Match Report If you’d offered most Evertonians last Sunday morning four points from Premier League games against West Ham and Brighton plus progress to the last eight of the Carabao Cup, they would probably have readily taken it. And yet, having led for 77 minutes against the Seagulls and seen two points slip away thanks to an own goal, it’s hard not to feel more than a little disappointed despite the wins over the Hammers last weekend and Burnley in the cup in midweek. Looking at possession statistics alone, you’d have thought that Brighton more than deserved to take a point away from Goodison Park today but despite having 80% of the ball, Roberto de Zerbi’s side managed just two shots on target all afternoon. Such was the stout defensive display from Sean Dyche’s side, one that rarely looked like buckling before being undone on the only occasion where Ashley Young afforded the dangerous Kaoru Mitoma too much space down Brighton’s left and then unwittingly helped the Japanese forward’s cross into his own goal with just six minutes of the 90 to go. By ceding so much possession and territory to the visitors, Everton always ran the risk of asking too much of their defence. There’s also an argument that once again, Dyche asked too much of his starting XI, particularly those, like the 38-year-old Young, who had put in a 90-minute shift on Wednesday night. The manager didn’t make any changes until the 90th minute by which time the lead had been lost but it’s calculated risk he has taken before and it ended up working so, perhaps, it was just one of those where you take the point and move on. The loss of two points that would have had the Toffees sitting in 12th place heading into Sunday’s games still grates, though — not least because of how poorly they looked after the ball, particularly in the second half where it was all a bit too hasty at times, particularly from Jordan Pickford whose distribution was poor all afternoon. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was often too isolated, Jack Harrison was industrious off the ball but struggled to make an impact on it, and though Idrissa Gueye was useful as part of the general press, you couldn’t help but wonder if things might have been different had Amadou Onana not been forced to miss out with a tight calf. Still, there was, at least, a goal to savour for Vitalii Mykolenko who was rewarded for his excellent form of recent weeks and the result extends Everton’s recent record to just three defeats in 11 in all competitions since the end of August, leaving them six points clear of the relegation zone. Everton started strongly, with their diligent press trying to force mistakes from Brighton's back line but it was from a standard attack that the hosts almost took the lead in the third minute. Dwight McNeil's cross came off James Milner and Adboulaye Doucouré hammered a volley from close range that Bart Verbruggen parried away but the opening goal came just four minutes later from a similar position. Mykolenko had done superbly to win the ball inside the visitors' half and he continued his run to be in the right place when McNeil's cross came off Jan Paul van Hecke. The Ukrainian's first shot with his left foot was blocked by the keeper but when he rattled the rebound goal-ward with his right, it diverted up off Dunk's out-stretched leg and into the roof of the net. Simon Adingra dragged a shot wide as Brighton threatened for the first time and when Jarrad Branthwaite was adjudged to have fouled the Ivorian a few minutes later, Everton were remiss in leaving Lewis Dunk free to smash a volley in off the underside of Pickford's crossbar. A long delay for another forensic review by Video Assistant Referee Michael Oliver ensued before Dunk was ruled to have been fractionally offside and the hosts breathed a sigh of relief. Calvert-Lewin was felled just outside the Brighton box and James Garner curled the resulting free-kick a yard or so over in the 24th minute and, on the half-hour mark, the Blues No.9 surged away on the counter-attack with Doucouré but he went on his own and screwed a poor shot well off target. Then, as half-time approached, McNeil went down in the opposition penalty area under a challenge from Van Hecke but the officials determined that the Dutchman had been knocked into the Toffees' winger before flattening him as he tried to drive towards goal. Brighton had controlled the ball in the first half, enjoying over 80% possession but they found Everton almost impossible to get through and had just one shot on target to show for their efforts by the halfway stage. De Zerbi's men increased the pressure in the second half and, with their hosts struggled to carry the same threat on the counter, it was largely one-way traffic until the final quarter of an hour. Doucouré chased Billy Gilmour down to the edge of Everton's box and tripped him unnecessarily setting up a direct free-kick opportunity for Dunk but Pickford flew across goal to push the defender's effort over. Midway through the half, Christian Gross fired over from around 15 yards out and James Tarkowski did well to charge down a shot from substitute Joao Pedro as Brighton counter-attacked with purpose but it was almost 2-0 with 15 minutes left. Harrison cut inside and the ball broke to McNeil who set himself and drilled a shot that flew a few inches the wrong side of Verbruggen's left-hand post. A minute later, Doucouré powered into the box and tried to centre it for Calvert-Lewin but it was cut out and then, as the game moved into the final 10 minute, Calvert-Lewin appeared to be hauled down in the area but despite yet more howls for a penalty, nothing was given. The contest had become more combative in the closing stages, but when Young got caught tucking in near his own box and with Harrison caught too far forward, Mitoma profited. Driving past Harrison, the Japanese attempted to swing the ball in and it took a wicked deflection off Young and Pickford couldn't keep it out as it spun over his out-stretched glove. Tarkowski had a late chance from a corner from the left but headed straight at the keeper and, after four minutes of added time, the referee called time with the spoils shared. Dyche spoke afterwards of it being a point gained due to how good a side Brighton are but it's hard to view this as anything other than two points dropped from a winning position. Nevertheless, when you compare it to the performance in this same fixture last season on that harrowing night in early January, you can't help but appreciate how much Everton have improved. For now, even though having just 20% possession at Goodison Park against anyone other than Manchester City is hard to swallow, that's what matters. Lyndon Lloyd top Matchday Updates Everton are back at Goodison Park for this weekend's Premier League fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion and a real test to see if Sean Dyche can build on recent good results. He has most of his players available, but not Seamus Coleman, who turned out for the U21s against Manchester Utd at lunchtime in Leigh for the final stages of his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury. Sean Dyche continues to show greater trust in the erratic Ashley Young than his young Scottish understudy, Nathan Patterson. And Gana returns in midfield with Onana not even on the bench. Sean Dyche confirmed that Amadou Onana misses this afternoon's game due to a tight calf: "Amadou, unfortunately, has been playing with a really tight calf and it’s just been too much for him after Wednesday." Dominic Calvert-Lewin makes his 6th successive start since overcoming his injury misery. Brighton kicked off and kept things pretty tight, denying Everton much of the ball without getting very far. Calvert-Lewin flicked on a deep free-kick from Pickford. McNeil crossed in and it fell for Doucoure but his first-time volley was straight at Verbruggen. Mitoma made his first surge down the left, leaving Tarkowski in his wake. Everton forced a turnover and McNeil got his cross in again, Mykolenko scoring well after first firing straight at Verbruggen before taking a second bite of the cherry, thanks to a deflection off the thigh of Dunk. Young did well to keep the ball away from Milner but Brighton continued to hog possession and build with a lot of unadventurous sideways and backwards passing until they drew a questionable foul from Branthwaite. Dunk fired in a brilliant volley on the run, off the bar, from an excellent deep free-kick delivery. But the VAR review showed how close the offside call was, which it was finally called after a good 3 minutes of deliberation at Stockley Park. In contrast, Everton were playing long-ball up to Calvert-Lewin, who almost got onto a Brighton backpass. Doucoure did great to fight Dunk for the ball and break down the left, Gilmour booked for his protestations. Brighton resumed their passing game, with the Blue shirts chasing shadows at times, its speed and accuracy too good to be defeated by any pressing. But Everton again forced a midfield turnover and Calvert-Lewin was a bit lucky to win a foul from Dunk's body charge as the ball went through to Doucoure who should have scored but the whistle had gone. Garner's attempt flashed over the wall and the bar. Milner almost broke the offside trap but Pickford was out quickly to clear. Harrison and Calvert-Lewin got in each other's way in another break as the game became quite stretched. Everton tried their version of the passing game, Tarkowski driving through the middle, until the ball was lost and Garner had to defend. More slick Brighton passing ended at the feet of Calvert-Lewin, who stormed all the way upfield only to scuff his poor shot wide of the Brighton goal. More dominant Brighton possession failed to penetrate the Everton area through disciplined defensive work but the Blues weren't really using their rare moments on the ball very well, Harrison losing it when double-teamed. More crisp Brighton passing eventually saw the ball given away again, and Everton then drew a foul but Pickford's long punt was headed behind by Tarkowski. McNeil was floored by Veltmann in the corner of the penalty area but the referee waved play on despite a mass of Goodison boos, but Calvert-Lewin may have pushed Veltman into McNeil. Gana was then booked for a foul. Branthwaite seemed to have picked up a knock and was called for another foul. Brighton finally got forward with more pace, Veltman crossing along the 6-yard line but fortunately no-one else was up with him as the whistle went after 4 added minutes with Everton ahead. After the restart, Brighton won their first corner which ended with Dunk fouling Gana. More fine Brighton passing ended with a deep cross in to Pickford. Tarkowski was drawn into a foul on Gilmour in the Dee with Doucouree tapping his ankles from behind: yellow card. A clever dink over the wall by Dunk into the corner was seen all the way by Pickford. The corner was headed clear but Gana had to clear the ball out of play as Brighton's efforts seemed to step up a notch. Everton's competitive effort showed an increase too with McNeil crumbling over a Brighton defender after the ball had been scooped away from him and the Goodison faithful demanded a penalty (no chance). The vibrant atmosphere showed that the match had entered a critical phase, with Everton's dangerous game plan working so far to frustrate Brighton's obviously better but less effective football. A really strong Brighton attack was again thwarted by a Tarkowski header away. Garner's stretching tackle brought down Mitoma for another Brighton set-piece, Calvert-Lewin collecting the ball and bringing it away skilfully along the left touchline. Mitoma skipped past Young, the ball squirming back to Gross who lashed it over. McNeil got forward and Doucoure forced the concession of a corner that was cleared. Everton became stretched on a promising attack that was rapidly countered, a real warning as Pedro's shot was blocked and then fired in as a low cross that Pickford gathered. Everton attacked again, Harrison feeding McNeil who screwed his shot inches wide. Doucoure was next to surge forward and play in Calvert-Lewin but Dunk was too clever to let him have a sniff as the tempo of the game upped another three notches, a tremendous contest. Branthwaite touched Fati as he ran past the big man and he was yellow-carded. The free-kick chipped in but then headed clear by Tarkowski. However, it came back into the Everton area but Mitoma wellied the half-chance high and wide, well off target. A deep free-kick from Pickford saw Calvert-Lewin dragged to the ground but no penalty given and Tarkowski's annoyance was seen in his late tackle that earned him a yellow card. Brighton attacked again and this time, Mitoma saw his cross deflect up off Young and cruelly over Pickford into the net, what a really jammy goal to level it. That left Brighton 5 minutes plus added time to go for the winner they now knew they could get, while Everton, with no subs on the field, would need every ounce of resolve to resist the coming onslaught. Still, Everton pushed forward and forced a corner. The ball bobbled goalward into a crowd but did not cross the line. Everton continued to swarm at Brighton, Mykolenko winning another corner. Dyche finally made a change, Beto and Patterson on for Calvert-Lewin and Young as 4 more added minutes were shown. Tarkowski put his header on target from the corner but it was saved. Then Brighton got forward and Garner had to give up a corner, which was cleared. Brighton continued to get forward, with Mitoma crossing from the wing. One last effort from Brighton was again denied but they had done enough to get a point when Everton held all three in their hands for so much of the game but could not hold on to them all at the end of an absorbing contest. Everton: Pickford, Young (90' Patterson), Tarkowski [Y:81'], Branthwaite [Y:78'], Mykolenko, Gana [Y:44'], Garner, Doucoure [Y:54'], Harrison, McNeil, Calvert-Lewin (90' Beto).Subs not Used: Virginia, Lonergan, Keane, Godfrey, Danjuma, Chermiti, Dobbin Brighton & Hove Albion: Verbruggen, Veltman, Dunk, van Hecke, Adingra (90' Igor Julio dos Santos de Paulo), Milner (79' Buonanotte), Gilmour [Y:20'] (68' Fati), Mitoma, Gross, Lallana (46' Joao Pedro), Ferguson (68' Dahoud). Subs not Used: Lamptey, Webster, Baleba, Steele. Referee: Tim Robinson Michael Kenrick top Match Preview Everton are back at Goodison Park on Saturday with another chance to register three successive victories in all competitions when Brighton come to town. The Blues are hoping to build some more momentum following their success at West Ham last Sunday and their comfortable passage to the last eight of the Carabao Cup with the 3-0 win over Burnley in midweek. Sean Dyche’s men were in the same position just over a month ago when, having won at Brentford and knocked Aston Villa out of the League Cup, they could have made it three straight wins for the first time since August 2021 by beating Luton. However, poor defending and an impotent attacking performance condemned them to a 2-1 defeat. This weekend’s opponents pose an altogether more difficult challenge than the newly-promoted Hatters as well. Brighton come into match week 11 sitting in seventh place in the Premier League and with the memory of their 4-1 win at Goodison in January still very much seared into the collective Everton memory. That sodden evening under the lights was a harrowing one and it ended up being one of the final nails in Frank Lampard’s proverbial coffin as the Toffees’ boss. Under Sean Dyche, Everton have largely been a different proposition, as they demonstrated in the return game at the Amex Stadium in May with a thumping 5-1 win. With both teams having dismantled the other on their respective patches last year and Everton looking more like a solidly mid-table outfit than relegation fodder, this has the makings of an intriguing contest. Brighton are once again challenging for a place in the top 6 and have already registered some impressive results away from home, not least their 4-1 win at Wolves in August and their 3-1 triumph at Old Trafford in mid-September. However, they were also smashed 6-1 by Aston Villa a fortnight later, a sign, perhaps that, just as was the case when Everton thrashed them, Roberto de Zerbi’s side can be prone to falling apart when really tested. Brighton will be without Solly March (knee), Danny Welbeck (soft-tissue), Julio Espinola (knee) and Jakub Moder (knee), while Pervis Estupian (thigh) and Tariq Lamptey are major doubts and aren’t expected to be back for another week at least. De Zerbi has an impressively drilled, possession-based team, though, and plenty of talent from which to draw not least hot young striker Evan Ferguson and Kaoru Mitoma, both of who scored on their last visit to Goodison. With Dominic Calvert-Lewin fit and firing in front of the industrious and unpredictable Abdoulaye Doucouré, Dwight McNeil and Jack Harrison capable of producing goals out of nowhere, Amadou Onana and James Garner forging a decent partnership in midfield, and the defensive due of James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite providing ever more reliable cover in front of England’s No.1, Jordan Pickford, Everton have threats all of their own. Providing there are no late injury concerns before the game, Dyche should have an unchanged squad from which to select his starting XI and might only make one change from the team that started against Burnley on Wednesday. Ashley Young returned from a one-game ban to resume duties at right-back in place of Nathan Patterson and Dyche is likely to fall back on the veteran’s experience again this weekend. Doucouré, meanwhile, should come back into the team at the expense of Arnaut Danjuma who failed to catch the eye against the Clarets. Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday, 4 November, 2023Referee: Tim RobinsonVAR: Michael OliverLast Time: Everton 1 - 4 Brighton & Hove Albion Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Onana, Garner, Harrison, McNeil, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin Lyndon Lloyd top * Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.