace
This is not a stat, but I feel I have to discuss it. There’s no avoiding it. Both Rico Henry’s and Ivan Toney’s families were subject to racial abuse at Goodison Park on Sunday, which makes me and the rest of the Everton community incredibly sad, angry, and disheartened. Football must be a place of inclusion, acceptance, and celebration of the global diversity that makes this game what it is. Everton is the club of the people; ALL people. Let’s keep it that way.
I never usually speak out on things that don’t physically harm me or my family but to see my mom upset after being racially abused by a few Everton fans brought fire to my stomach!— Rico Henry (@ricohenry14) May 15, 2022