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  • Mon, 12 Apr 2021 21:18:45 +0000: Brighton left to rue missed chances in stalemate with depleted Everton - Everton | The Guardian

    This may have been the night Champions League football became too lofty an aspiration for Everton, although things could have been worse. They arrived with a nine-strong injury list that would be augmented before the close and were on the rack for considerable periods, dominated by a Brighton side that deserved to win. A point was no disaster given that context but Carlo Ancelotti must discover some attacking thrust from somewhere if their season is not to fizzle out.

    Related: Allardyce urges VAR changes after West Brom beat Southampton despite error

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  • Mon, 12 Apr 2021 21:09:37 +0000: Brighton 0-0 Everton: Premier League – as it happened - Everton | The Guardian

    The home side dominated possession throughout but struggled to create clear chances in an uneventful goalless draw at the Amex

    Nick Ames was our man at the Amex Stadium tonight. I’ll leave you with his match report, and say a largely sincere thanks for your company and emails. Goodnight!

    Related: Brighton edge towards safety after stalemate with depleted Everton

    I’ve seen worse 0-0s. I’d say it was uneventful rather than poor. The quality was reasonably good, but there were very few chances. An under-strength Everton defended admirably and almost stole the points in injury time. The draw lifts Brighton above Burnley into 15th. Everton stay eighth, though they have a game in hand on all the teams above them. In the context of the season it’s a better result for Brighton; in the context of the game, and especially their injury list, it’s a better result for Everton.

    Peep peep!

    90+3 min Gross’s free-kick hits the wall, Trossard’s follow-up is blocked, and that’s the end of that.

    90+1 min Holgate fouls Gross 25 yards from goal and is booked. The free-kick, which is to the left of centre, will probably be the last kick of the game.

    90+1 min In the first of two added minutes, Iwobi shuffles across the edge of the Brighton area and drives just over the bar with his left foot. That would have been an affront to the run of play had it gone in.

    89 min Gross slides the ball into Lallana, 20 yards from goal. He looks for a pass, realises the Everton defenders are all backpedalling and tries a shot instead. It’s a decent effort, just over the bar, though Olsen had it covered.

    88 min A double change for Brighton: Dan Burn and Ali Jahanbakhsh replace Moder and Maupay. And Everton bring on Harry Maguire Nathan Broadhead for Tom Davies.

    87 min Brighton continue to try to find an eye in the Everton needle. I’m not sure there is one. If there’s one thing Brighton haven’t done enough tonight, it’s get round the back.

    84 min Trossard’s free-kick, hit in the David Luiz style, deflects behind for yet another corner. Gross’s inswinger ricochets around the six-yard box before being cleared.

    82 min Keane gives the ball to Welbeck in a dangerous area, then ploughs straight through him in a desperate attempt to redeem the error. He got the ball but he also got the man, and he is booked. More to the point, it’s a free-kick to Brighton 25 yards from goal.

    82 min “With 5/6ths of the game played, the only reference in the whole MBM to VAR isn’t even anything to do with tonight’s game,” says Colin Young. “Should we celebrate or something?”

    Yes. Let’s go to Stephen Carr’s local.

    81 min Everton almost pilfer a goal on the break. Sigurdsson’s well-struck volley from the edge of the area is blocked by Dunk, then Davies drives over from 20 yards.

    80 min Brighton have been much the better attacking team, but Everton’s defensive performance has been close to immaculate. All their young defenders must be learning so much from working with Carlo Ancelotti. And their old ones, for that matter.

    79 min Here’s Ian Copestake, who may or may be a Liverpool fan, on the subject of Adam Lallana. “Reading the words ‘it’s lovely to see him have a run of games without injury’ evoked horror images of Lallana being put through one on one with the Everton goalkeeper!”

    78 min Gross’s corner is only half cleared. Lallana helps it back into the area and Dunk twists his neck to steer a looping header that is tipped over acrobatically by Olsen. That was a pretty good save.

    77 min Trossard cuts inside a couple of Everton defenders in the area and hits a shot that deflects wide off Davies.

    76 min A double chance for Brighton! First Welbeck’s shot is brilliantly blocked by the sliding Godfrey; then Bissouma surges into the area from the left and crosses low to Maupay, who flicks the ball up but then cracks it wide from eight yards. That was Brighton’s best chance of the match.

    75 min Mason Holgate has had a fine game for Everton in two different positions - first as a holding midfielder and now at centre-back. Whenever I watch Everton he looks really accomplished.

    72 min James’s corner is headed away. I’m still cooing about his first touch a moment ago, which was essentially two in one - he controlled an awkward ball and pushed it away from Dunk at the same time.

    71 min Coleman clips a left-footed cross towards James in the area. He takes it down majestically on the run, away from Dunk, and screws a shot from a very tight angle that is clawed behind by Sanchez.

    70 min Trossard cuts the ball back from the byline towards Lallana, whose shot is crucially blocked by Coleman. Lallana has been really sprightly tonight; it’s lovely to see him have a run of games without injury. The resulting corner is headed towards Moder on the edge of the area, and he lashes the bouncing ball towards Falmer.

    68 min The paradox of this game is that Brighton are the team pushing for the win, yet Everton are the ones who really need three points. But you can understand Everton’s approach given their recent form and particularly their injury list. Gary Naylor’s turned his phone on for heaven’s sake!

    67 min For the third time this half Welbeck is denied by some good defending, on this occasion a header at the far post by the stretching Holgate. Brighton work a really nice training-ground corner, with Lallana angling a sharp pass back to Moder on the edge of the area. His first-time shot whistles just over the bar.

    65 min “I realize this has nothing whatsoever to do either with your MBM labour or the match at hand,” boasts Alex Moffett, “but can I just register the unalloyed delight I experienced when I discovered today that a Finnish composer wrote a symphonic tone poem about Duncan Ferguson’s career? How could I not have known about this?”

    That is… I don’t know what it is, but I love it. I hope there’s a crescendo that evokes Big Dunc’s earnest attempt to throttle Steffen Freund.

    64 min I’m running out of ways to say that Brighton are dominating without really creating much.

    62 min “Evening Rob,” says Stephen Carr. “Events at the Amex not even coming remotely close to the drama at my local. Two police vans and a flurry of cars on the scene before teatime. This country.”

    I bet VAR was involved in the discussions that led to the fisticuffs that led to the police vans.

    61 min Gross’s corner leads to a game of head tennis in the Everton area, until Olsen spoils it all by grabbing the ball.

    60 min After good play from Trossard and Lallana, Coleman takes the ball off Welbeck’s toes in the area. Brighton are getting closer.

    59 min “I am here to state, under the threat of MBM banishment, that the ‘so called’ Mary Waltz lives in California, that the Guardian has no control of my posting output, that I am retired and thus have the time to vent so often, in such an amateur fashion, that it is given freely, and that I have no influence on the potential labor exploitation of the official MBM writers,” writes, well, Mary Waltz.

    58 min Mina is replaced by Iwobi. Holgate moves to centre-back.

    57 min It looks like yet another injury for Everton: Yerry Mina is down with a muscle problem, and Alex Iwobi is getting ready to replace him.

    55 min Terrific defending from Godfrey, who charges back to stop Welbeck reaching Maupay’s clever reverse pass.

    54 min Bissouma is given a final warning after inflicting pin on James Rodriguez.

    52 min Dunk is booked for a cynical foul on Richarlison.

    50 min Gross’s corner is headed away.

    49 min Brighton are dominating possession at the start of the second half, as they did for much of the first. Lallana plays a sharp pass into Maupay, who turns smartly on the edge of the area and flicks a shot with the outside of the foot that deflects behind for a corner.

    46 min Bissouma shoots over from long range. And why not.

    46 min Peep peep! Brighton begin the second half.

    “Evening Rob,” says Graham Moger. “Reading Matt Dony’s understandably sympathetic email, he obviously isn’t aware (unlike those of us that are part of the MBM cognoscenti), that you are in fact sharing the ‘minute by minute’ writing tasks with the so-called Mary Waltz. Correct? I claim my five pounds.”

    I thought Mary Waltz was Gary Naylor. And what letter comes after G? Exactly.

    “I can’t see it happening,” says Geoff Wignall, “but Brighton and Aguerro look like such a perfect fit.”

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but is his link play good enough? Maupay is a very neat footballer. Depends on the system I suppose.

    “Nice to see MBM regulars standing up for our zero (social) hours MBMers,” says Ian Copestake. “Scott Murray was no sooner finished whispering about dimple lengths at Augusta all weekend than he was dragged in to watch West Brom.”

    As I said, it doesn’t bode well to speak openly about such things. It’s important thy know I didn’t speak. That’s right, isn’t it, DI Copestake? I didn’t. Talk.

    Half-time reading

    Related: Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

    Peep peep! No goals and no clear chances, though the match was better than that bald summary suggests. It’s been a typical Brighton home performance to date - plenty of style, not enough substance.

    45 min One minute of added time.

    44 min “Speaking of looking at the Everton bench, who is Broadhead?” says Peter Oh. “This league ain’t big enough for two Harry Maguires!”

    43 min Bissouma makes a terrific blindside tackle on Sigurdsson, who was about to shoot from the edge of the area after running onto a return pass from Coleman.

    41 min Bissouma plays a good angled ball to find Lallana in a bit of space, 30 yards from goal. He tries to feed Maupay in the area, but the pass is slightly behind him and the ball runs through to Olsen.

    39 min “Having seen the Everton bench, I’m going to have the phone switched on and at hand come Thursday in case Carlo needs me for Friday’s match,” says Gary Naylor. “Big Duncan is already 6/4 for anytime goalscorer.”

    38 min Maupay drags a clever little pass round the corner towards Lallana, but his shot from the edge of the area is easily saved by Olsen.

    37 min “Rob,” says Matt Dony. “We’re all friends here. Are you ok? Blink twice if you need rescuing. The last week or so, it feels like every time I’ve opened the Guardian app, you’ve been at the helm of the good(!) ship MBM. Are they treating you ok? Do you get enough sunlight? Do you want me to write a charity single, to raise awareness of your plight?”

    It doesn’t bode well to speak openly about such things.

    34 min That’s a much better effort from Bissouma, an improvised overhead kick from the left side of the area that loops onto the roof of the net. Olsen slipped, so had it been on target it would probably have gone in.

    32 min The corner is cleared as far as Bissouma, who launches one into orbit from 25 yards.

    31 min Trossard’s cross deflects invitingly for Maupay, whose shot on the turn hits the falling Mina and flies past the far post. At first I thought it might have hit his arm, but there were no appeals for a penalty and replays suggested it was probably off his chest.

    30 min Richarlison plays a good ball to release Coleman down the right. He scurries into space and lifts a cross towards Davies, who heads well wide from 12 yards. It wasn’t a convincing header, though it was a pretty difficult chance on the run.

    26 min Nothing much to report. It’s not a bad game, just an uneventful one.

    21 min So far it’s been a typical Brighton performance: lots of classy, confident passing and movement, but not enough penetration.

    20 min Sanchez is okay.

    18 min Sanchez miscontrols a backpass from Dunk and has to make a desperate tackle on Richarlison, who was sniffing a freebie. Sanchez may have injured himself in the process.

    18 min Moments later Moder runs onto a headed clearance, 20 yards out, and cracks a good volley that goes not far wide of the near post.

    17 min Lallana beats two players on the edge of the box and lifts the ball across to find Welbeck in space on the far side of the area. He has time to take the ball down and ask it its family history, but instead goes for a difficult first-time shot, with the ball bouncing awkwardly, and makes a mess of it.

    15 min James blooters it over the bar. By his standards that was pretty poor.

    14 min Coleman is flattened by Moder 22 yards from goal. The free-kick is to the right of centre, a very good position for James Rodriguez...

    13 min A good little spell for Everton ends abruptly when Godfrey shoots from 25 yards.

    12 min Sigurdsson finds Digne on the left. He dummies Gross and clips a good, deep cross that is headed away at the far post.

    10 min “Very much agreed on the appeal of the Brighton kit,” says Luke Jones. “I’d vote that they be given an extra three points for just having a proper shirt collar. And every team that wears the weird overlapping reverse v-neck (like Liverpool‘s home kit) gets docked a point.”

    I like this idea. But does it mean England are retrospectively disqualified from Euro 96? Did football not come home after all?

    9 min Moder runs onto a crisp lay-off from Maupay, moves infield and drives well wide from 25 yards. It was nice football though.

    7 min Brighton have started perkily, as they usually do. I’ve just realised that their shape is slightly different, too, more of a 3-4-3 than a 3-4-1-2. I can’t take all this tactical sophistication. This was never a problem when John Beck was at Cambridge.

    Brighton (3-4-3) Sanchez; White, Dunk, Veltman; Gross, Lallana, Bissouma, Moder; Trossard, Maupay, Welbeck.

    4 min Gross drops the second corner right under the crossbar, and Olsen punches away a little unconvincingly. He was under a lot of pressure, in his defence, and replays show he was clattered by his team-mate Mina. There’s a break in play while he is checked by the physio. He seems okay, though he’s rubbing the side of his head every few seconds.

    3 min Gross’s corner is headed behind for another by Keane. While we wait for that, this is the revised Everton set up. Yes, I know it looks pretentious, with five different sections, but just wait until I add the keeper in a 1-3-1-4-1-1 that’s how they’re lining up. I swear, by the moon and the stars and the sky.

    Everton (3-1-4-1-1) Olsen; Godfrey, Mina, Keane; Holgate; Coleman, Davies, Sigurdsson, Digne; James; Richarlison.

    2 min Lallana has an early crack from just outside the area. His shot hits Keane and deflects behind for a corner.

    1 min Everton have started with Mason Holgate in midfield in a 3-5-1-1 system. In fact he has just fouled Bissouma after 26 seconds.

    1 min Peep peep! Everton kick off from right to left.

    “The bright start by the Toffees allowed Everton fans, myself included, to drop our traditional pessimism and actually hope for something better than mid table mediocrity,” says Mary Waltz. “Well it’s time to step up and produce. We have enough talent to finish fourth or fifth. If we don’t it would be a huge failure.”

    The players are ready for action. Brighton are in their lovely home kit, one of the best of the 2020-21 Premier League season. Everton are wearing their seafoam green and charcoal (sic) third kit. There will be a two-minute silence to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh.

    Related: Pereira leads way as West Brom shrug off VAR blow to sink Southampton

    It looks like Everton will play 3-4-2-1, but we’re not sure who will be the second central midfielder alongside Tom Davies. It’ll be one of Ben Godfrey, Lucas Digne and Mason Holgate.

    “Hi Rob,” says Matt Burtz. “It’s difficult to figure out this Everton team. You noted their poor run at home, but away from Goodison they’ve defeated Tottenham, Leicester, Wolves, Leeds and Liverpool, and got a creditable draw at Manchester United. Their midfield is decimated by injury, they’ve overperformed their xG this entire season, and they haven’t won at Brighton since April 1983 (okay, they weren’t in the same league for most of that, but still). However, recent away trips have fallen into the ‘they’ll never win this game’ category and they rightly earned all three points (Wolves, Leeds, and Liverpool specifically). So I’m somewhat optimistic today even as they battle this season’s xG kings. Something’s gotta give, right?”

    On that, subject, how much should we trust xG? I’ve already seen three different xG scores for Spurs v Man Utd yesterday, and I wasn’t looking particularly hard. The fact Liverpool didn’t win the xG Premier League last season is a pretty big red flag. But against that, it’s a good way of quantifying travesties like Brighton 1-2 Crystal Palace.

    Related: 'It's beyond the model': have Liverpool exposed the limits of xG?

    West Brom have hammered Southampton 3-0 to continue their recent improvement. There’s still a lot to do - they’re eight points off safety - but suddenly a Big Sam miracle doesn’t look impossible. If he pulls it off, we’ll all be getting the pints of wine in.

    Related: West Brom v Southampton: Premier League – live!

    The boss provides an injury update on Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Allan and Andre Gomes ahead of #BHAEVE...#EFC pic.twitter.com/7IUYTzFnG6

    Pre-match reading, rendered largely irrelevant by the team news

    Related: Calvert-Lewin criticism is fair despite his goals, says Carlo Ancelotti

    Graham Potter has picked the same Brighton side that played well in defeat at Old Trafford last weekend. Everton are without a number of injured players, including Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Andre Gomes and Allan; their bench includes two 17-year-olds in Isaac Price and Reece Welch.

    Brighton (3-4-1-2) Sanchez; White, Dunk, Veltman; Gross, Lallana, Bissouma, Moder; Trossard; Maupay, Welbeck.
    Substitutes: Steele, Webster, Burn, Mac Allister, Alzate, Propper, Jahanbakhsh, Izquierdo, Zeqiri.

    Hello and welcome to live coverage of Brighton v Everton from the Amex Stadium. Although Brighton are technically in a relegation battle, this feels like a bigger game for Everton, who urgently need to stop playing silly buggers if they are to secure a European place.

    They have had some really disappointing results since the turn of the year, yet they are still in contention for the Champions League, never mind the Europa: if they win their two games in hand they will be only two points off fourth place. And almost all of this poor results have been at Goodison Park. Tonight they have the away advantage against a Brighton side that have almost picked up more points on the road.

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  • Mon, 12 Apr 2021 17:44:57 +0000: Everton’s Jean-Philippe Gbamin faces another layoff after knee injury - Everton | The Guardian
    • Midfielder played for first time under Ancelotti last week
    • £22.5m signing from Mainz in 2019 has three appearances

    The Everton midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin is facing yet another extended spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury in training.

    The £22.5m signing from Mainz in 2019 made his first appearance under Carlo Ancelotti only last week, as a 79th-minute substitute against Crystal Palace, having been out for 20 months with a thigh injury that required two operations followed by an achilles injury sustained on the Ivorian’s return to first-team training.

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  • Sun, 11 Apr 2021 21:30:46 +0000: Calvert-Lewin criticism is fair despite his goals, says Carlo Ancelotti - Everton | The Guardian
    • Striker missed good chances in draw at Crystal Palace
    • Everton go to Brighton looking to boost European hopes

    Carlo Ancelotti has said it was fair to criticise Dominic Calvert-Lewin for a profligate display against Crystal Palace despite the Everton striker enjoying the most productive season of his career.

    Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison missed several clear opportunities to deliver Everton’s second home league win of 2021 last Monday before Michy Batshuayi equalised in the 86th minute for Palace. Both strikers were criticised after the game, including by their manager, and Ancelotti insists 19 goals from the England international at club level this season does not make him immune to a few home truths.

    Related: Top-four tussle: hopes and fears in race for Champions League spots

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  • Sat, 10 Apr 2021 08:00:01 +0000: Brighton v Everton: match preview - Everton | The Guardian

    Everton need to regain their winning touch as time dwindles away for them to make a late surge to qualify for European competition next season. The Champions League remains in play but if they fail to beat Brighton and turn around a poor run of three without victory that glittering door could finally start to feel closed. Carlo Ancelotti’s side certainly don’t appear to be the same one that started the season so emphatically. Graham Potter will be hoping Brighton can compound Everton’s misery and take a step toward confirming their place in the Premier League for another season. Graham Searles

    Monday 8.15pm Sky Sports Premier League

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