Irish Daily Mirror
SEE GOALS? NOT LIKELY!
But point for Potter should keep them in the Prem
THE sound of Big Sam Allardyce coming up on the rails in the danger zone at the foot of the Premier League is causing some nerves to seriously jangle.
West Brom’s late burst, courtesy of their second win on the bounce over Southampton earlier in the evening, would have caused Brighton more than a nervous glance over the shoulder before kick-off.
But this hard-won point should be enough to keep Brighton safe for another year, with Graham Potter’s side now seven points clear of the bottom three.
This was not a point though that will have done Everton’s European football hopes much good.
Carlo Ancelotti (right) and his team are still four points off the top six and struggling with a horrendous injury list.
Potter said before the game that he admired Ancelotti and his people skills.
But the wily old Italian needed all his tactical nous to put together a performance that grubbed a point from this game, with nine senior players injured, and two 17-year-olds on the bench.
It was tight, tense, nervy stuff at the
Amex Stadium, with Brighton’s neat passing moves too often frustrated by Everton’s stubborn defence last night.
Jakub Moder shot wide for Brighton early on.
But Ancelotti’s team then began to find their rhythm, as first Ben Godfrey drove over and then after Seamus Coleman had been brought down, James Rodriguez disappointingly lifted his free-kick over the bar.
Moder then volleyed wide after Everton failed to clear, but Brighton were almost caught when goalkeeper
Robert Sanchez dallied on the ball and
Richardson was a toenail away from capitalising.
Everton were dangerous on the counter-attack and when Coleman again burst down the right, Tom Davies should have done better than direct his header wide.
But it was Brighton who went closest, as Neal Maupay found room in the box from Leandro Trossard’s cross, but an Everton boot deflected his shot inches wide. Then after more sloppy Everton defending, Danny Welbeck’s spectacular overhead kick dropped onto the top of the net. It was not the most scintillating of contests, with too many errors, too many poor decisions preventing any real flow to the football.
But it was Potter’s team, who pressed Everton back in the second half and, from Pascal Gross’ cross, Moder’s fierce shot just cleared the Toffees’ bar and then Adam Lallana – Brighton’s most creative player on the night – just missed from 10 yards.
It was once again a frustrating night for a Brighton team who have won only two home league games all season.
Rodriguez saw his shot saved by Sanchez as Everton broke again but it was a rare moment.
Maupay had a golden chance to win it late on, but the former Brentford forward, found by Welbeck, wastefully fired over – and then Everton goalkeeper Robin Olsen saved superbly from Lewis Dunk.
Those Brighton nerves, despite the frustration, will jangle a little less this morning.