Everton vs Brentford. Premier League.
Report and free highlights as Rico Henry and Yoane Wissa score two goals in as many minutes to give Brentford 3-2 win at Everton, who have Jarrad Branthwaite and Solomon Rondon sent off; Toffees now two points outside bottom three with two games to play
Monday 16 May 2022 12:37, UK
Two Brentford goals in 119 seconds denied nine-man Everton Premier League safety as a 3-2 home defeat leaves them with work to do for survival.
Everton's fans had been rewarded for another raucous Goodison Park welcome when Dominic Calvert-Lewin got the final touch on Richarlison's glancing header from a free-kick as the hosts flew out of the traps, knowing victory would be enough to secure their Premier League place for another season.
Everton: Pickford (6), Coleman (5), Branthwaite (4), Holgate (6), Iwobi (5), Doucoure (6), Gomes (5), Mykolenko (6), Richarlison (7), Calvert-Lewin (7), Gordon (5).
Subs: Gray (6), Kenny (6), Rondon (3).
Brentford: Raya (6), Ajer (6), Sorensen (4), Jansson (6), Henry (7), Jensen (7), Norgaard (7), Eriksen (8), Wissa (7), Toney (6), Mbeumo (6).
Subs: Janelt (7), Dasilva (6), Roerslev (6).
Man of the match: Christian Eriksen
But their afternoon took a sudden turn soon after when Jarrad Branthwaite misjudged a long ball forward and ended up hauling Ivan Toney over, and as the last man he was shown a straight red card by referee Michael Oliver.
Seamus Coleman's unfortunate own goal header from a Yoane Wissa cross (37) threatened to turn the tide away from the hosts, but they restored their lead on the stroke of half-time with a Richarlison penalty after Mads Sorensen had fouled him.
A week after Brentford scored twice in 61 seconds against Southampton, they scored two in two minutes on the hour to finally make the most of their numerical advantage, with Wissa nodding in a corner (62) before Rico Henry headed home a Christian Eriksen cross (64).
An afternoon already overshadowed by a moment of ill-discipline got worse for Everton late on, as substitute Salomon Rondon became the second player dismissed for a two-footed lunge on Henry.
Everton remain 16th but only two points outside the relegation zone, following Leeds' late equaliser against Brighton earlier on Sunday, while Brentford's hopes of a top-half finish remain in tact as they remain 11th.
Everton's nightmare season has looked like ending in the serene waters of safety in recent weeks with their form coupled with drop-offs for Leeds and Burnley, and when Calvert-Lewin's deflection fired them ahead early on, it appeared today would be the day.
But they were always facing an uphill struggle once Branthwaite was shown red with 72 minutes left, and it was to their credit that they made it to half-time in front courtesy of Richarlison's penalty.
"The start was great, we could have scored three. The red card changes the game completely," manager Lampard later told Sky Sports.
"To get the centre-half sent off so early killed the game plan," former Everton defender Phil Jagielka added on Super Sunday. "The attitude to get to half-time ahead, you wondered if they could get the job done - but at half-time it was always going to be a really difficult second half."
It transpired that the home defence could only hold out for another quarter of an hour, although there was no excuse for the collapse after Wissa's equaliser to then concede again within two minutes.
And with the knowledge a late equaliser could still prove decisive in the fight against relegation, Everton were again their own worst enemies as Rondon was shown a straight red for a needless, petulant lunge on Henry.
A stony-faced Thomas Frank trudged off at half-time knowing his side had been below-par to trail to a team who had played for half an hour with a man less.
His team re-emerged without centre-back Mads Sorensen, with midfielder Vitaly Janelt in his place. The midfielder has played in defence before, but previously only out of necessity.
"It was mainly because I wanted to play more. It was a back four when we defended but a back three when we attacked. That was the main reason I made the change," Frank told Sky Sports after full-time.
The switch did the trick and Brentford did look more comfortable in the inevitable swathes of possession they enjoyed after the break, but it was not until right-back Kristoffer Ajer was taken off for Josh Dasilva - another midfielder who dropped into the backline - that they found their breakthrough.
That back three in possession allowed Henry to play a greater part in Brentford's attack, and it was he who won the corner leading to Wissa's equaliser, before he nodded home the winning goal himself two minutes later.
Lampard felt Branthwaite's red card could have been avoided had Everton been given a penalty for what appeared a shirt-pull on Richarlison moments beforehand, but conceded his young defender had been at fault to bring down Ivan Toney.
His red card means the Toffees will be without another centre-half for their final two games, and Lampard suggested at least two more may still be missing when they host Crystal Palace on Thursday night.
He told Sky Sports: "There was a possible penalty in the build-up for a clear pull on Richarlison's shirt. You wonder if a player should go down because it's a penalty. The ball goes down the other end and it's a mistake by Jared Braithwaite to let him run behind.
"The players gave every drop. The fans gave every drop. Big circumstances went against us. Hopefully Michael Keane will be back on Thursday. I'm not hopeful of Mina or Godfrey. We had three centre-backs out today. it's very difficult. Seamus played there. We played a back three at the end. Everyone has given everything,
"The important thing is we have a positive attitude. It's in our hands at Goodison again hopefully with 11 on the pitch. The effort was incredible. The players deserve a little rest. The legs are hanging off a bit with all the injuries."
Everton host Crystal Palace on Thursday at 7.45pm. On the final day of the Premier League season, Everton travel to Arsenal and Brentford host Leeds United on Sunday at 4pm.
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