Has a three-goal lead ever felt so fragile? No Evertonian could fail to have been proud of the way their team had surged into a 3-0 half-time lead with a breathtakingly effective display of counter-attacking football at the Amex Community Stadium today. Equally, there probably wasn’t a Blue alive who wasn’t nervously anticipating a second-half onslaught from Brighton that would threaten to wipe out that precious advantage!

That is not to diminish in any way what had been — and would continue to be — a resolute performance from Sean Dyche’s charges. Rather, it was in small part a compliment to the inventive and determined Seagulls (who only recently put six past Wolves) and in large part a simple expression of what supporting Everton has become, with all the doubt and fear it engenders as this desperate struggle against relegation continues.

In the end, there was little need for concern. Brighton, with their manager Roberto De Zerbi making four changes at the interval, did, indeed, come out with most guns blazing as they tried to pull off a remarkable comeback in the second half. However, they came up against a defiant visiting defence that looked significantly more robust with Yerry Mina back in the side, a tireless and tenacious midfield, and a goalkeeper in Jordan Pickford who was at the very top of his game.

Brighton did eventually score, fortuitously with 11 minutes left of the regulation 90, but it was purely academic because Everton demolished them with a stunning display of counter-attacking football that could have yielded more than the five goals they did score on the day to register their biggest away win since December 2018.

It was in stark contrast to the reverse fixture at Goodison Park on 3rd January, a harrowing evening on which Frank Lampard’s Everton were torn apart by De Zerbi’s men. That night, Dwight McNeil had had arguably his worst game in an Everton jersey and he was hooked before an hour had elapsed, to be replaced by Abdoulaye Doucouré, a player soon to be banished from the first team by Lampard before the current Chelsea boss was himself jettisoned by the Everton Board a fortnight or so later.

Today on the south coast, behind a superb centre-forward’s performance from the increasingly sharp-looking Dominic Calvert-Lewin, two goals from Doucouré and a man-of-the-match outing from McNeil, Everton, who had won just twice in 34 away games since winning on this ground in late August 2021, lifted themselves out of the drop zone again with one of the most improbable results of the season.

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The Blues were simply magnificent the way they executed Dyche’s game plan of containing the much-fancied Seagulls, forcing them wide and then picking them off with rapier-like transition play. Brighton and their exacting head coach were shell-shocked as they were picked off time and again and where the likes of McNeil and Doucouré have looked clumsy and ungainly in forward areas, this evening they were deadly.

It took just 33 seconds for them to get the ball rolling. Nathan Patterson, making his first start under Dyche following Seamus Coleman’s knee injury, got an important block to intercept Kaoru Mitoma’s attempt to knock the ball past him, Calvert-Lewin executed a perfect pirouette to take Alex Iwobi’s pass around his marker and after driving into the box, the striker crossed perfectly for Doucouré to knock it in assuredly at the back post.

Brighton were making a point of trying to find Mitoma wide on their left to take advantage of Patterson’s inexperience and the Japanese had some early success before the Scot gradually got the measure of him as the contest wore on.

Mitoma’s cross to the back post in the fourth minute was just too high for Danny Welbeck who could only glance it wide but it was Everton who nearly scored again in the 26th minute before they actually did three minutes later.

Adam Webster made an excellent block to deny McNeil’s goal-bound effort but it was the winger who was the architect for Doucouré’s second as he raced away down the left flank, spotted the Mali international free on the other side of the penalty area and found him with a perfect cross that Doucouré volleyed home brilliantly. Doucouré, who had charged forward from deep in his own half, had plenty to do but finished with admirable aplomb.

Remarkably, it was 3-0 six minutes after that and the goal came from another superbly-executed breakaway. Iwobi’s ball into the box was a little too far ahead of Doucouré but he kept it alive and found McNeil who took it to the byline and attempted to drive it across the face of goal. The cross caught Steele’s out-stretched leg, though, and bounced in.

McNeil squandered yet another promising counter when he just failed to find Calvert-Lewin as the pair raced away in a two-on-two and Garner must have thought he had registered his first Premier League goal when he side-footed wide of the keeper from close range but Lewis Dunk got in a crucial block that ensured Brighton’s deficit was only three at the halfway stage.

De Zerbi responded by making four changes at the interval, throwing on exciting young striker Evan Ferguson and the tricky Julio Encisco and for the first 15 minutes of the second half it was one-way traffic towards Pickford’s goal.

The England keeper stood tall, however, saving bravely at his near post inside the first minute of the restart, parrying Enciso’s fierce drive up and behind to safety and then brilliantly turning a Ferguson header onto the post with a one-handed save at full stretch.

They were important interventions because you felt had Brighton been able to get one early in the half, the momentum might have started swinging in their direction. 

Another half-time substitute in Solly March saw a powerful drive stopped by Mina’s head before Ferguson turned the Colombian and grazed the crossbar with a shot via Pickford’s fingertips and, from the ensuing corner, Mac Allister thumped a header off the face of the bar as Everton just about kept their clean sheet intact.

Dunk dropped a header wide of the far post shortly afterwards and Pickford made another top-drawer save to palm Mac Allister’s header away before Everton defied all expectations by scoring a fourth.

Iwobi surged down the left flank this time and drew one defender to him that opened up the space for McNeil to steal into and when the Nigerian found him with a perfectly-weighted pass, the former Burnley man faked to shoot, turned inside the last man and keeper and walked the ball into net before wheeling away in delight.

Brighton reduced their arrears to three again almost immediately when a deep cross from the right was met by Mitoma sliding in and though he could only steer the ball into the post, it bounced into Mac Allister and then into the empty net to make it 4-1 with 11 minutes to go.

The Amex Stadium had started to empty at 4-0 and those that remained did not get to witness a miraculous recovery. Mitoma’s volley might have ricocheted in off Levi Colwill but it bounced over instead and Pickford made one more save to deny Ferguson from close range but it was Everton and McNeil who put the icing on the cake in stoppage time.

Once more it was a counter-attack, this time sparked by sub Amadou Onana’s ball from inside his own half that released McNeil who used Iwobi in the middle as a decoy before leathering it inside the near post and into the top corner of Steele’s goal.

A point given Everton’s plight would have been a decent result against a side with designs on qualifying for Europe for the first time in their history. To have taken all three and in the manner in which they did was an incredible achievement for a team that has looked so toothless and clueless in the attacking third for so much of this season and a long-awaited thrill for thousands of travelling Evertonians who have become accustomed to misery in recent years.

Calvert-Lewin’s return has made a huge difference — the striker might only have added one goal to his tally for the club since making his comeback at Crystal Palace last month but his non-stop work-rate and all-round play has added a huge dimension going forward — as has the manager’s slow realisation that his best centre-back pairing had been unused up until now, together with a gathering confidence among the players that has seen them pick up four away points in successive games and score seven times.

Next weekend’s examination by Manchester City will be several orders more difficult but when you see what this Blues side is capable of when they’re in the mood, nothing is beyond the realms of possibility. Certainly, another escape from relegation looks possible if these standards can be maintained over the next couple of weeks.

Reader Comments (58)

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Barry Hesketh
1 Posted 08/05/2023 at 23:38:10
It's a great pity that we didn't get this victory at Leicester and a draw tonight, but that's not a complaint, it's just that Leicester would have been worse off by a point and that could prove decisive.

I'm not in the camp that believes we should just write-off the City game either, we'll have to be ruthless up front and resolute in defence, it's possible if very unlikely to gain something from Sunday's game and continue some positive momentum. If we don't want any final day drama it would be more than nice to bust open the title race.

Mark Murphy
2 Posted 08/05/2023 at 23:48:23
Just got home. I’ve had the most wonderful day.
Mike Corcoran
3 Posted 09/05/2023 at 00:17:15
Same 631 formation can get something out of a, hopefully, Madrid focussed City. Yerry is immense, just hope his cheese string leg muscles can hold out for the next 300 odd minutes. Same attitude could steamroller Wolves if they can hold it together mentally.
Niall McIlhone
4 Posted 09/05/2023 at 00:18:44
Excellent summary, Lyndon. I genuinely think that we will get a point next Sunday and that none of our rivals will score any points, That then would leave us having to garner 3 points from two games, and this win has changed the whole complexion of the battle.
Ben King
5 Posted 09/05/2023 at 00:39:33
Superb article and brilliant brilliant display blues. More of the same please!
Barry Hesketh
6 Posted 09/05/2023 at 01:05:28
Evertonians are a crazy bunch at the best of times, but this photo is incredible, I assume it was prior to tonight's game.

Trevor Powell
8 Posted 09/05/2023 at 02:14:11
Let Citteh worry about us when you consider we beat Arsenal at Goodison. Our record against relegation threatened teams has not been good. Then think that this fixture lalst year was ruined by VAR after Rodri's arm juggling incident as we lost 0-1 very near the end. If the crowd is up for it, we have a chance for a point. Sutton and the pundits by now should have learned that any tean in PL can beat any of the others!
Paul Kernot
9 Posted 09/05/2023 at 04:23:41
Wow, what an unbelievable performance. Patterson back where he belongs was excellent. Mitoma skinned him once but not again. Both centre back's plus Mico & Jordan were also superb and we know the rest.

Maybe, just maybe. COYB.

Paul Kernot
10 Posted 09/05/2023 at 04:27:00
I was thinking during the game that Brighton play a similar style to City.
Great prep for next Sunday's game in that case.
Steve Brown
11 Posted 09/05/2023 at 04:44:07
23% possession and 5 goals. Very efficient!
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
12 Posted 09/05/2023 at 06:01:18
It was really 3 from 5 and now Southampton are almost certainly down so that is 2 from 4

Leicester is home to the S**** and then away at Newcastle = nul point? = 33 max if they beat WHU on last day. I make that 1 from 3

Us, Forest and Leeds.
Leeds - Newcastle and Spurs home and West Ham away.
Forest - Chelsea and Palace away and Arsenal at home.
Going to be tight - but I think Wolves and Bournemouth have nothing to play for so could be there for the taking. Point from City and that is 39 points, same as last year.

Frank Sheppard
13 Posted 09/05/2023 at 06:19:16
We were spectacularly good. What a performance. All the players put in a terrific shift of work, with real quality. What a pleasure.
Bill Fairfield
14 Posted 09/05/2023 at 07:00:32
Just woke up,and no I wasn’t dreaming. Absolutely brilliant performance by every player.Surely if we go into the next few games with the determination and mental strength we showed in this game,it should be enough to survive.
Pete Gunby
15 Posted 09/05/2023 at 07:12:50
Still work to be done. Really can’t rely on other results- we need to sort it ourselves.
Jerome Shields
16 Posted 09/05/2023 at 08:06:24
Mina knows a organised defence and his place in it.Both Keane and Taka need someone with them.Coady is always too deep. The defensive line was right all night, except for Brighton's ricochet goal,were the scorer was played on side. The defensive depth was right leaving no gaps and staying in contact with midfield, particularly in the first half. Midfield possession retention could have been better in the second half.Defending of set pieces never looked trouabled, with runners tracked.

Garner helped tidy up midfield. Iowbi became a playmaker.Calvert Lewin lead the line to perfection.McNeill was outstanding throught the whole game, as was Pickford.Doucoure finishing and surging runs from midfield was what he was bought for.Actually Mina may end up being bought for Premier League survival and his contract could pay dividends at the end of this season.

Steve Shave
17 Posted 09/05/2023 at 08:06:44
Absolutely made up for the team, the fans, SD and all on TW!!! I couldn't watch the first half, I was amazed not only at the scoreline but also at how little I trusted we could hold on. I fully expected an 'Everton that' afternoon.

I rushed home to watch the 2nd half and was so impressed with McNeil and Pickford particularly. If we can stay up then there is the bones there of a potentially decent side under SD. If he could stamp an identity on this team based on yesterdays performance that would be amazing, add a bit of pace to this side we could become a counter attacking side.

City will be tough but we are a weird club, who knows what is possible with the Goodison roar. The fans will create a blue haze for them coming in and hopefully a hostile atmosphere for City, they have a lot to lose too. COYB.

Brent Stephens
18 Posted 09/05/2023 at 08:24:47
8th May 2022 - Leicester away - a priceless win to set up a great escape.

8th May 2023 - Brighton away - a priceless win to set up a great escape?

Mal van Schaick
19 Posted 09/05/2023 at 08:26:20
In the Brighton and Fulham home games, I couldn’t understand why we played open football, when we needed the points.

I have posted on TW that we should set up to be more defensive and counter attack. Hey presto! A great performance and win. More of the same will see us safe.

That performance sets the standard for the remaining games, and any positive result against sitteee, be it a point or all three would be a bonus.

All the relegation threatened teams will be scrapping and there may be a few shock results from the improvers in that bunch. It’s in our hands, so let’s get the points on the board as soon as we can.

David Bromwell
20 Posted 09/05/2023 at 08:31:10
That was a truly great performance from all the players and the Manager. The joy and relief at the end was tangible to see. Unfortunately there is still work to be done and we have to hope these players will avoid injuries. Yesterday they all put in star performances, but it is worth noting that youngsters Patterson and Garner have hardly played Premiership football yet they both played excellently.
Finally a word for the Manager, who got everything right yesterday and we are all reaping the rewards for the patience he insisted on with Calvert Lewin's recovery. More of the same please for the three remaining games and we can all relax a little.
Joe McMahon
21 Posted 09/05/2023 at 08:45:56
I was so please and impressed with the performance from everyone including Sean Dyche. The amount of running was relentless. Dwight McNeil just keeps getting better and better. Fingers crossed no injuries or suspensions, and certainly Mina for keeping Keane away from the starting 11, as 6 more points may be needed.
Andy Crooks
22 Posted 09/05/2023 at 09:41:27
Well done DCL and to Sean Dyche for his management of him.
Alan J Thompson
23 Posted 09/05/2023 at 09:48:51
In the first half Brighton tried playing through Mitoma wide left and in the second half through March on the opposite wing and were caught out by pushing too many players forward. I can't see City making that mistake and they have more options and skillful players who can not only take players on one-on-one but can hit a ball from distance.

Mr Dyche may just have to make slight changes to the system to counter their more numerous options and take full advantage of our set pieces, I'd also like to see DC-L give Stones a bit more than a hard time. And dare I say it - KITAP-5.

Benjamin Dyke
24 Posted 09/05/2023 at 09:54:59
Not often the last few seasons we can be proud of the team but last night they all deserve great praise. The shape and tactics worked a treat and for once we were clinical. This was the performance we've all been hoping could emerge from these players but we had nigh given up that it would ever happen. Shame it hasn't come earlier but the players and caching team now know what we are capable of and we should not fear the last 3 games. We can definitely hold city to another draw if it all goes well and that coupled hopefully with defeats for Leeds and Leicester sets us up nicely for 2 winnable remaining fixtures. It would be another great escape but we've now set the benchmark for the last 3 gamesand let's hope it continues. No shame in losing even to City as long as we pick up points in the last 2
Rick Tarleton
25 Posted 09/05/2023 at 10:07:47
What a brilliant night! Calvert-Lewin gave us an attacking focus and showed great skill and resolution, Doucoure( not my favourite player) had a magnificent first half, Patterson actually did his defensive job and Mykolenko had an excellent first half, McNeil played like Ryan Giggs or even Andrei Kanchelskis, Mina and Tarkowski were excellent, Pickford superb and Gueye and Garner were quietly effective, and Iwobi ran and ran.
A performance that stirred the blood, not relying on hope and chewed nails. The team need to do this on at least two more occasions this season and against the odds they will survive.
Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 09/05/2023 at 10:15:01
Mark (2), “ Just got home had the most wonderful day”

Brilliant Mark, made up for you and all those terrific fans who were there with you last night, can’t praise you highly enough except to say I was fuckin ’ jealous of all of you actually being there, I’ll be with you on Sunday and hopefully celebrating another happy day.

Ernie Baywood
28 Posted 09/05/2023 at 10:34:12
Paul #10 - last night was surely the blueprint for how we'll play against City but I doubt City will be anywhere near as kamikaze.

Just watching the game again and it really was suicidal by Brighton. Within 30 seconds they were reduced to a 2 man defence when the ball was turned over. What serious team commits players forward like that from the kickoff?

It was only a 1 man defence for the second. Back to 2 for the third. By the 4th they were chasing the game but, even in that situation, not having a single defender within 20 metres of the halfway line is just crazy.

Looking back, they reminded me of us in our kind of middle phase under Martinez. We'd dominate games and then get done by a forward running one on one with our last defender. Some called it unlucky but it wasn't. We played the game on other teams' terms and rightly got punished.

I don't think they've gave us any respect whatsoever and thought they would do to us what they did to Wolves.

I don't know whether we countered that by design or they were just the perfect dance partner for us on the night. I do know it was enjoyable and still took a great performance to maximise the opportunities.

I believe we can get something out of City. It's a home game after all.

Stephen Williams
29 Posted 09/05/2023 at 10:47:52
Not sure how Mark (2) got home at 23.48 unless he doesn’t live as far north as the Wirral. A great effort. I got home at 1.30 and then couldn’t sleep - a truly magnificent performance being replayed in my head.
After such a terrific team performance I don’t like to pick out individuals as they are were all top notch but a special word for Patterson. A young lad up against a very tricky winger who stuck to his guns, got on top then ended up having Mitoma in his pocket. Well done young man.
We’ve set the standard now in last two games. Replicate that level and we’ll be more than ok.
Final word to the truly magnificent fans. They really do inspire. Brings a tear to this old man’s eye. I’m sure that the players feel the energy. We really deserve so much better than the fare that has been served up too many times over the last few seasons. Onwards and upwards.
James Lauwervine
30 Posted 09/05/2023 at 10:48:54
Someone pointed out yesterday on the pre-match thread that we were 8-1 to win. Against Brighton FFS! So I popped a tenner on. My gratitude goes to that fellow blue!
Brilliant game yesterday - like many I couldn't believe what I was watching. Every player was excellent and McNeil MOTM for me. Now on to beat City please and put one over on their baldy tit of a manager.
David Vaughan
31 Posted 09/05/2023 at 11:02:45
Awoke this morning and turned to my wife. 'Darling,' I asked, 'What happened yesterday?'. Thank you, Everton.
Stale Haverstadlokken
32 Posted 09/05/2023 at 11:47:15
It's gonna be very tight too the end.
Leeds have Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham. Probably 3 points against Tottenham, total 33.

Leicester have Liverpool, Newcastle and West Ham. Probably 3 points against WH, total 33.

Nott. F have Chelsea, Arsenal and Crystal P. Probably 4 points, total 37.

Everton have Manc C, Wolves and Bornemouth. Probably 4 points, total 36.

Mark Taylor
33 Posted 09/05/2023 at 12:23:57
Anyone think that last goal was just a little bit reminiscent of Geoff Hurst?

Amazing first half display on the counter attack. Talk about being at your most dangerous without the ball. Where has that been this season, the support running, the winning the second balls?

Jordan to the rescue in the second half. They could have had 3-4 themselves but the one they scored was a fluke and spoiled the clean sheet.

Stu Darlington
34 Posted 09/05/2023 at 12:33:33
A brilliant performance and result,not just for the 3 points it brings,but for the hope it gives to supporters and confidence it gives to the players.
I posted at the start of the season that we didn’t look a bad team,and with a couple of attacking additions could be a solid mid-table competitor this year. I began to doubt my prediction ( and sanity) as the season wore on,but this performance makes me wonder if I wasn’t so far wrong after all.
We must put in a similar performance against City,and not look as if we had never kicked a ball before as we have done at times this year after a good performance the week before.
If we can,and then carry on this confidence against Wolves and Bournemouth we should reach safety without relying on other team’s results.
Mick O'Malley
35 Posted 09/05/2023 at 13:41:41
Mark@33 agreed it was a cracking goal, a real blockbuster of a shot and what a fantastic pass by Onana. I’m delighted for McNiel, he has took a bit of abuse this season but we are seeing what a really good player he is, he has scored and assisted some valuable goals for us this season and he was brilliant last night. As someone mentioned above Patterson was excellent when he settled into the game and I thought Mykolenko was solid also, these are young lads who will only improve. DCL led the line brilliantly but for me Yerry Mina just pipped MOTM, to come in after so long out and perform like he did was impressive, when we were under the cosh in the second half he stood tall and got his head on everything, throwing his body in front of shots, getting blocks in and organising, we always look better defensively when Yerry is in the side, every player contributed last night, from 1 to 11 (Or whatever number they wear) subs included, our long suffering away support were magnificent and it was brilliant to see them enjoy that excellent display UTFT!!
Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 09/05/2023 at 13:59:41
The biggest compliment I can pay Dyche, Stone & Woan, is that last night’s performance showed me that they all definitely learned something from the master.

That was like a Brian Clough team-performance imo, defending deep, but never taking a backward step. Nice and compact, but always looking to break, by exploiting the space down the sides, central defenders winning every header and a centre forward, making it all possible by constantly showing for the ball.

Pickford also played like a man possessed, and after bumping into a couple of diehard Liverpudlians, who know their football last week, they both told me his penalty save at Leicester, was going to keep us lucky bastards up!

Football looks so much better and more effective, when everyone is working hard and keeping it very simple, and although we can all go overboard after such a crucial win, it was definitely Everton’s best away performance since we beat Wolfsburg under Martinez, all those years ago, imho!

Dale Self
37 Posted 09/05/2023 at 14:16:25
The coffee tastes better this morning doesnt it?

James 30, I think Mr Wilkinson got paid on that proposition. Well done.

I get the feeling several problems were siolved with yesterday’s lineup. Patterson can get it done defensively and gives Iwobi much more in support offensively. Garner’s positional maturity actually makes Gana mire effective and gives Onana a template for his play. Myko sermed to sorr it out but I could not tell how. And Duke everwhere, damn. It cannot be underestimated how Duke and McNeil make our defending effective.

I think we got something going here. Even if we have to deal to buy players we have demonstrated that the players have value and can work a deal without being desperate to take one

It’s all kind of Up Up and Away like 5th Dimension style.

Doo - do do. Doo - do do.

Brian Harrison
38 Posted 09/05/2023 at 14:19:41
Tony 36

I think you sum up perfectly how we played, and you are right a lot of credit must go to the manager and coaches, but ultimately the players have to carry out the plan, which they did. I definitely think there has been a distinct change in mindset, at Leicester they looked to get at them whenever we got possession, and I think they built on that belief last night. There is a real positive approach whether defending or attacking, and when we did attack we tried to get as many forward as we could without leaving ourselves open.

I thought it was clever that we didnt try and close down their CBS but instead waited for them to play the ball into midfield and then our midfield pressed in numbers to win the ball back. As good as we were they still had a couple of opportunities to score and that will happen when you play good sides and they are a good side. Sunday will require even greater discipline, but this new mindset will help.

Dale Self
39 Posted 09/05/2023 at 14:34:55
And if there was a team you want to play to prepare for City I wiuld think it is Brighton.
Will Mabon
40 Posted 09/05/2023 at 14:35:33
Barry, thanks, that's great... nutters! I thought Rob had been quiet; did they have him in a cell?
Paul Kossoff
41 Posted 09/05/2023 at 15:39:30
Brilliant display by the blues. I think Brightons goal should have been chalked off as I'm sure the ball went in off the players arm.
I hope Peps not sleeping, worrying about us on Sunday. I think 34 will keep us up. Coyb👮
Jay Harris
42 Posted 09/05/2023 at 16:04:27
I said last week that we had 4 cup finals coming up. Well that felt like winning the cup so lets hope for some more in the coming games.

I think Mina proved what we have been saying about Michael Keane and Patto posed the question why would he be left out for Godfrey /Holgate who both cost us points.

Garner proved that the best MF players go unnoticed but quietly go about controlling the centre of the pitch.

Thought tactically we looked very positive with 4 players ahead of the ball so there was always a ball out of defence or MF which was a weakness earlier in the season.

Special mention to Iwobi, Doucoure, Mc Neill and DCL whose energy and drive made the performance complete.

Nigel Munford
43 Posted 10/05/2023 at 09:40:05
Anyone see any similarities between O’Neils last goal and Martin Peters in the 66 world cup final?
Jerome Shields
44 Posted 10/05/2023 at 12:28:18

I think you have hit upon the source of the tactics involved.I once since Clough's Nottingham Forest play at Spurs with Trevor Francis leading the line.It was very close to the Everton performance..Spurs attacking and then finding themselves under pressure defending with a swift counter attacking strategy.They defended as a unit and attacked as a unit with runners fanning out.I also think that Dyche was at Nottingham Forest through Clough's time.Clough was mustard for players moving into their correct positions inference and attack.If one of them came close to him ot the dugout, they would know about it.

Mike Doyle
45 Posted 10/05/2023 at 13:02:27
Tony #36] I used to work with a Forest fan who reckoned that the tactical side of things was generally handled by Peter Taylor rather than Cloughie. Given your first hand knowledge of how the pair worked is that fair?
Tony Abrahams
46 Posted 10/05/2023 at 13:33:24
I never came across Taylor, Mike, but I once read it was him who saw the talent in Brian Clough, and sort of pushed or persuaded him to become a football manager?

Nobody told you your job at Forest, you were just expected to know, (honestly) but everything was based on common sense, and fast aggressive forward thinking two touch football, based around a centre forward, that could get hold of the ball.

Keep it simple, keep moving, keep passing the ball, and go and score a five aside goal. I think we scored three of them on Monday night!

Being serious but the most pleasing aspect (to me) amongst the many good things we did on Monday night, was that our controlled aggression matched our discipline, and I personally think this was the reason the Brighton manager looked so perplexed the other night?

I thought for the most part we were brilliant out of possession, but absolutely brilliant the way we broke with such purpose right throughout the game👏👏

Ajay Gopal
47 Posted 10/05/2023 at 14:12:37
After that fantastic result, I got busy and couldn’t post although was dying to do so. While the players’ performances were terrific, Dyche’s tactics were spot on, and Everton’s fans were a real credit to the club, I will reveal the real reason for our emphatic victory at the end of my post…

My player comments - all get 10/10 by the way:

DCL showed us what a miss he has been for us all season and one of the main reasons we are in the position in the table. It was great to see him getting the timing of his prodigious leaps to perfection. He was getting a bit frustrated that there was no one around to win the second balls from his knock downs.

Doucoure - Dyche has played to the strengths of Doucoure - using him almost as a second striker. It was great to see the pleasure on his face celebrating his 2 wonderful goals in front of the fans. But I wish he would tone down his aggression towards the refs. This is not the 1st game I noticed it (he got a yellow card by the way), he really gets in the refs face on many occasions. The last thing we need is for him to again get sent off / suspended at such a critical moment in the season. It has already costed us dearly earlier.

McNeil - nothing more that I can add except sneak in a ‘I told you so’ comment. I think in one of my Summer Transfer Target rambles a couple of seasons ago, I said we should get him - I mentioned that he could turn out to be Everton’s own James Maddison. Glad to see him doing so well in an Everton shirt.

Iwobi - I have been a fierce critic of him in the past, but you can’t doubt his commitment. There is a player in there waiting to burst out.

Garner - he and McNeil could be our long term playmakers. I wish we can keep hold of Tom Davies as well - I am a known supporter of him who feels that he has been criminally mismanaged. He and James Garner and Dwight McNeil could be our midfield mainstays for years.

Gueye - with a settled role and players around him who can relieve him of the workload, and once he settles into Dyche’s style, he will continue to be a player that opponents hate to play against.

Patterson - he had a bit of a nightmare game when he came on (against Fulham/Newcastle?) but against one of the trickiest wingers in football on Monday, he came through for the team. Well done, young man. It will be exciting to see him progress in this Everton team - Coleman would have been proud of him.

Mykolenko- he has been very iffy recently, and I think he is sometimes slow to close down the opposing player. But he is a solid defensive left back, again I think with a good coach and stable management, he can become one of the mainstays of the team.

Mina - again, I have been extremely critical of this player, mainly because I doubted his commitment to the club, but on Monday, he was terrific and put his body on the line on more than 1 occasion. All credit to Sean Dycle for taking the bold decision to drop Keane for Mina, who had never played for him before.

Tarkowski - as someone else mentioned, with Mina taking more than his fair share of defending, Tarks was able to stay focused and looked calm annd composed all game long.

Pickford - nothing more to add, is he the best keeper in world football at the moment? Can we hold onto him or will the financial pressures force Moshiri to cash in on his value?

A special word for the referee- I thought he managed the game well, and was consistent in his decisions and dishing out yellow cards. The VAR review of their goal looked inconclusive for whether (a) MacAllister touched the ball to Mitoma which would have made him offside and (b) whether the ball went in off MacAllister’s arm as he lay on the ground. Anyway, it didn’t matter in the end.

Now for the real reason why Everton thrashed Brighton - I had kept my TV’s volume on mute all through the match! As goal after goal after goal went in, I stoutly resisted the temptation to hear the Everton fans cheering. It was only after the 5th goal went in and the referee blew his whistle did I turn up the volume to take in the joyous atmosphere and the player interviews and hearing the incredulous views of the TV panelists including our own Leon Osman - terrific guy.

So now I have found my winning formula, I ain’t going to change it anytime soon! Sorry for the long post, and for anyone who has read through it, thank you!

Brent Stephens
48 Posted 10/05/2023 at 15:47:03
Ajay, a cracking post (I’ll let the Davies view go!).
Do us all a favour and make sure that tv is mute every game now!
Peter Carpenter
49 Posted 10/05/2023 at 16:03:56
I muted the radio.
Brent Stephens
50 Posted 10/05/2023 at 16:15:36
Peter, I guess you’re able to interpret the (good) vibrations.
Peter Carpenter
51 Posted 10/05/2023 at 16:33:45
Actually, I sort of did. I was driving up the M6. Couldn't stand any more of it after 60 minutes, convinced they would get one, then another and it would be a nightmare hanging on to the final whistle. I calculated the finish time and prayed that the phone would bleep with a text message. If it came straight after the final whistle, I knew we had won, if there was no message or it came much later, it would be a defeat.
Martin Mason
52 Posted 10/05/2023 at 16:34:53
Ajay, I agree, the referee had an exceptional game. We should give them credit when it's due. Yes he booked 4 of our players but we have a few players who tread a very fine line.
Paul Tran
53 Posted 10/05/2023 at 20:58:55
The one thing we've lacked for a long time is a team that does the basics consistently well. All the best teams do that, then layer their expensive skill and talent on top.

Successive managers and directors of football have bought players with talent, and a lack of consistent effectiveness for this league. Successive teams looking like they don't know, never mind do, their jobs.

The reason I was glad we got Dyche is that he would start with the basics. Get them right and this squad is mid-table at least.

That win was slowly coming, not a 5-1, mind, because – barring those games without Doucoure – he'd found a set-up that was working. Now that we've got a proper striker again, we're creating and scoring goals.

Great performance, some lovely goals, but it all stemmed from getting those basics right.

Tony Abrahams
54 Posted 10/05/2023 at 21:14:14
It sounds like we are all raving lunatics when it comes to superstition, whenever Everton are playing. I hate finding out the team before the game, because we always lose whenever I'm told who's playing, but when it came through on my iPad on Monday night, I decided to get brave and have a look, deciding it was time to really start facing things head on!

The living room door has got to be shut because if it's not, the opposition invariably score, but because we scored against Leicester when the door was open, I decided I was going to really start facing things head on!

I was just fixing the door, so it was on a 45-degree angle (just enough for the kids to squeeze through without touching it) and Doucouré scored. That was it, my new angle is now 45 degrees! And then when Doucouré doubled our lead, the kids came running in when they heard my scream.

They had already been warned, but "Don't touch that fuckin door!" was being screamed out loud before they limboed around the side and both came diving all over me.

I kept quiet when we got our third, and then went and checked the angles before going upstairs to run the kids a bath. I came down and their mother was just coming into the house, and looked like she was ready to walk in straight into the kitchen.

"Get away from that fucking door, and if you haven't lost the weight you keep telling me has fallen off you, then don't try and squeeze around it either, until this match is finished please!" I said.

"What, are you being serious?"

"Of course I am."

"I know you're a head case, but this is ridiculous, I've heard everything now."

"Shut up, you horrible red nose fucker, and either go back out in your car, or breathe in and get in the kitchen!"

As I said, it was time to really start facing things head on!!!

Danny O’Neill
55 Posted 10/05/2023 at 21:59:41
Tony, I confess to choosing my socks carefully on matchday. And then it's left sock first.

When I played, left shin pad followed by right shin pad. Left sock then right sock. Left boot then right boot.

Watching Everton, I have rituals that can't be disturbed.

Andrew Keatley
56 Posted 10/05/2023 at 23:17:11
I haven't posted about the game on Monday yet. Still feeling too giddy to be honest.

Watching McNeil walk round Steele and Dunk then raise his arms to celebrate a second before he prodded the ball in for our 4th might just be the best moment I've had as an Everton fan for a long time. And the 5th was pretty sweet too.

We've had the odd high in recent seasons – for me, it was either Carlo blowing on his hot chocolate when we beat Spurs 5-4 or Iwobi's winner against Newcastle when we were unjustly down to 10 men – but the 4th goal against Brighton was different.

The valve in my blue heart that always seems to be running at capacity, crippled by tension and pressure, just released. And I laughed. And not just out of relief but out of joy. I cannot wait for it to happen again.

Ajay Gopal
57 Posted 11/05/2023 at 10:01:07
Ha.. ha.. Tony (54), do you still have the bandage over your broken nose where it met your partner's fist? :-)

Another of my superstitions - whenever the match is at some ungodly hour (12:30 am usually here for an 8 pm kick-off) and can't stay up late, to check the score the next morning, I open the official site because I believe Everton would have lost if I open ToffeeWeb or the BBC!

Dave Abrahams
58 Posted 11/05/2023 at 11:24:26
When I’m at the game and it is a close score for us I hate it when I hear someone asking how long to go,one reason I hardly use live forum near the end of a game, they are listing how many bleedin’ minutes are left, fuckin’ pests. It’s also hard for me watching on my IPad not to look at the time running out but I manage, although the other night I never looked at the time until the first fifteen minutes of the second half had passed, the very dangerous part of the game for me, looked at the time sixty four minutes, Yis!! Then continued to miss the time until they scored that glorious fourth goal, relaxed, felt nice and comfortable, then Brighton scored their goal, I blamed that on Onana for coming on the field!! Had to calm myself and then McNeil scored the top hat for all of us.

I was like that in the Crystal Pal, game this season 2-0 up with not long to go but I couldn’t relax until we scored the third goal, the fella next to me, from Warrington, laughs his head off, at me, calm down he keeps telling me, fuckin easier for him he’s had had about eight pints of lager inside him, all he’s interested in is his next visit to the toilet, he’s up and down like a brides nightie!! He keeps me occupied because I’m up and down with him every time the bastard goes for a hit and a miss!!

Hans Fyhrqvist
59 Posted 11/05/2023 at 18:26:17
As so many have here (of course) written and commented, Everton´s stupendous away win at Brighton was really "a counter-attacking masterclass".

It was "smash and grab" at it´s very best, executed by unyielding defending and resolute and powerful counter-attacking with great goals. Especially both Doucoure´s (volley) and McNeil´s ("thunderbolt") second goals are there to be long savoured by all Evertonians.

Sean Dyche had now got it right with Everton´s team selection, and every player played their part, in fact they fought from start to finish with great spirit. Now there was that mentality needed to get a win, and what is more, an away win.

Imo, as I have written in some other instances, Patterson, Mykolenko, Tarkowski, Gueye, Garner and Iwobi were very good; and Pickford, Mina, Doucoure, McNeil and Calvert-Lewin outstanding. Now I would "lift" Iwobi from the former category to the latter one.

This win was a great moral booster for Everton going in our last three games. At the same time we must remember that our relegation rivals may very well also get some unexpected wins or draws. That´s why I feel that 3 or 4 more points for the Toffees might not be enough for survival. If we want to be quite sure that we have a (good) chance to stay up, I think that we still need 6 or 7 more points.

And that is the reason why Everton should go into the game against Manchester City at Goodison Park aiming "high", that´s for a win, or getting at least a draw (if our search for a win doesn´t materialize). Surely Goodison will be in full voice on Sunday.

Yes, the Everton fans were magnificent at Brighton, once again. And now, at last and after a while, the Everton players matched their supporters! May that tandem flourish in our last three games!

Brian Hennessy
60 Posted 11/05/2023 at 21:45:25
On Dwight McNeil. Anyone else think there are shades of Chris Waddle about him?

He always looks jaded, doesn't look like he has pace but yet seems to glide past players.

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