23/09/2023 0comments  |  Jump to last
Brentford 1 - 3 Everton

Everton finally registered their first win of the season and eventually did it in what was comfortable fashion with Dominic Calvert-Lewin coming off the bench to score his first goal of the campaign.

The Toffees had got off to the perfect start when Adboulaye Doucouré swept home with just six minutes gone but, just like at Sheffield United earlier this month, they were pegged back to 1-1 later in the half when Mathias Jensen rattled in off the woodwork.

Sean Dyche’s men took control of the final quarter of the contest, however, restoring their lead through James Tarkowski and then making sure of the points through Calvert-Lewin’s accomplished finish off a beautiful assist from James Garner four minutes later.

Having seen his charges perform so abjectly against Arsenal last weekend, Dyche made a change to his starting XI, dropping the player who was his top scorer prior to today, Arnaut Danjuma, and introducing Garner to right midfield while Beto retained his place in the line-up.

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Everton’s start was initially slightly ominous, with Ashley Young picking up a booking with just 40 seconds on the clock and Bryan Mbeumo drifting a free-kick wide of goal but the visitors were soon ahead when Dwight McNeil won a corner on the left.

Garner’s corner was cleared but when he curled it back in and Tarkowski rose to knock it down in the box, Doucouré was on hand to strike a crisp half-volley across the goalkeeper and into the far corner to make it 1-0.

McNeil then latched onto Beto’s flick-on and missed the far post by inches with an early effort just before the quarter-hour mark but Everton would have two great chances to double their lead in the space of six minutes.

First, a poor clearance fell straight to Vitalii Mykolenko inside the penalty area but with his weaker right foot he could only shoot straight at Mark Flekken and then when Tarkowski picked Doucouré out with a raking pass into the box, the Mali international took it down and sliced a volley that agonisingly came back off the crossbar.

A minute after that, it was 1-1. The otherwise imperious Jarrad Branthwaite could only hack a loose ball to Vitaly Janelt just outside the Everton area and the German shaped to shoot before sliding it to Jensen whos drilled shot found the net via Jordan Pickford’s glove and the inside of the far post.

The Blues stuck to their task, however, and Dyche will feel as though his side should have gone into half-time ahead. The mercurial Idrissa Gueye slid Beto in with a slide-rule pass eight minutes before the break but the Portuguese scooped his right-foot shot wide of goal.

Then, after Gueye had given the ball away cheaply in his own half and Tarkowski had done well to prevent Keane Lewis-Potter from stealing in at the back post, the Senegalese played Beto in again but the move ended in familiar fashion with the striker’s cross-cum-shot sliding the wrong side of the upright.

Brentford had improved following a subdued and somewhat anxious start but it was Everton who looked the stronger of the two teams after the interval and McNeil had the first chance of the second period but shot at the keeper.

Beto then won a free-kick by touchline which Tarkowski met with another towering header but Amadou Onana couldn’t divert the ball inside the far post before the former Udinese striker dropped a header of his own a yard or so wide.

That would be Beto’s last significant involvement as he was withdrawn in the 63rd minute with the approval of the travelling fans ringing in his ears and four minutes later, it was 2-1 to Everton.

Young’s attempted cross was deflected behind for a corner, Garner swept the resulting set-piece to the edge of the six-yard box where Tarkowski had timed his run and leap to perfection to power it home.

The Bees might have hit back almost immediately were it not for an excellent rearguard action by Everton where first Calvert-Lewin blocked Ethan Pinnock’s shot from close range and then Tarkowski denied Christian Nørgaard amid a meleé of bodies.

Then, with 19 minutes left, the visitors wrapped things up. Garner robbed Nathan Collins in a dangerous area from the defender’s perspective, threaded a ball between two other defenders with the outside of his boot where Calvert-Lewin advanced and slotted in off Flekken’s leg to make it 3-1.

Pickford got away with an awful clearance when referee Michael Oliver got in the way of Saman Ghoddos as he looked to try and find the empty goal from distance but, otherwise, Brentford looked well beaten and the closing minutes were little more than a formality, with the jubilant away fans even afforded the chance to bring out the “Olés” at one stage.

All in all, Everton’s first win on Brentford’s soil since 1952 and their long-awaited first of 2023-24 was a well-executed away performance that finally saw Dyche’s men get the points their display deserved, having been beaten by Fulham and Wolves at home and denied a victory at Bramall Lane despite promising attacking metrics.

It lifts the Toffees out of the bottom three and bodes well for the two upcoming games at Goodison Park against teams down near the bottom with them in Luton Town and Bournemouth.


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