Dec 29 – BRIGHTON & HOVEALBION 1 EVERTON 0
Brighton & Hove Albion’s Dutch striker Juergen Locadia pounced just before the hour as they carved out a 1-0 home win against an unlucky Everton side who hit the woodwork twice in their Premier League clash on Saturday.
After a pedestrian opening 45 minutes, tempers flared in the second half of Everton’s 4,500th game in the English top flight when their forward Richarlison went down injured and Brighton declined to put the ball out of play after winning it back.
The home side took the lead in bizarre fashion as a Pascal Gross corner struck Everton midfielder Andre Gomes, with the ball dropping to Locadia who swivelled before smashing it home.
The goal was initially disallowed as Locadia was in an offside position, but referee Andrew Madley reversed his decision after consulting his assistant, ruling that no Brighton player had touched the ball before Locadia struck.
Despite having a tough afternoon against Brighton centre-backs Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk, Brazilian Richarlison almost hit back immediately for the visitors, but his wicked shot was deflected onto a post by keeper David Button.
Kurt Zouma also hit the woodwork for Everton, sending his header from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free kick onto the crossbar in the dying minutes as the Blues slumped to their fourth defeat in seven league games in December.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Ken Ferris)