Everton took a massive step toward avoiding relegation from the Premier League, as the Toffees trounced European hopefuls Brighton 5-1 at Amex Stadium on Monday.
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The victory sends Everton (32 points) up to 16th in the PL table (up from 19th) with three games left to play. The gap between Everton and 18th-place Leeds is two points. Brighton (55 points – 7th place), meanwhile, slipped one place since the weekend began, though they trail 6th-place Tottenham by just two points with two more games still to play.
Everton wasted no time whatsoever, as they took the lead after just 34 seconds. A midfield giveaway was quickly followed by a sensational turn into space by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, beating Lewis Dunk with ease before racing into the penalty area and crossing the ball to the far post. Abdoulaye Doucoure arrived at exactly the right time and swept the ball past Jason Steele for an unlikely, early 1-0 advantage.
Doucoure made it 2-0 just before the half-hour mark, when Dwight McNeil floated a cross from the left wing to the back post, where the Malian international smashed a right-footed volley and narrowly guided the ball around the post for goal no. 2.
WATCH BRIGHTON vs EVERTON FULL MATCH REPLAY
Six minutes later, Everton scored again, marking the first time they scored three goal in a Premier League game wince beating Crystal Palace 3-0 on Oct. 22. McNeil made his way down the end line and tried to play the ball across the face of goal for Calvert-Lewin, but it hit Steele’s leg and went into his own net.
McNeil put the game to bed on 76 minutes, when he rounded Steele and walked the ball into an empty six-yard box and goal after Alex Iwobi went by two defenders on the left flank. Brighton winger Solly March pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury as Iwobi raced away into the open field, leaving him unchallenged for nearly 30 yards.
Brighton got a consolation goal just three minutes later, as Kaoru Mitoma got on the end of a cross and put the ball off the front side of the post. Alexis Mac Allister, who had been upended by a strong challenge as the cross came in, laid on the ground as the ball ricocheted back into play, off of him and into goal.
The final kick of the game brought another goal for Everton and McNeil, as he made his way down the left wing once again, wound up from a tight shooting angle and smashed a swerving ball just inside the near post to complete a thoroughly shocking scoreline.
Stars of the show
Everton will face an even tougher opponent when they return to action on Sunday (9 am ET), with two-time defending champions (and current) leaders Manchester City visiting Goodison Park. Brighton will face the other side of the PL title race, as they head to north London to take on 2nd-place Arsenal later on Sunday (11:30 am ET).
Brighton vs Everton, live score: 1-5
1st minute – Abdoulaye Doucoure scores Everton opening goal after 34 seconds
29th minute – Doucoure makes it 2-0 with a thumping volley
35th minute – Jason Steele turns the ball into his own goal, gives Everton 3-0 lead
76th minute – Dwight McNeil walks Everton’s 4th goal over the line
79th minute – Kaoru Mitoma’s shot comes off the post, Alexis Mac Allister for consolation goal
90th minute +6 – McNeil hammers home at the near post to make it 5-1
How to watch Brighton vs Everton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 12:30pm ET, Monday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister continues to collect accolades after his breakout World Cup for Argentina. He’s a good bet to be the focal point of nearly any game at this point in Brighton’s season.
Everton will love that Dominic Calvert-Lewin is back to looking close to his best, or at least getting on the goal sheet. James Tarkowski has had some big performances at the other end, while the midfield has been busy and angry.
Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options
TEAM NEWS! 🚨 Here's our starting XI to face Everton in the #PL today. 📝
📲 https://t.co/S3j1TIedJv // #BHAFC 🔵⚪️ pic.twitter.com/HnvTMZRBxH
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) May 8, 2023
Everton team news, injuries, lineup options
Team news is in! 📋 #BHAEVE
2️⃣ changes as Mina and Patterson start. 🔄
COYB!!! ✊ pic.twitter.com/T37zWISWkd
— Everton (@Everton) May 8, 2023