Brighton and Everton battled it out to take a point each away from their clash at the Amex Stadium on Sunday.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman looked on with anguish as his side nearly took all three point in the last moments of the game, though Brighton executed a solid game plan that was marred by a moment of madness that allowed Everton back into the game.
The first half performance was met with an unenthusiastic applause from both sets of fans as both sides did little to break the deadlock. An animated Ronald Koeman looked to force life into his team’s performance make three changes to his starting line up. Both sides created half chances in the first 45 minutes, but failed to execute exciting attacking plays.
Everton’s Calvert-Lewin came close in the 73rd minute as he shrugged off Brighton’s fullback from a Wayne Rooney cross, but his shot went straight into Ryan’s gloves. Pickford was then forced to make a save from a long range shot, and minutes later Michael Keane blocked an Anthony Knockaert goal scoring opportunity to keep the score level.
Gylfi Sigurdsson had a strong penalty claim turned down by Michael Oliver as his shirt was pulled from behind, throwing the Icelandic international off balance and forcing him to skew his shot
Anthony Knockaert finally broke the deadlock with less than 10 minutes left to play. An initial cross was poorly dealt with and not cleared away. The second cross came in and Knockaert finished clinically to the jubilation of the Amex crowd.
Everton were then offered a lifeline as Michael Oliver awarded a penalty to the visitors. Brighton’s skipper and centre-back Bruno was issued a yellow card for an elbow to Dominic Calvert-Lewin that should have been a red card.
Everton will perhaps be unhappy that Brighton did not receive two red cards as midfielder Propper’s reckless challenge on Idrissa Gueye was again only punished with a yellow card. The Seagulls may see their players banned retrospectively.
The away side then had a chance in the last 20 seconds to win the game as Matthew Ryan made a double save to make sure the Seagull’s secured a point. Brighton will be happy with a hard fought point whilst Everton fans may feel disappointed as their team continues to perform poorly and get themselves out of their poor form.
Brighton will be delighted with the grit that they have shown in recent games, whereas Everton still look to be far from finding the right team and formation to compete and get the results that Koeman’s men simply must start finding in the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.
Written by Dominic Holt.