Free highlights and match report as Brighton climbed back up to eighth in the Premier League table after delivering a clinical performance that earned a 4-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park; under-fire Frank Lampard's Toffees have now won just one of their last 10 league games
Wednesday 4 January 2023 06:20, UK
Brighton cranked up the heat on under-fire Everton boss Frank Lampard as they started 2023 with a clinical 4-1 win at Goodison Park.
The Toffees have now recorded just one win in their last 10 matches and sit 16th in the Premier League table, a point above the relegation zone, but with the four teams below them having each played one game fewer.
Kaoru Mitoma set Brighton on their way to victory with his fourth goal in six games before the break and, given the positive manner the hosts had started in, the result remained in the balance.
But Everton simply capitulated in a six-minute period after the restart. Teenage striker Evan Ferguson marked his full Premier League debut with a goal, before Solly March added a third and Idrissa Gueye's glaring error allowed Pascal Gross to add a fourth.
Demarai Gray scored a late consolation penalty, but Brighton climb back up to eighth as a result of the crushing victory.
Everton - perhaps buoyant after their draw against Manchester City last time out - looked as though they meant business from the off. Their high press was intense and almost helped them take the lead within 10 minutes, though Robert Sanchez produced a fine save to deny Alex Iwobi and Tom Davies shortly after.
Everton: Pickford (4), Patterson (4), Coady (4), Tarkowski (4), Mykolenko (4), Iwobi (5), Gueye (4), Davies (4), McNeil (4), Calvert-Lewin (5), Gray (6).
Subs: Doucoure (5), Price (5), Coleman (5), Maupay (5), Simms (n/a)
Brighton: Sanchez (7), Veltman (6), Dunk (6), Colwill (6), Estupinan (6), Caicedo (7), Gross (7), March (7), Sarmiento (7), Mitoma (8), Ferguson (8).
Subs: Mac Allister (6), Enciso (6), Lamptey (5), Lallana (n/a), Moran (n/a)
Man of the match: Evan Ferguson
But soon, Brighton began to establish control of the game. They sent out a warning sign when March's beautiful hanging ball was headed well clear of the target by Mitoma and, shortly afterwards, edged, deservedly, in front.
Moises Caicedo's cross-field ball found Japanese international Mitoma, whose first touch took him away from Nathan Patterson on the left-hand side of the box and allowed him to drift across the area before dispatching a shot through the legs of James Tarkowski and into the back of the net.
It was nearly two when 18-year-old Ferguson adjusted his feet in order to connect with Mitoma's deflected cross first and sent a first-time shot onto the base of the left-hand post.
On occasion, Everton offered encouraging signs with their build-up play. That said, it became laboured, more often than not, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin increasingly isolated and the home fans increasingly frustrated at the lack of urgency on the attack.
After he scored his first Premier League goal in the defeat to Arsenal on New Year's Eve, Ferguson once again proved he is not overawed playing in the top flight at his tender age and, moments after sending a shot narrowly over the bar, he netted his second in two games when he slotted in after great work from Jeremy Sarmiento to squeeze a cross into his path under pressure.
That quietened Goodison, but March silenced the famous old stadium within minutes when he was teed up by Ferguson and allowed to take multiple touches unchallenged before placing a shot past a stricken Jordan Pickford.
The boos began to ring out before the hour mark when Gueye's abysmal blind pass back towards his own goal was seized upon by Gross, who charged forward before delicately clipping a fourth into the net.
There was time for Everton to pull one back when Sanchez gave away a needless penalty in stoppage time, but though Gray slammed home in frustration, it did nothing to take away the embarrassment for the Toffees.
Sky Sports' Dan Long:
"The way Evan Ferguson has gradually worked his way into the Brighton first team over the last 18 months has been like a dream.
"The teenager had made four first team appearances by the age of 17 last February and has already bettered that this term, as well as making his senior Republic of Ireland debut. But most importantly, he has started to perform on the big stage now - and in the Premier League, he looks as far from over-awed as one can possibly be.
"Having played the last half hour against Arsenal and scored, Ferguson had several chances to net against Everton before he eventually did, showing strength and poise in leading the line as though he had done it a hundred times before.
"In adding an assist, too, aged 18 years and 76 days, he became the second youngest player in Premier League history to both score and assist in a match, after Michael Owen in 1997 (17y 364d v Crystal Palace) and the youngest player to score in consecutive Premier League appearances since a 17-year-old Federico Macheda in 2009.
"Such form, albeit having happened within a matter of days, is likely to pique the interest of clubs far and wide. For now, though, Brighton have hot property on their hands and they are using him to good effect."
Everton manager Frank Lampard:
"It was very disappointing, even in the first half, I would say. A mistake from us for their goal, but I think general play was pretty even, we had our chances. But then three goals in six minutes, defensive mistakes from us and that finishes the game.
"After that, the game becomes a bit in-between. We get our late goal, but at 4-0 the game's done. Those six minutes were completely pivotal to the game with individual mistakes and collective defending issues.
"We're all in it together, so it's not a question of anger. We're disappointed, we want to win games. You have to get used to the fact you're not going to win every week, you're not going to win games, so we have to get back to work - simple as that.
"I'm a Premier League football manager, there's pressure in the job wherever you are. There's always expectation, parameters, things that you want to get to. There's constant pressure.
"We're trying to help the squad, I've said that. We know that, with January coming, we want to help the squad, so we'll look at that.
"Since I've been here I've been in a relegation battle [both last season and this season]. I can't control the talk but I don't focus on it. I'm very confident in myself but I can't predict the future. It's Manchester United next and that's all we can look at."
Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi:
"I didn't like the first half. The game was difficult because Everton are always a good team and winning in the Premier League is always difficult. But in the second half, we played better.
"There were some problems in the first half, we have to improve. I'm happy for the result for sure, but I am honest. We have a lot of space to improve
"In the second half, we changed the defensive space and I spoke to try to [find the] right conditions to close the game. The players were fantastic in the second half.
"We have to achieve the right mentality and we can't concede the goal. Nothing changed, but in terms of mentality and habits to finish the game when there is the end of the game.
"I'm very happy, but I'm not a journalist, I'm a coach and I have to analyse the performance, not only the result. The result it too easy.
"Against Arsenal we lost the game, and we played bad? No, it's not true. Today, we won 4-1, is it a fantastic game? No. I have to be honest and to be clear with my players."
Kevin Campbell on Sky Sports News:
"Getting beat at home like that after the last result is very difficult to take. At the end, the fans weren't happy at the end and Lampard will know that tonight.
"I fancied Everton to do something. Up until half-time, Everton were still in it. They came back at Brighton, had a couple of chances. But six crazy minutes in the second half, it goes from 1-0 to 4-0 and you just can't do that in the Premier League.
"I think the relationship between Lampard and the fans is there, but there are going to be questions. You have to start questioning if Lampard is the right man for the job, of course you do. I still think he's never been backed, this has never been his team.
"If you do pull the trigger and sack him, then you're bringing in someone else to do the same thing again. So where do you stop it? He's there, give him the opportunity to build something."
Both teams are back in action this coming weekend, when the FA Cup third round takes centre stage.
Everton travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United at 8pm on Friday January 6, while Brighton take on Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium at 3pm on Saturday January 7.