Here, we will break it down and present a data analysis of the match. The Toffees clinched a 2-0 away victory over the Seagulls to move above Man City and into the top 6 of the Premier League standings.
Everton were great whenever they went forward, having a higher xG(1.5) than Brighton(0.95) and were even able to overachieve their it by scoring two goals on either side of the halftime break. Former Leicester City winger Demarai Gray, clinched the first goal 5 minutes before halftime to give Everton the lead. Even though they only had possession of about 33% in the first half, they were able to gain an advantage going into the halftime break.
The Seagulls, who had almost double the possession of the Toffees in the entire game, were not able to capitalize on it and were unable to score a goal. Ten minutes into the second half, Everton won a penalty, which gave them an excellent chance to double their lead. With both strikers Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin wanting to take the penalty, it was Calvert-Lewin who doubled the lead with a confident spot-kick.
Brighton dominated possession throughout the match, made much more passes than Everton, but were not clinical enough in attack. The expected threat (xT) timeline shows that Brighton were unable to pose any significant threat to the opposition, especially in the first half. In the second half also, Brighton had more possession but xT was almost similar for both teams. Looking at the xG timeline as well, we can see that the Seagulls were not able to get into proper goal-scoring positions. meaning they lacked any kind of creativity. Even with double the possession, Brighton were only able to take 13 shots towards goal and surprisingly enough, Everton also had the same amount of shots in spite of half the possession. Coming to the accuracy, Everton had 5 shots on goal compared to the Seagulls’ having only 3. This shot accuracy and clinical finishing might be the reason for Brighton’s lack of goals in the match.
Everton have recorded the second least number of passes(827) in the Premier League so far this season, only more than Burnley(769). Even with so little possession and passes, Everton have been fairly successful and are among the 7 teams who are yet to lose so far this season. The main reason behind this can be the superiority in attacking talent, and their better finishing. Everton have shown their attacking ability by scoring at least 2 goals in all 3 games so far, proving that possession alone does not matter, but constructive possession which leads to creating chances and goals is what matter.
In spite of having the second least passes and possession in the Premier League, Everton are still undefeated so far. The main reason behind this feat is their attacking prowess.
The above visual shows that Everton are 2nd in the league, only behind Watford when it comes to the percentage success of their attacking actions. It’s fair to say that if Everton keep scoring the way they have, even with very little possession and passes, they can score goals and win matches, and can be considered a force to be reckoned with who surely aim at challenging for the top 4 or at least finish in one of the other European places.