Brighton defeated Everton 3-2 after a controversial 90 minutes at The Amex which saw VAR under the spotlight again.

Both sides failed to get their foot on the ball inside the first 10 minutes as the match began with high pace but no goal scoring chances.

André Gomes then gave away a cheap free-kick on the edge of the area to the left of Everton’s goal in the 15th minute.

Pascal Groß stepped up and fired a right-footed effort through Jordan Pickford, as England’s number one could only help divert the ball into the net. 

It didn’t take the away side long to find a leveller, though. On their next foray forward, The Toffees won a corner which was delivered by Lucas Digne to the near-post where it was met by Richarlison.

The ball flicked off of the Brazilian’s head, only for it to be diverted towards goal by Brighton defender Adam Webster, taking it past Matt Ryan in the home goal in the 20th minute.

The first period was somewhat marred however by a nasty looking injury to Everton’s Bernard, who slipped with nobody around him before hobbling off and being replaced by Gylfi Sigurðsson.

Everton grew in confidence as the half went on, with Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and Sigurðsson having chances soon after. 

The first half ended all square with Everton on top, creating the bulk of the goal scoring opportunities.

After the interval, the away side had a good shout for a penalty as Richarlison was dragged down in the area by Martin Montoya, but the referee (and VAR, bizarrely) chose to ignore it.

The hosts grew into the second half, as Steven Alzate tested his luck from inside the area, but his effort sailed over Pickford’s goal.

Marco Silva then made a double switch as he brought on Fabian Delph and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the 72nd minute, and it was the latter who made the difference.

Mason Holgate marauded forward from centre-back and slid a lovely ball into Calvert-Lewin to the left of Ryan’s goal, the former England U21 international calmly slid the ball past the onrushing Aussie with just his second touch.

Everton’s away day hoodoo seemed to be coming to an end as well as their inability to win a Premier League game from behind under Silva, but then VAR intervened.

A long ball forward was floating out for an Everton goal-kick, before Michael Keane’s left boot brushed over Brighton forward Aaron Connolly’s, causing the Irishman to go down.

Michael Keane
Michael Keane gave away the controversial penalty.
Courtesy of Everton FC

The customary VAR review followed and ruled in favour of the first ever Premier League penalty given by the reviewing system after the referee had ruled otherwise. 

Neal Maupay slotted home the controversial penalty in the 80th minute to make it 2-2.

Everton were rocking and were eventually dealt a sucker punch in added time as Digne turned a cross into his own net in the 94th minute.

Everton’s away day blues continue but they can feel more than aggrieved by how they were dealt out today.

They host Watford in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, looking to reach the last eight of the competition.

Picture by Barbara van Cleve under Creative Commons Licence