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Everton vs Brighton and Hove Albion. Premier League.

Goodison Park.

Everton 4

  • D Calvert-Lewin (16th minute)
  • Y Mina (47th minute)
  • J Rodríguez (52nd minute, 70th minute)

Brighton and Hove Albion 2

  • N Maupay (41st minute)
  • Y Bissouma (92nd minute)

Everton 4-2 Brighton: James Rodriguez's double sends Toffees top of Premier League

Report and free highlights as Everton go top of the Premier League thanks to man-of-the-match display by James Rodriguez, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored for the fourth league game in a row

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton's win against Brighton.

James Rodriguez scored two second-half goals to help Everton go top of the Premier League with a 4-2 thrashing of Brighton at Goodison Park.

The in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin had headed the home side into a 16th-minute lead, only for a Jordan Pickford error to bring the visitors level four minutes before half-time.

However, Yerry Mina headed in James's free kick in first-half injury time and the Colombia playmaker scored twice in the second period to seal Everton's win before Yves Bissouma's late consolation.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are now three points clear of Leicester City and Liverpool - who both play on Sunday - at the top of the table having won their opening four games of the season for the first time since 1969-70 - when they went on to win the league - while Brighton stay 12th.

Player ratings

Everton: Pickford (5), Digne (6), Keane (6), Mina (8), Coleman (7), Davies (6), Sigurdsson (7), Doucoure (8), Richarlison (6), Calvert-Lewin (8), James (9)

Subs: Delph (6), Walcott (6), Iwobi (6)

Brighton: Ryan (6), Lamptey (6), White (6), Webster (6), Dunk (6), Bissouma (6), March (8), Trossard (7), Alzate (6), Connolly (6), Maupay (7)

Subs: Gross (6), Lallana (6), Veltman (6)

Man of the match: James Rodriguez

How Everton went top of the table

Just past the quarter-hour mark, James's quick thinking at a free kick allowed Gylfi Sigurdsson to stand up a cross to the far post which Calvert-Lewin - leaping like Duncan Ferguson circa 1995 - headed home.

Incredibly, the striker - who was called up by England in midweek - had come into this campaign having not scored in his previous 10 matches, but hit his sixth goal in just four league games, more than any player in Europe's top five leagues.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates his goal with teammate Tom Davies
Image: Calvert-Lewin (right) celebrates his goal with team-mate Tom Davies

Everton then seemed in total control, only for Pickford to fail to deal with Leandro Trossard's mishit shot in the damp conditions, presenting a goal on a plate for Maupay.

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Luckily for the England No 1, his side were soon back in front as James' dead-ball prowess came to the fore. His compatriot Mina took advantage to head home from close range just before the break.

Team news

Richarlison was fit to start after recovering from an ankle problem sustained during the League Cup win against West Ham on Wednesday. But as expected, midfielder Allan missed out with a groin injury picked up in that game and with Andre Gomes also out, Carlo Ancelotti brought in both Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson for their first league games of the season.

As for the visitors, Brighton boss Graham Potter made just one change, with Yves Bissouma returning from suspension to replace Adam Lallana, who dropped to the bench.

The second half belonged to the former Real Madrid star, who twice found himself unmarked at the far post to score with his left, then right foot, the fifth time the new man has been involved in a league goal at Goodison since joining the club.

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Despite Bissouma's stunning stoppage-time consolation for Brighton, Everton went on to win their opening seven games in all competitions for the first time since 1894-95, with champions Liverpool next up at home after the international break.

Yerry Mina celebrates his goal with his Everton teammates
Image: Mina and Co after Everton went 2-1 up

Match stats - Title omens for Everton?

  • Everton have won each of their opening four games to a top-flight season for the first time since 1969-70, when they went on to win the title.
  • Brighton remain winless away at Everton in all competitions, drawing two and losing seven of their nine visits.
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the first player to score in each of Everton's first four Premier League games of a season
  • Since the start of last season, Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored seven headed goals in the Premier League, more than any other player.
  • James Rodriguez has been directly involved in six goals in his five games for Everton in all competitions this season (3 goals, 3 assists), double his return from his 14 appearances for Real Madrid last season (1 goal, 2 assists).

What the managers said...

Carlo Ancelotti: "We are really pleased for the start, we did really well this period, winning games, showing good quality, the spirit is good. But it is only the start of the season. Now there is the international break and we can have rest. It was a busy time and we have to come back with the same spirit and attitude.

"In general the attacking football was good, we had opportunities and we were really clinical on set-pieces, really good on the counterattack, we played a complete game. When we defended with the low block we were in a good position, we defended well and so I am pleased.

"He [Pickford] did a mistake but nothing happened, we have three points more and this is the most important part. This is not the right place to talk about Pickford, if I have to say something to him when he comes back (from international duty) I will talk to him."

Graham Potter: "We were disappointed with the goals we conceded and disappointed with the decision-making at the start of the second half," he said.

"We came in at 2-1 but we were unable to defend the set-piece just before that (for Mina's goal). I think we contributed to our own problems today and that is not a good thing to do when you are playing against a team with the quality Everton have."

James Rodriguez celebrates his second goal with Abdoulaye Doucoure
Image: James Rodriguez celebrates his second goal with Abdoulaye Doucoure

Pundit view - Tim Sherwood

"They have got a great blend around him [James Rodriguez], they are building a team around him. He comes off the right-hand side into that little space where the defenders do not want to come out. He times his movements into that areas, he has got a great left foot, good vision, and he scored two goals on the back post, which is really encouraging to see.

"When the ball is down the left-hand side, he traps that back post. He scored one off his left foot where it skidded off the surface, and he guided it in. It looks east, but he makes it look easy, but let me tell you it is not.

"And the other one was on the right-hand side, exactly the same position, this time it was Doucoure going in and he flicks it over the goalkeeper and he just has to tap it in, but he makes it look so simple.

"He has scored two goals today, he has set one up from a free kick for Yerry Mina and for me, you have to give man of the match to James."

Image: James celebrates his first goal

Man of the Match - James Rodriguez

The silky-smooth playmaker was once again at the heart of everything his side did well at Goodison on Saturday afternoon, and in filthy conditions too that could not have been further away from what he is used to in either Madrid or Medellin.

Yerry Mina celebrates after restoring Everton's lead
Image: Yerry Mina celebrates after restoring Everton's lead

First we saw the 29-year-old's pinpoint delivery from free kicks as he put a goal on a plate for compatriot Mina, before we then witnessed his goalscoring abilities after the break as he timed his runs to perfection to ghost in unnoticed at the back post for two simple tap ins.

And remarkably, that is the first time the Colombia international has scored two or more goals in a league game since netting a hat-trick for Bayern Munich in March 2019.

What's next?

When the sides return to action after the upcoming international break, Everton take on Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Goodison Park on Saturday October 17 (12.30pm).

Brighton, meanwhile, face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday October 18 (2pm) in a game you can see live on Sky Sports Premier League.

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