The home side made two changes in hopes of ending their winless run. [player 456067] and [player 191286] were dropped as [player 9274] and Onyeka came into the starting eleven.
There was good news for Everton as Doucouré returned after a month out due to a broken metatarsal. Also, [player 1881] and Rondon came into the eleven. Gray and [player 166] were on the bench with the winger recovering from a muscle injury. [player 219633] was suspended after booking last weekend.
The game did not have a high intense start to it as both teams were in a medium block out of possession. [team 13] had more of the ball in the first ten minutes but weren’t moving it quickly to create problems in the [team 236] backline.
From good positions in the midfield, [player 2144] gave the ball away twice. Brentford were growing in the game with their wing-backs starting to get up the pitch. As always, the home side carried a genuine threat on the counter due to their pace and power going forward.
In the 14th minute, Brentford were awarded a wide free-kick after [player 5007] was brought down. The delivery from the resulting set-piece was terrible, and Everton cleared it away easily. Everton were not looking confident in possession. They seemed nervous and were giving the ball in sloppy areas.
By the 20th minute mark, Brentford had a corner. Canos’s delivery was good, and after Everton could not clear the ball away, [player 1249] caught [player 537108] with a high boot. Initially, the referee did not give anything, but after he went to the monitor to have another look at the incident. He confidently overturned his decision and gave Brentford the penalty. Starman, [player 4341] stepped up and converted the penalty. He finally gets his first home goal of the season.
Soon after the goal, Everton came close with [player 187068] denying Rondon’s attempt. Brentford had another couple of counter-attacks but were denied by first [player 1826] and then by a crucial tackle by Doucouré. The home side came close again after an old-school long throw-in as [player 15665]’s header went off target. Brentford were now the much more dangerous side, and Everton were hanging on.
Brentford had a big chance to double their lead with another blistering counter-attack. Canos played the ball to Toney, who crossed it brilliantly for [player 529689], but his finishing touch was poor. On the other hand, Everton were awarded a free-kick in a great spot. However, the shot from Digne was horrible; it was not even close.
With the game now in added time, Townsend played a lovely cross in, but [player 1651] was unable to finish it. They did get a corner from that, but Brentford’s solidity was good enough to keep the away side at bay.
Everton did have a couple of chances in the first half but were poor overall. With no wins in six games, [coach 455387] had to change something to get his side back in the game.
In the first minute of the second half, Canos took a volley from the edge of the box but missed the target. Once again, Brentford were pinging Everton back in their own half and putting dangerous crosses in.
Everton were constantly launching long balls as they struggled to beat Brentford’s press and play through them. As a result, Brentford were regaining the possession without much work. They were hoping for Rondon to hold the ball up and get his team up the pitch. However, due to a lack of support, he was unable to keep the ball for a considerable time.
Both of Everton’s attacking full-backs were also unable to impact the game positively. [player 95368] and [player 764], who are usually attacking and always involved in attacks, were pegged back by the Brentford wing-backs.
Everton were now having a fine spell with both their full-backs overlapping the wingers. A few decent crosses were delivered, but the clinical, final pass was missing. However, to be on the front foot for a sustained amount of time in itself was a positive sign.
Everton were getting better. Their attacks had more number of blue shirts in the box. Brentford were now sitting in a low block, denying space to move into. Still, Everton’s ball movement was quicker and much more effective. Brentford were not hanging onto their slender lead. With his side on the back foot, [coach 24427744] should have thought about a substitute to get his side some stability.
Despite all the Everton dominance, Brentford always carried a threat on the break. The scary pace of Mbeumo and Toney is always going to create fear in the opposition’s defences.
Things got heated up as Brentford’s [player 7993] went down in pain, and Everton did not kick the ball out of play. They kept playing for so long, and the home crowd, as well as the players, were getting angry. Canos then made a foul on Digne to stop the play, and that’s where things got a bit heated. The home captain [player 6970] was booked, and so was Everton’s Rondon. Brentford made a change as [player 31609] was in some pain and was replaced by [player 2510251].
With Everton now looking more dangerous, Rafa decided to put more pace into the game. New singing and in-form, [player 1572] came in for Townsend to add that bit more speed and guile.
Everton kept pushing, and they were looking more threatening down the right side with the introduction of Gray. He was combining well with Coleman and creating issues for Brentford. His crosses were brilliant, and this substitution changed the game massively in Everton’s favour. However, it was still 1-0, and Brentford’s defending was superb.
Brentford successfully saw the game out. For most of the second half, Everton were superior, but Brentford’s resilience was excellent.
Another solid and united performance by the inspiring men under Frank!
Author: Devashish Akolekar