Five things we learned against Everton

The five key talking points from a dramatic afternoon at the Amex.

By Matthew Watkinson • 27 October 2019

By Bennett Dean
Albion secured a dramatic 3-2 win over Everton.

Pascal Gross opened the scoring for Albion with a pin-point free-kick against the Toffees, but his goal was cancelled out by Adam Webster’s own goal before Dominic Calvert-Lewin put the visitors ahead.

However, a late Neal Maupay penalty and a stoppage time own-goal from Lucas Digne secured all three points for the home side.

1. Gross back in the goals

Gross ended his Premier League goal drought leading all the way back to April, where he scored the equaliser against Newcastle United to gain a vital point.

The German proved his ability over a dead ball once again and tucked away his free-kick beyond Jordan Pickford.

By Paul Hazlewood
Pascal Gross celebrates at the final whistle.

His 15th minute strike was also Albion’s first goal from a direct free-kick in the Premier League according to Opta.

The midfielder’s importance in creating chances is evident, but he turned from provider last time out against Aston Villa, to goalscorer against Everton. Prior to kick-off, since the start of the 2017-18 season, no player had created more chances from dead-ball situations.

2. So VAR, so good

It’s fair to say that Albion have had a bit of a love-hate relationship with VAR since it was introduced at the start of this season.

On Saturday, the majority of the 30,000 fans packed inside the Amex would be leading the plaudits for its introduction, after determining that Michael Keane had fouled Aaron Connolly inside the box, leading to Neal Maupay’s equaliser from the penalty spot.

By Paul Hazlewood
Aaron Connolly went down in the box under Michael Keane's challenge.

But it was a very different story back in August, when Leandro Trossard’s effort against West Ham United was ruled out for an offside call in the build-up to the Belgian’s strike.

Lewis Dunk was also on the receiving end of a VAR call a week later when Southampton visited the Amex, after fellow centre-back Dan Burn was deemed to be in an offside position when the Seagulls skipper powered home his header.

VAR will no doubt continue to be a key talking point throughout the season, but on this occasion it definitely worked in Albion’s favour.

3. Consecutive home victories for the first time since October 2018

With the help of a late own goal by Digne which earned the Seagulls a victory to move them above visitors Everton in the Premier League to 12th place at the time. It was also the first time Albion have won back-to-back Premier League home games since October last year.


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Extended Highlights: Albion 3 Everton 2

Though the victory against Everton was different to the previous home game in the 3-0 victory against Tottenham, it will be every bit as sweet with late drama adding to the satisfaction of the home fans.

Having scored six goals in the last two home games, the goals are now flowing for Potter’s side, and with two against Everton coming from Gross and Maupay, there are signs that goals are coming from all over the field.

4. Alzate a calming presence in the midfield

The young Colombian midfielder produced a mature performance and proved that as well as having an eye for a pass, he can be dangerous in front of goal after almost bagging his first in Brighton colours.

In the dying moments of the first half, he saw his goal-bound effort blocked, which he would’ve deserved based on his dominant performance in midfield, which contributed to Albion boasting 56% possession in the game.

By Paul Hazlewood
Steven Alzate put in an impressive performance against Everton.

Alzate played on the right-hand side of central midfield at first, but switched to the left in the second half, where in the 48th minute he cut inside and narrowly missed the target in one of several opportunities he forged for himself.

His knack of making the right decisions at such a tender age could force him into contention for further starts at the heart of Graham Potter’s midfield.

5. Trossard welcomed back to the field

After a promising start to his Albion career in which he scored from distance against West Ham, the summer signing suffered an injury setback and was out of action for a month, but returned to the on-field action as a substitute in the 65th minute.

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion celebrate their last minute winner last weekend.

The winger’s first contribution was a dangerous cross into the box which Maupay headed over the Everton crossbar, but in the final minutes it was his drilled cross that forced the winner, to send the Albion faithful into scenes of joy.

Potter would have been pleased to give him valuable minutes against Everton, as the Belgian will hope to push on and earn a start for the Seagulls in the upcoming fixtures.