Brighton’s Mac Allister doubles up to pile misery on Benítez and Everton | Premier League

Everton unveiled an costly new recruit earlier than kick-off and welcomed again Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the primary time in 4 months however any ideas of a recent begin for Rafael Benítez have been quashed by Brighton’s first ever victory at Goodison Park.

Graham Potter’s guests heightened the strain on the Everton supervisor with a hard-earned victory, began and sealed by tremendous targets from Alexis Mac Allister. The Argentinian midfielder capped a assured Brighton efficiency with a shocking winner previous Jordan Pickford.

Regardless of the very best efforts of Anthony Gordon, who additionally scored twice, the brand new yr opened with acquainted torment and a dearth of inspiration from Benítez’s group. Everton had not performed for 17 days because of three consecutive postponements due to Covid outbreaks. In accordance to Benítez’s programme notes: “We’ve got used the time with out matches to put together as intensively as attainable for the challenges Brighton current. This implies understanding how to make it troublesome for them to impose their fashion and, equally importantly, figuring out how to create the possibilities to win the sport.”

These phrases appeared ludicrous given what unfolded within the first half. Brighton have been the extra coherent, composed and harmful facet from the outset. They have been aided and abetted by dismal defending from an Everton group that created subsequent to nothing plus the method adopted by Benítez himself.


The Everton supervisor began the primary dwelling sport of the brand new yr with a five-man defence that featured Seamus Coleman at left wing-back. France worldwide left-back Lucas Digne was accessible however, having been ostracised by Benítez and seen the membership buy Vitaliy Mykolenko for an preliminary £17.9m from Dynamo Kyiv, he was left on the bench all through. Pointedly, Digne acquired a heat reception from the Goodison crowd when he sprinted alongside the touchline within the fortieth minute and handed his shirt to a younger Evertonian after the ultimate whistle.

Potter’s group swept into an early lead when exploiting the gaps that Everton’s form was designed to eradicate. Joel Veltman had time to pick Neal Maupay with a cross from the precise that the unmarked striker headed over Michael Keane in the direction of Mac Allister. The midfielder, additionally assembly no resistance as he arrived within the penalty space, positioned a volley inside Pickford’s backside proper hand nook.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin holds his head in his hands after missing a first-half penalty.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin holds his head in his fingers after lacking a first-half penalty. {Photograph}: James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Photos

Everton’s defence was discovered wanting once more when Brighton doubled their benefit. Mac Allister turned supplier when he drilled a nook to the close to submit the place Enock Mwepu linked with a glancing header. Dan Burn, on their own on the again submit having peeled away from Keane, headed dwelling gleefully from shut vary.

The hosts have been handed a route again into the competition nearly instantly when Mwepu was penalised for barging into the again of Gordon simply contained in the Brighton space. Referee John Brooks initially dismissed Everton appeals for a penalty however modified his thoughts when directed to the pitch-side monitor by VAR. Calvert-Lewin stepped up to announce his long-awaited return to the group in fashion however, after a brief run-up, blazed the spot-kick over the bar.

A primary half to overlook for Everton ended with a predictable refrain of boos. Benítez’s often-stated perception in a stronger second half to the season is predicated largely on the provision of Calvert-Lewin. The Everton centre-forward had been absent for the reason that 2-0 win at Brighton on 28 August, when he scored his third objective in three appearances earlier than being sidelined for 4 months with a toe and a recurring thigh harm.

His bodily presence, motion and ending have been sorely missed for 15 matches and he’ll want time not solely to recapture match sharpness, however to set up a rapport with these round him.

Gordon and Demarai Grey labored tirelessly across the England worldwide and have been central to Everton’s second half enchancment, albeit as people somewhat than an efficient unit. Gordon introduced Everton hope shortly after the restart together with his first objective for his boyhood membership. Receiving Allan’s cross on the precise, the 20-year-old minimize inside Marc Cucurella and Mac Allister earlier than unleashing a left-footed drive that deflected off Adam Lallana and sailed past a wrong-footed Robert Sánchez.

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Grey and Allan each went shut to equalising earlier than Brighton re-established their two-goal lead courtesy of an excellent objective from Mac Allister. Everton appeared to have handled a counterattack when Mason Holgate denied Maupay with a tremendous sort out because the ahead raced by means of on objective. Keane, nevertheless, put his group again underneath strain with a poor clearance that was seized upon by Burn. The defender discovered Leandro Trossard, and his low cross was flicked on to Mac Allister by Yves Bissouma. Brighton’s match-winner linked completely with the bouncing ball and Pickford was left greedy at skinny air because the midfielder’s shot discovered the highest nook from distance.

The extremely spectacular Gordon pulled one other objective again when rounding off a flowing transfer involving Calvert-Lewin and Jonjoe Kenny. Benítez launched Salomón Rondón – to but extra boos – and though the substitute created an honest probability for Gordon’s hat-trick and volleyed over from André Gomes’s cross there could be no reprieve for Everton, nor their troubled supervisor.

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