Somehow, Everton conjured a miraculous 5-1 win against Brighton & Hove Albion at the American Express Community Stadium on Monday. The Seagulls have been exceptional all season despite losing their manager and best player to Chelsea. They came into the game needing a win to stay in the hunt for Champions League football. However, Abdoulaye Doucoure gave the relegation battlers the lead just 34 seconds in after a brilliant turn and pass from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and there was no looking back for the Toffees. They led 3-0 at half-time in a Premier League away game for the first time since February 2016. Despite a strong push from Brighton at the beginning of the second half, a combination of Jordan Pickford and the woodwork kept the Southerners at bay long enough for McNeil to tack on two more and secure a precious, precious victory. Here are 5 very enjoyable Stats from Everton’s incredible battering of Brighton.
1. Dazzling Away Day
Coming into Monday’s match, Everton had only won a single game away from home this Premier League season. That match came against bottom-dwellers Southampton on October 1st; a full 219 days ago. Although the Traveling Toffees’ wait for another victory was painfully long, they were given a real treat at the Amex. Everton’s 5-1 win tied their largest margin of victory in an away game in the Premier League era. It was the first time they have scored 5 in any Premier League game since 2018’s Boxing Day hammering of Burnley, and the first time they’ve scored 4 or more since October 2020, which also came against the Seagulls. What a time to do it.
Everton's biggest away wins in the Premier League:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) May 8, 2023
5-1 vs Burnley (December 2018)
5-1 vs Brighton (May 2023)
4-0 vs West Ham (February 2000)#EFC
2. Unpredictably Prolific
For months, Everton’s lack of goals has been the main point behind why so many, including ourselves, expected us to go down. Coming into Monday’s match, the Toffees were the lowest scorers in the league with just 27, and Brighton had conceded the 5th fewest. If you told anyone before the match that one team would net 5, no one would’ve expected it to be Everton. It truly was a scoring flurry out of absolutely nowhere.
15% of Everton’s league goals were scored tonight.— Royal Blue Mersey #AllTogetherNow (@RBMersey) May 8, 2023
3. The McNeil Match
After the draw against Leicester City, Dwight McNeil tweeted that he “would not stop fighting”. Well, that commitment was certainly evident at the Amex Stadium. Simply put, Dwight had the absolute game of his life. Firstly, he led a terrific counter and played a superb cross-field ball which Doucoure slammed home for 2-0. Secondly, he picked up the scraps of what looked to be a failed move and forced a Jason Steele own goal. Thirdly, he collected Alex Iwobi’s through ball and sent both Dunk and Steele to the shops before walking the ball in for 4-0. And then finally, he put the icing on the cake by scoring an absolute screamer in second-half stoppage time to make it five. On top of all that, he worked his socks off, defended brilliantly, and terrorized the Seagulls all afternoon. His 9.4 match rating according to FotMob was the highest any Everton player has managed this season. What an unbelievable performance.
Dwight McNeil v Brighton:— TheMightyBlues (@MightyBluesYT) May 8, 2023
100% take-ons completed
13 touches in opposition box
9 duels won
8 x possession won
3 fouls won
3 chances created
2 shots on target
4. Dynamic Duo
Prior to the win against Brighton, no Everton player had scored a brace this season. We were treated to two at the Amex. Both Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dwight McNeil bagged twice and fully deserved it based on their overall performances. With those goals, McNeil became the club’s top scorer in the Premier League this season with 7, and Doucoure joined Demarai Gray in second with 4. Both players have scored crucial goals since the new year and stepped up massively on Monday to produce a win for the ages.
Everton's 5-1 win over Brighton was the first time 2 #EFC players have scored at least 2 goals in an away game (Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dwight McNeil) since against Luton in May 1983 (Graeme Sharp and Kevin Sheedy).— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) May 8, 2023
5. Safety in Sight
Although the win over Brighton does not secure safety for Everton in any way, it’s undeniably a massive step in the right direction. At kick-off, the Toffees had just a 41% chance of staying up according to FiveThirtyEight’s Premier League Projections, but that jumped all the way up to 78% after the resounding victory. With just three games left to play, the two-point advantage that Everton now have over Leeds and Leicester is massive, and considering the latter two’s remaining fixtures, it’s possible that just one more point could be enough to secure Everton’s Premier League status. With winnable fixtures against Wolves and Bournemouth to end the season, survival is now back in the Toffees’ hands.