Premier League
EvertonEverton4BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion2

Everton 4-2 Brighton: Calvert-Lewin scores again as Toffees go top

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport
Dominic Calvert-Lewin heads in Everton's opener against Brighton
Calvert-Lewin has become the first Everton player to score in each of their opening four games in a Premier League season

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his ninth goal of the season and James Rodriguez netted twice as Everton beat Brighton to make it four Premier League wins from four for the impressive table-topping Toffees.

However, it was another game that will prompt questions about the quality of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for both club and country.

All was going well for the home side after Calvert-Lewin rose highest to head in at the back post to cap another excellent week that saw him score his second hat-trick of the season and earn a first call-up to the senior England squad.

But in the closing stages of a first half in which he had barely been tested, England keeper Pickford dropped a tame bouncing ball at the feet of Neal Maupay, who then slotted the ball in on the turn.

The heavy rain during the match was undoubtedly a contributing factor but the poor error comes not long after the shocking mistake he made in the Carabao Cup win at Fleetwood.

Thankfully for the home side, they were able to reclaim the lead before the break when Rodriguez picked out fellow Colombian Yerry Mina, who headed in from a free-kick.

And it was Rodriguez who put the game beyond Albion, firstly sliding in to finish off Alex Iwobi's chipped cross at the back post then finding space in the same area to tap home Abdoulaye Doucoure's pass.

Brighton were able to claim a consolation through a superb Yves Bissouma strike in added time but they have now lost three of their first four games.

They can argue they deserved to take something from the defeats by Chelsea and Manchester United, but they can have no complaints about this.

Aside from Pickford's form, the only other negative for Carlo Ancelotti's side was losing forward Richarlison to injury in the first half.

Everton lead the division, having taken 12 points from 12, but could be overtaken this weekend by Leicester and Liverpool, who both play on Sunday.

Brilliant at one end, but issues at the other

Everton performance complete - Ancelotti on Brighton win

Since joining Everton from Sheffield United in August 2016, Calvert-Lewin has played under six managers, the first of which, Ronald Koeman, occasionally played him at right wing-back and tasked him with providing opportunities for others.

Now, though, under the tutelage of Ancelotti, he is developing into a supreme finisher and the side is set up to supply him.

Earlier in the season, in reference to the striker, Ancelotti harked back to his time as boss of AC Milan, when Filipo Inzaghi made the predatory one-touch finish an artform.

Calvert-Lewin is not at that level yet, but you can see the shared DNA. One early chance, gifted to him by an error from Bissouma, saw him quickly get the ball out of his feet and fire a shot that Mat Ryan had to palm away.

His opening goal - converted at the back post from Gylfi Sigurdsson's cross - looks simple on the surface, but is a testament to positioning, prowess and the ever-growing understanding of the service he needs from a team that has come a long way from some of the limp, directionless displays of last season.

Brighton contributed to own downfall - Potter

Rodriguez is a big factor in that and the Colombian has now been directly involved in six goals in his five games for Everton in all competitions this season.

The Toffees have scored 24 goals in their seven games of the campaign, currently more than any other side in Europe's top five leagues.

Things are not quite so rosy at the other end of the pitch, though.

Pickford, who looked shaky throughout the game, gifted Brighton their equaliser and could easily have presented them with another goal when he palmed out a cross to Maupay for a shot that Tom Davies blocked.

And it is not a new problem - Pickford has made 11 errors leading to goals in the Premier League since his debut for Everton in August 2017, more than any other goalkeeper in that time.

Everton's superb attacking talent compensated for his big mistake on Saturday, but his form will be a concern to Ancelotti and England manager Gareth Southgate with three international fixtures coming up this month.

'This is the moment of Dominic Calvert-Lewin now'

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti, speaking to MOTD: "Brighton played well. We played well also. We managed the situation of the game well. We had composure defensively and had opportunities on the counter attack. The performance was complete and this was the reason we deserved to win."

On James Rodriguez: "As I said on the first day, the players with quality have not a problem with that (settling in). The quality is there because football is not so complicated. The pitch is always the same, the opponents are always 11, the ball is the same, the goal doesn't move. Football is simple. It is not complicated."

On Dominic Calvert-Lewin's impressive start to the season: "There is not just one reason. He is confident, we are seeing him improving and he is scoring goals and that is the most important motivation for a striker. This is the moment of Dominic Calvert-Lewin now."

Brighton boss Graham Potter: "I don't think Everton had so many chances but we helped them, second half certainly. To concede just before half time was a blow for us and then we didn't start the second half so well.

"I think we contributed a little bit to our downfall today and that is something we need to be better at.

"We have conceded all our goals against Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton and they are want you consider to be top sixish teams."

Everton replicate title-winning start from 1969-70

  • Everton have won each of their opening four games to a top-flight season for the first time since 1969-70, when they went on to win the title.
  • Everton have won their first seven games in all competitions in a season for the first time since 1894-95 (won first eight).
  • Brighton remain winless away at Everton in all competitions, drawing two and losing seven of their nine visits.
  • This game saw three Colombians start a Premier League match for the first time (James Rodríguez and Yerry Mina for Everton and Steven Alzate for Brighton), with Mina's goal the first in the competition scored and assisted (Rodríguez) by two Colombians.
  • Since the start of last season, Everton striker Calvert-Lewin has scored seven headed goals in the Premier League, more than any other player.
  • Since his Everton debut in August 2017, Gylfi Sigurdsson has registered 13 assists in the Premier League, more than any other player for the Toffees (Digne next on 12).
  • Maupay has scored four goals in his last three Premier League appearances, as many as he managed in his previous 22 in the competition.

Player of the match

RodríguezJames Rodríguez

with an average of 8.82

Everton

  1. Squad number19Player nameRodríguez
    Average rating

    8.82

  2. Squad number9Player nameCalvert-Lewin
    Average rating

    8.33

  3. Squad number13Player nameMina
    Average rating

    7.65

  4. Squad number16Player nameDoucouré
    Average rating

    7.50

  5. Squad number12Player nameDigne
    Average rating

    6.80

  6. Squad number10Player nameG Sigurdsson
    Average rating

    6.80

  7. Squad number17Player nameIwobi
    Average rating

    6.75

  8. Squad number23Player nameColeman
    Average rating

    6.72

  9. Squad number5Player nameKeane
    Average rating

    6.70

  10. Squad number7Player nameRicharlison
    Average rating

    6.52

  11. Squad number26Player nameDavies
    Average rating

    6.43

  12. Squad number8Player nameDelph
    Average rating

    6.16

  13. Squad number11Player nameWalcott
    Average rating

    5.21

  14. Squad number1Player namePickford
    Average rating

    3.52

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number9Player nameMaupay
    Average rating

    6.05

  2. Squad number2Player nameLamptey
    Average rating

    5.66

  3. Squad number14Player nameLallana
    Average rating

    5.66

  4. Squad number20Player nameMarch
    Average rating

    5.55

  5. Squad number8Player nameBissouma
    Average rating

    5.44

  6. Squad number11Player nameTrossard
    Average rating

    5.39

  7. Squad number7Player nameConnolly
    Average rating

    5.37

  8. Squad number13Player nameGroß
    Average rating

    5.28

  9. Squad number34Player nameVeltman
    Average rating

    5.25

  10. Squad number5Player nameDunk
    Average rating

    5.12

  11. Squad number1Player nameRyan
    Average rating

    5.03

  12. Squad number17Player nameAlzate
    Average rating

    4.96

  13. Squad number3Player nameWhite
    Average rating

    4.91

  14. Squad number4Player nameWebster
    Average rating

    4.82

Line-ups

Everton

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Pickford
  • 23ColemanSubstituted forDelphat 58'minutes
  • 13Mina
  • 5Keane
  • 12Digne
  • 16Doucouré
  • 26Davies
  • 10G Sigurdsson
  • 19RodríguezSubstituted forWalcottat 78'minutes
  • 9Calvert-Lewin
  • 7RicharlisonSubstituted forIwobiat 25'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Delph
  • 11Walcott
  • 17Iwobi
  • 18Nkounkou
  • 20Bernard
  • 24Gordon
  • 49Lössl

Brighton

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Ryan
  • 3White
  • 5Dunk
  • 4Webster
  • 2LampteySubstituted forVeltmanat 45'minutes
  • 8Bissouma
  • 17AlzateBooked at 4minsSubstituted forGroßat 82'minutes
  • 20March
  • 11Trossard
  • 9Maupay
  • 7ConnollySubstituted forLallanaat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Mac Allister
  • 13Groß
  • 14Lallana
  • 23Steele
  • 30Bernardo
  • 33Burn
  • 34Veltman
Referee:
Simon Hooper

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home11
Away11
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away10
Fouls
Home13
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Everton 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Everton 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Lucas Digne.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Everton 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 2. Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Solly March with a headed pass.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Yerry Mina.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Neal Maupay (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leandro Trossard.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Yerry Mina.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  10. Post update

    Fabian Delph (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Hand ball by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  12. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Yerry Mina.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Solly March.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Yerry Mina.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Fabian Delph.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Pascal Groß replaces Steven Alzate.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Fabian Delph.

  18. Post update

    Neal Maupay (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Everton. Theo Walcott replaces James Rodríguez.

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Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 3rd October 2020