Everton 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion: Blues pick up much-needed three points against Seagulls

In an afternoon that could have capitulated into disaster, Everton picked up a comfortable 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Goodison Park thanks to goals from Cenk Tosun and an own goal off Gaetan Bong.

Plenty was made before the game about the potential of Goodison turning hostile towards under pressure boss Sam Allardyce but that pressure was ended early in the first-half as the hosts went into attack mode. 

The hosts had a multitude of first-half chances but were unable to break the deadlock. 

Allardyce's side found their lead thanks to an own goal from Bong after half-time. 

Yannick Bolasie cut inside from the left and drove a cross across the box seemingly aimed for Tosun. Instead, he found Theo Walcott who in turn found the back of the net in part thanks to Bong. 

Tosun doubled the lead with 15 minutes left in the afternoon. 

The Turkish forward was the recipient of a ball from Leighton Baines. He stood unmarked just inside the 18-yard-box, opened his body up and curled his effort off the underside of Mathew Ryan's bar. 

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Blues better but still level

Everton comfortably dominated the first period but were unable to break the deadlock.

It started with pressure from Tosun and Gylfi Sigurdsson as the pair cut out a loose ball from Lewis Dunk. The Blues won a number of early corners thanks to the pairs pressing but those usually fell to Ryan in the Brighton net.

Seamus Coleman was the man with Everton’s earliest effort.

The returning defender skipped past two of his opposite numbers but struck his shot just wide of Ryan’s far post.

Coleman and Walcott went to work on Bong down the Seagull’s left-hand side and found the beating of the left-back with ease.

Walcott, repeatedly, skipped past the defender but his only shot was blocked for a corner.

Returning captain Phil Jagielka headed the chance straight down the throat of Ryan, giving the keeper a comfortable stop.

Seagulls answer back

It took the majority of the first period for Hughton’s side to answer back and grow into the game but when they did, it came through their battering ram of a forward Glen Murray.

The forward thumped the visitor's first effort at Jordan Pickford, stinging the goalkeeper's palms. The England international recovered well and collected after pushing the ball high into the Goodison sky.

Murray was then at his aerial best but his only headed chance of the half was comfortably held by Pickford.

Hosts find their goals

It took just shy of 15 second-half minutes for Allardyce's side to grab the lead.

Bolasie's well-worked cross, aimed for Tosun, finding Walcott and eventually going in off the foot of Bong was the cause for celebration for the Blues. 

It was the winger's cross, again angled for Tosun, which almost doubled the hosts lead only a matter of moments later but before the Turkish forward could wheel away in celebration, the visitors cleared - keeping the deficit at just one. 

A few moments later, the Turkish forward was able to wheel away in celebration after doubling the Blues' lead with his shot that beat Ryan thanks to the underside of the bar. 

Brighton were reduced to 10 men with a few moments to go as Anthony Knockaert saw red for a tackle on Baines.

The Blues almost had a third but Ryan stopped Wayne Rooney's penalty with ease after Dominic Calvert-Lewin was bundled over in the box. 

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Allardyce will still feel the pressure

Despite the win, Everton boss Sam Allardyce will still feel the pressure from supporters - who are firmly split into two camps, those who didn't want him as a candidate and those who simply want him to leave at the end of the season. 

The Blues may find themselves back in the win column but that won't be enough to ease concerns ahead of a vital run in to end the Premier League season. 

Manchester City and Liverpool both roll into town in the next few weeks and despite this being a 'massively important' game to Allardyce. They'll be even more so.