Everton joined hosts Brighton on seven points with a 2-0 win at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
Demarai Gray struck before halftime and Dominic Calvert-Lewin stroked home a controversial penalty (in that Richarlison very much wanted the chance) to bring Rafa Benitez’s men to two wins, one draw on the young season.
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Brighton could not find the back of the goal despite a lion’s share of the possession and loses after consecutive wins to start the season.
Everton hosts Burnley after the international break in a Monday afternoon affair on Sept. 13, two days after Brighton goes to Brentford in what could be a pulsating encounter.
West Ham vs Crystal Palace score, stats, results
Everton 2, Brighton 0
Goals scored: Gray (41′), Calvert-Lewin (58′)
Shots: Brighton 14, Everton 14
Shots on target: Everton 5, Brighton 3
Possession: Brighton 66%
Three things we learned from West Ham vs Crystal Palace
1. Benitez buy-in apparent: “Here, Brighton, have the ball. You like the ball. Now produce some danger. What? That’s much harder?” That can often be the rub when playing a disciplined Rafa Benitez side, as Brighton had 66 percent of the ball and matched their visitors in shot attempts but produced very little actual danger for Jordan Pickford, who made three saves. Demarai Gray scored a fast-paced goal and Calvert-Lewin converted his penalty for a straight-forward win, even though Brighton looked decent (More on that below)
2. Adjustment time needed for arriving Seagulls: Brighton should not be in a relegation fight this year, especially once the back line completely adjusts to the sale of Ben White. This is a good team who still needs a better finisher than Neal Maupay but can get by just fine if the Frenchman contributes just a little bit more than he has (and doesn’t go to Ars
3. Keep an eye on Richarlison and an ear out for Benitez’s thoughts on penalty drama: Richarlison is clearly a football junkie, single-handedly making players’ vacation times look bad having played Copa America for Brazil, then the Olympics, then showing up for his new boss right away. But he was very upset to not get the chance to add to his goal haul from the spot. Watch out for this:
Surreal: Everton win penalty. Richarlison grabs ball, refuses to hand it to designated penalty taker Calvert Lewin. Everton players have to beg him to give it up. Iced by own player, DCL still converts. Richarlison celebrates angrily like Itchy & Scratchy combined in human form pic.twitter.com/0VmCep3s5c
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) August 28, 2021
Man of the Match: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Calvert-Lewin is taking the next step. He blossomed under Carlo Ancelotti and is now getting to learn from another football genius while participating in a system that very much suits his skill set. It’s three goals from three for Calvert-Lewin under Benitez, even if this goal came from the spot. If Everton can sell James Rodriguez and find a consistent feeder for Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison — who, it must be said, did not enjoy DCL attempting the penalty over him — look out.
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