- Locadia wins it for Brighton (59′)
- Brighton end four-game winless skid
- Everton lose for third time in four games
Everton’s disappointing month of December continued on Saturday, as Marco Silva‘s side suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Brighton & Hove Albion.
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It was the Toffees’ fourth Premier League defeat (in seven games, with just one win) this month, so no one will be happier to see the calendar turn over to 2019 than the blue half of Merseyside.
Everton’s first real chance came in the 27th minute, when David Button spilled Theo Walcott‘s cross inside the six yard box and the ball eventually fell to the feet of an unmarked Richarlison. The Brazilian managed to turn on the ball and fire it goal-bound, but Shane Duffy was in perfect position to boot the ball clear a yard off the goal line.
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Everton continued knocking on the door minutes later, as Richarlison was again denied from close range, this time by Button. Richarlison skipped past a pair of defenders and honed in on goal. His left-footed strike was right into the chest of Button, however, and the Brighton ‘keeper made the simple save.
The 0-0 scoreline lasted until just shy of the hour mark, when the Seagulls benefited from a fortuitous bounce (or two) from a corner kick. The ball initially skipped off the back of Kurt Zouma and came off the leg of Andre Gomes before falling to Jurgen Locadia for a simple finish inside the six-yard box.
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Everton so nearly answered right back, though, through Richarlison who smashed another effort right at Button who made the save in self-preservation and pushed the ball onto the right-hand post.
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The result sees Everton slip down to 10th place in the PL table, now five places and 11 points off fifth place (they sat just five points back of fifth when the month began). Brighton, meanwhile, remain 13th but have given themselves a 13-point cushion from the relegation zone.