The 21-year-old Brazilian scored in either half to take his tally to six for the season. Richarlison scored twice as Everton overcame Brighton to earn their fourth win in five Premier League matches.
Lewis Dunk equalised for Brighton after Everton had taken the lead, but Seamus Coleman scored his first goal for 22 months soon after the restart before Richarlison sealed the win. This defeat means the Seagulls’ three-game winning run has come to an end.
It was a deserved win for Everton in the end, although it took a spirited second-half performance to finally overcome a well-organised Brighton side. The Seagulls were content to let Everton dominate possession in the opening stages, but were perhaps fortunate not to fall behind when Gylfi Sigurdsson spurned two early opportunities.
Everton did eventually take the lead from a Brighton corner, with Sigurdsson leading the counter-attack from inside his own half before teeing up Richarlison, who finished first time beyond goalkeeper Mat Ryan. Brighton showed spirit to hit back almost straight away with a clever short corner routine, with Solly March’s cross headed home by Dunk for his first goal since March.
But Everton were dominant after the break. Idrissa Gueye had already hit the post before Coleman drove Everton in front five minutes into the second half. It was a lead Everton never looked like losing, and Richarlison put the game beyond doubt late on by capitalising on a loose pass by Dunk before rounding Ryan to score.
Richarlison shines again
Almost exactly 12 months ago, Richarlison was scoring for Watford at Goodison Park in a 3-2 win for Everton that lifted the struggling Toffees out of the relegation zone. The 21-year-old would score just once more that season, mirroring a dramatic dip in form for the Hornets that saw manager Marco Silva sacked in January.
Silva and Richarlison were reunited at Goodison Park this summer and the Brazilian once again seems to be thriving under the Portuguese’s stewardship. After beginning the season out wide, he has been deployed as a central striker in recent weeks and his two goals against Brighton mean he has now scored more goals this season than he did in the whole of the last campaign.
Gylfi Sigurdsson is another player whose influence is growing after a difficult season last year. The £45m signing from Swansea was pushed out to the left for much of last season but looks far more comfortable playing in a more central position.
The 29-year-old had a 100% pass completion rate during the first half, which included running half the length of the field to tee up Richarlison for a fine opening goal.
This win was further evidence that Everton are starting to settle under Silva as they look to improve on last season’s eighth-place finish.
The former Hull boss was even able bring on summer signing Yerry Mina in stoppage-time for his Everton debut, with the Colombian defender finally fit again after suffering a foot injury at the World Cup.
Lack of cutting edge costs Seagulls
Brighton went into this game full of confidence after three successive victories without conceding a goal.
They had less possession than their opponents in each of those three wins, so it was no surprise that they were content to sit back here.
Even after falling behind, the Seagulls remained patient, willing to wait for their chance to counter attack and threaten from set pieces.
But aside from Dunk’s equaliser, which came from a quickly taken short corner, the visitors failed to truly test Jordan Pickford in the Toffees’ goal.
Brighton only managed three efforts on target all game, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s late shot coming when the result was already beyond them.
Glenn Murray has scored half of Brighton’s Premier League goals this season and the 35-year-old needs more support if they are to maintain their position in midtable.
Man of the Match – Richarlison (Everton)
Everton win again – the stats
- Everton have enjoyed four wins in their last five Premier League games (L1), as many victories as they managed in their previous 14 in the competition.
- Brighton have never won away at Everton in any competition, drawing two and losing five of their seven visits.
- Brighton have managed just one win in their last 19 Premier League away games, drawing five and losing 13.
- Everton attacker Richarlison has netted six goals in nine Premier League appearances in 2018-19, one more than his total haul from 38 games last season.
- All 11 of Everton forward Richarlison’s Premier League goals have come under manager Marco Silva (11 in 33 apps under Silva, 0 in 14 apps under Javi Gracia).
- Gylfi Sigurdsson has been directly involved in six goals in his last seven Premier League appearances for Everton (5 goals, 1 assist), as many as he managed in his previous 19 games in the competition.
- 10 of Lewis Dunk’s 12 league goals for Brighton have been headers.
- Everton’s Seamus Coleman found the back of the net for the first time in 26 Premier League appearances, since scoring against Crystal Palace on 21 January 2017, 651 days ago.
Everton face a trip to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea on Sunday, November 11 at 14:15 GMT.
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