Brighton & Hove Albion so nearly registered their third straight home victory after Anthony Knockaert’s first goal of the season, but Wayne Rooney’s late penalty meant the spoils were shared at the Amex.
Close to a late Knockaert
The Frenchman, whose labours down the flank hadn’t bore fruit before today, notched his first goal of the season in the 82nd minute, sending the Amex into delirium. Knockaert celebrated with his hand aloft, taking to his knees before being bundled by every Seagulls player. The winger tested Everton’s backline continuously, sending in seven crosses and completing 94% of his passes. Unfortunately, his late strike didn’t prove to be the winner.
Patience is a virtue
Five of Brighton’s six goals this season have been scored in the second half. That’s 83%, which is the highest proportion in the division. Goalscorer Knockaert explained the importance of conserving energy: “We had to be patient because they’re a top side. It was all about keeping patient. I think we did brilliantly until the end when we conceded the penalty.”
Ryan stops double trouble
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Brighton as it could’ve been a whole lot worse. Mathew Ryan’s double save from Kevin Mirallas after Everton had equalised from Rooney’s penalty was something fellow compatriot and legendary former goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was impressed by. He said: “I thought he was excellent, I've seen him play three times now this season in the flesh, I think he's got better and better.”
The Colombian changed the game when he entered the fray, and his performance could warrant a start next time out. His darting runs sliced through Everton’s defence and the tricky winger’s late shot, which was saved by Jordan Pickford, led to Knockaert pouncing on a ball fed to him by Pascal Gross to slam home Albion's opener.
Yet another record attendance added to the positives from the game. A total of 30,565 fans created another unbelievable atmosphere throughout the game and former Everton defender Phil Neville was complimentary of the “carnival” feel at the Amex: “There’s a great feel-good factor around the place, it’s the first thing you notice when you’re walking round the stadium.”