Matchday Updates Everton’s first match of 2023, a home clash with Brighton & Hove Albion under the lights at Goodison Park, turned into an absolute shitshow when Brighton extended their first-half lead with three quick goals that utterly destroyed Everton. Amadou Onana is not available for this one, having accumulated 5 yellow cards in his relatively short Everton career so far: he serves out a one-match suspension and is replaced by Tom Davies. Yerri Mina is available again after suffering with the flu. Gordon is absent with Gary and McNeil starting. Dominic Calvert-Lewin leads from the start again after exerting himself for 69 minutes on Saturday. Ellis Simms, who has been recalled from a very successful loan at Sunderland in the Championship, is on the bench. Everton kicked off but were pressed from the start. McNeil and Gray got down the right but simply refused to cross the ball in and it went all the way back, where Tarkowski overhit a very long ball out of play beyond Mykolenko. Gray got a chance to deliver well from a free-kick (handball by a defender completely ignored by the VAR) and the ball was worked to Iwobi for a shot that was parried by Sanchez. Everton kept the play in Brighton's half and Davies tried his leg at shooting tamely straight at Sanchez. Brighton eventually had a spell of forward play, Sarmiento spurning a great chance for a header at the far post that he really should have buried, ducking so the ball flew off the top of his head. McNeil was a bit too strong giving away a free-kick that Tarkowski headed clear. Patterson was beaten with shocking ease on a wide ball to Mitoma and he had the easiest of tasks to beat Pickford and Tarkowski. A horrible goal to give away. Patterson tried to redeem himself but again refused to deliver a cross in for Calvert-Lewin. Everton did win a corner but Sanchez stole it off Calvert-Lewin's head. Everton won the ball back but still found it impossible to create anything, allowing Brighton to counter, Ferguson set up with ease to smack a shot off the post. The Seagulls, in flamingo pink. had successfully taken complete control of this game after 20 minutes, with Everton struggling massively to create anything meaningful, and all too easy to suffer on the turnover, Ferguson lashing a fine shot inches over Pickford's bar. NcNeil finally put in a cross for Calvert-Lewin but again Sanchez beat him to the ball and Brighton countered again, Mitoma causing having and getting to the byline, winning a corner that was fortunately overhit. McNeil released Gray with a great diagonal ball that saw him cut in but fire from too narrow an angle for Sanchez to block it behind. Tarkowski could not get enough on the corner. Everton finally got a free-kick when Gray was tripped but it was wasted when McNeil overhit the set-piece beyond everyone. Patterson swung in a pretty good cross right to Calvert-Lewin but he just could not attack it properly. In a slightly better move, Patterson headed another cross in for Calvert-Lewin, who was ambling 10 yards behind where he should have been. But Everton kept trying and forced another corner. This time it fell to McNeil but he wanted a third touch and his route to goal was easily blocked off. Iwobi won the ball in midfield only to lose it again immediately. Mitoma fell awkwardly but there was no foul so they played on despite Seagulls screaming until Ferguson deliberately fouled Gana and all the handbags came out. Gray powered in a tasty shot but the trajectory was too low to beat Sanchez before the half ended to a round of boos from the frustrated Goodison crowd, looking at yet another maddening home loss. No changes of course from Lampard as Brighton restarted and worked the ball to Ferguson for another shot – just over. Everton tried to build an attack but it was painfully slow until it broke down again. Gana got a turnover but Gray was sleeping and failed to anticipate his forward pass. Patterson's ball to Calvert-Lewin had no chance of reaching him through the Seagulls defenders. Iwobi finally crossed but it did not reach Calvert-Lewin at the far post. Brighton went up the other end and Sarmiento easily found Ferguson for a simple finish in the 6-yard area. Absolutely shocking how easily Everton were torn apart. Perhaps time for a change now, Frank? No, let's just have Brighton score another, as March marches through for a simple goal, easy as you like. Unbelievable. A Gray free-kick was horribly overhit at one end and Groos was gifted the ball by Gana in midfield to go on and beat Pickford with ridiculous ease. An absolute catastrophe for Everton and surely now the end of Frank Lampard? Lampard finally added to the attack in the shape of Maupay but it did not improve things noticeably. Simms finally came on for Calvert-Lewin as the final change with the game well and truly over… and at least 10 minutes of this shit-show still left to prolong the agony. Iwobi was cut down by Sanchez right at the end and Demarai Gray scored a consolation goal from the spot with a well-hit strike that will not make him Man of the Match this time. Everton: Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski, Coady, Mykolenko, Gueye, Davies, Iwobi, McNeil, Gray, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Begovic, Mina, Doucoure, Maupay, Godfrey, Coleman, Vinagre, Simms, Price. Brighton: Sanchez, Veltman, Dunk, Colwill, Estupinan, Gross, Caicedo, March, Sarmiento, Mitoma, Ferguson. Subs: Steele, Lamptey, Mac Allister, Trossard, Lallana, Enciso, Gilmour, Van Hecke. Michael Kenrick top Players who can run? Sometime around lunchtime I was offered some tickets for the Dixie Dean lounge and so passed on the Lower Gwladys Street tickets I had to a mate. Thus my father-in-law, visiting from Germany, borrowed a suit and accompanied me for the evening. We arrived around 5.45pm and took the opportunity to take a look out over Goodison Park. Its quite the view from the corporate area, and with not too many opportunities left to take in the beautiful arena, its always great to take a minute and do just that. On turning around to head back towards the lounge, I saw Matt Dawson there with his two young lads. My wife is a big fan of his and so I had to take the opportunity to get a selfie and say hello. In doing so I suddenly remembered that Matt's wife is also from Germany so I introduced him to my father-in-law, only to find that Matt's German is about as awful as mine. Into the lounge and it was nice to catch up with a couple of people I hadn't seen for quite a while. Nick Chadwick and Mark Higgins were both guests and stood up to talk glowingly about the club. Mark was particularly dismayed at how Wolves sauntered into Goodison Park following the World Cup and were allowed to come away with three points, but also that he was glad the players made up for it with the draw at Manchester City. He was optimistic of a good performance against Brighton. He also spoke lovingly about his time at Everton and the standards they used to set, referencing Mick Lyons as a real fighter. "Yerry Mina, look at the size of him" he said, or something to that effect. "But he wears pink boots. We'd never have got away with that". It was great to see some passion, as that was about as much as I was going to see from anyone in blue all evening. We got the team news an hour or so before kick off and there was a palpable sense of apprehension throughout when we saw the team shape had been changed quite radically from the brilliant draw at the Etihad Stadium. Frank couldn't resist switching to a 4-3-3 to have more of a go at home to Brighton. Ben Godfrey removed and Amadou Onana suspended; Dwight McNeil and Tom Davies recalled. The Brighton supporters, though not in huge numbers, made quite the noise and fair play to them, even if their songs were a little tedious. We sat down in our allocated seats. I'm pretty sure it was Alan McInally sat a bit to my left, and there were a few fellas I recognised a bit across and to my right though I couldn't for the life of me put names to faces. A bit ahead of them Bill Kenwright, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Kevin Thirwell and Graeme Sharpe were sat. Anyhow, the game began, Everton attacking the Gwladys Street in the first half, and an encouraging start we made too. We were on the front foot, pressed and got into Brighton. Alex Iwobi forced an excellent save from Robert Sanchez; Dominic Calvert-Lewin couldn't get his header quite right and then Tom Davies shimmied and shot though straight at Sanchez. It was an encouraging start. Which didn't last long of course, and Brighton soon began to exert their dominance. We'd been warned once or twice before Nathan Patterson hopelessly misread, and Kauro Mitoma calmly brought the ball into the penalty area, made a mockery of Connor Coady's international footballer credentials and calmly slotted past Jordan Pickford. Brighton a goal to the good. Everton were soon let off the hook shortly afterwards when Evan Ferguson struck the outside of the post with a great opportunity. Still, Everton came back and had a bit of a go before half time, and at the break I wasn't too downbeat. Brighton were probably deservedly ahead, but we were in the game at least, and I felt we could improve in the second half and make a game of this. I was very wrong of course, and was literally numb at what I witnessed between the 51st and 57th minutes as Brighton effortlesly and ruthlesly pulled the rug from under Everton. I knew the defending was poor but only now having watched the highlights back have I realised quite how bad. I have to sympathise with Frank on that one, he must have been befuddled by what he was seeing. There were mistakes throughout, though one thing I would say about Brighton is how impressed I was with their composure in such situations. We'd have fluffed our lines with plenty of them chances, they just have this assurance of knowing what to do. The fourth goal took the biscuit. How do you concede like that from your own free kick deep into enemy lines? It was atrocious. What Idrissa was doing I don't know. It was at this point that Frank Lampard rang the changes, Tom Davies and Dwight McNeil both hauled off and booed in the process by our own supporters. I really wish we wouldn't do that. The remainder of the game was a daze. I was still trying to encourage them, hoping for something, anything to cling onto moving forward, and did at least get to see a consolation penalty, and was pleased that Demarai Gray took and scored it as he deserved a goal more than any other Everton player. Given how fortunate we were to have such an incredible view of the game, and with precious little to look at on the pitch, i did spend a fair chunk of time during the game observing the two managers. Frank, pretty much throughout was stood arms folded and perplexed, almost sulk-like. Roberto De Zerbi in comparison, though a touch irritating, was bouncing up and down, in constant communication with his team, whistling instructions at players. Admittedly as a conseqeunce of how the game went, there was always going to be a big contrast in management styles, but my was it palpable. And then at one point, I think it was still the first half, a Brighton player went down in a heap feigning injury and the game was stopped while he received treatment. In no time at all about half a dozen of Brighton's backroom team were up at the touchline with their iPads out dishing out instructions and information to some of their players. That club is head and shoulders above us. Brighton that is. Brighton! Fair play to them on the night, they were exquisite. Such was the gloom we didn't hang around for too long after the match though couldn't get a cab straight away so dived into The Winslow Hotel for a quick pint. I got chatting to a fellow sufferer in there who was saying "Frank has to go, we should get Wayne Rooney in". "Here we go" I thought, crudely expecting an angry tirade, though the gentleman's response was measured and made a lot of sense, even actually bringing me along to his way of thinking. In a nutshell it was... "Yes we like Frank. No, we don't want to sack another manager. But is he making good decisions? Was it a good decision to revert from something that worked against the champions? Of course not. Like it or not Brighton are better than us. Take the draw against Brighton, and go for the kill against Southampton. Five points from Manchester City, Brighton and Southampton isn't too bad. It's not rocket science. I don't mean necessarily get exactly "Wayne Rooney in", but someone like that. These players won't run. We need someone who can make them run." And you know what, I've always been behind Frank, but I can't disagree with any of that. There are problems throughout the club, we all know that. And I don't WANT Frank to be sacked; he's been dealt a bad hand for sure, though is playing it badly. And while this wouldn't be the ending for Frank I want, it might be the one that we need to squirm our way out of this mess... For one more season at least. Paul Traill top Match Preview Everton’s first match of 2023 is a home clash with Brighton & Hove Albion under the lights at Goodison Park as Frank Lampard and his side look to build on their good result at the Etihad on New Year’s Eve. The Blues closed out last year with a hard-fought draw against Manchester City which will hopefully have injected the self-belief into the team to start putting a run of victories together to propel them away from the bottom of the table. Their previous home game was a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Wolves who were bottom of the Premier League at the time and Brighton, with new manager Roberto de Zerbi largely carrying forward the form the Seagulls were showing under Graham Potter before he left for Chelsea, will pose an even sterner test. Everton should have Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the starting XI this time, though, after the striker returned against City and played 70 minutes. His presence in the side provides a different dimension to Neal Maupay and Lampard will be hoping he can rediscover the goalscoring form he showed against Crystal Palace in October, the high point of the season thus far. Lampard could revert to a back four after going with a three-man central-defensive unit at the Etihad, although any such change would likely see Conor Coady and James Tarkowski partner each other in the middle and would be harsh on Ben Godfrey, who was excellent on Saturday. The manager’s thinking might be guided by Anthony Gordon’s readiness and the fact that Amadou Onana will miss out through suspension having amassed five bookings on the season. With James Garner out injured, that would put Abdoulaye Doucouré and Tom Davies in the frame to partner Idrissa Gueye in midfield while Gordon could come back in if Lampard doesn’t stick with five at the back. Since losing to City on the same day Everton beat Palace so handsomely, Brighton have thumped Chelsea and won away at Wolves but they went into the break for the World Cup having lost at home to Aston Villa and though they comfortably beat struggling Southampton on Boxing Day, they couldn’t cope with Arsenal on Saturday and were beaten 4-2 by the League leaders. They did exhibit their refusal to lie down in that defeat, however, as they tried to come back from 4-0 down and that should serve as a warning to Lampard and Everton that they remain a talented and dangerous team. Alexis Mac Allister could be back in De Zerbi’s squad after he returned from his World Cup triumph with Argentina and will undergo a late fitness test but Danny Welbeck and Adam Webster are doubts while Jakub Moder is ruled out with a knee injury. Kick-off: 7:45pm, Tuesday 3 January 2023Referee: Andre MarrinerVAR: Michael OliverLast Time: Everton 2 - 3 Brighton & Hove Albion Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Patterson, Coady, Godfrey, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gueye, Doucouré, Iwobi, Gray, Calvert-Lewin Lyndon Lloyd top * Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.