Everton 2-0 Brighton: Cenk Tosun scores first Goodison Park goal
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 10/03/18 6:54pm
Cenk Tosun scored his first Everton goal at Goodison Park as they beat Brighton 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.
Brighton were happy to sit back until the hour-mark, when Yannick Bolasie's cross was turned into his own net by Gaetan Bong, under pressure from Theo Walcott.
It was 2-0 shortly after through Tosun (76), who fired in off the crossbar from 12 yards after Leighton Baines had squared the ball across goal.
Everton: Pickford (7), Coleman (7), Jagielka (7), Keane (6), Baines (7), Sigurdsson (6), Davies (6), Walcott (7), Rooney (6), Bolasie (6), Tosun (7)
Subs: Calvert-Lewin (6), Holgate (NA), Klaassen (NA)
Brighton: Ryan (6), Schelotto (5), Dunk (6), Duffy (6), Bong (4), Kayal (5), Propper (5), Izquierdo (5), Gross (5), Knockaert (4), Murray (5)
Subs: Locadia (5), Ulloa (NA), Suttner (NA)
Man of the match: Cenk Tosun
Wayne Rooney saw a late penalty superbly saved by Matt Ryan, but the result sees Everton move up to ninth, while Brighton are down to 11th - seven points off the drop zone.
For all of Everton's dominance in the first half, in which they had 65 per cent possession and eight corners, they couldn't break down a dogged Brighton side.
Seamus Coleman came closest, dragging an effort wide from an angle eight yards out, before Glenn Murray forced Jordan Pickford into a decent save from range.
Everton made four changes from the side that lost 2-1 at Burnley: Jagielka, Baines, Rooney and Bolasie came in, Williams, Cuco Martina, Gueye and Calvert-Lewin made way. Kayal came in for Stephens in the only change for Brighton after the win over Arsenal.
Everton finally took the lead after the break as Bong inadvertently turned home Bolasie's dangerous cross under pressure from Walcott.
It was 2-0 with 14 minutes remaining as Tosun lashed home inside the box, but the ball looked to take a slight deflection off Lewis Dunk before hitting the underside of the crossbar and crossing the line.
Anthony Knockaert deservedly saw red for Brighton soon after, going in two-footed on Leighton Baines at the touchline, before Rooney saw a penalty tipped wide by Ryan after Dominic Calvert-Lewin had been brought down by Shane Duffy.
Brighton nearly halved the deficit at the death, but Pickford did well to tip away Pascal Gross' effort from the edge of the box.
- Everton have lost only one of their 10 previous league meetings with Brighton (W5 D4).
- Everton have won seven consecutive Premier League home games against newly promoted sides for the first time in the competition.
- Anthony Knockaert's red card was the first Brighton have received in the Premier League and their first in league football since Lewis Dunk's against Huddersfield in February 2017.
- Wayne Rooney has missed three penalties in the Premier League this season, only the eighth time that a player has missed this many in a single Premier League campaign.
- Indeed, Rooney is the first player since Darren Bent in 2009-10 to miss as many as three penalties in a Premier League season.
Sam Allardyce: "As soon as we deliver a bit of real quality, the two goals came about. [Tosun] found himself a bit of space and finished it brilliantly. He's settled down. For me, it was 'Why did you buy him? Why are you not playing him?' The usual when you pay money for somebody. For me my job is not what about everybody else says, it's about what I think internally, when he's ready.
"He could have got a lot of criticism if I'd played him too soon, and they'd all have started saying: 'What a waste of money,' as happens across the football world, but we were patient with him and he worked really hard. Long may it continue."
Chris Hughton: "It was [a bad day at the office], if we play at a level like that, we will find it difficult to win any Premier League games. We know what the levels are, and we have reached those levels in the run we've been on, and we were well below that today. Certainly the best side won."
Man of the match: Phil Jagielka
There were plenty of contenders for MOTM at Goodison Park, but it has to go to Jagielka, who has been out of the side of late through injury.
He was dominant alongside Michael Keane, who has been anxious recently, and dealt with anything Brighton threw at them as they looked to go long to Glenn Murray early on.
Special mentions for Cenk Tosun, Theo Walcott and Leighton Baines - but Jagielka stole the show - registering more clearances (six) than any other Everton player.
Everton now go to Stoke on Saturday in the Premier League, while Brighton are at Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday evening.