Everton took their points tally at the start of the new Premier League season to seven from a possible nine, beating a Brighton side that never really got going at the Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls had plenty of possession in the opening stages but didn’t create much in the way of chances to score. The Toffees, meanwhile, were a clear threat with the speed of Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend on either wing.
It was Gray who made the breakthrough for the visitors, scoring his second goal of the season with a driving run into the penalty area and finish across the goal.
Everton made it two in the second when Seamus Coleman was fouled in the penalty area and Dominic Calvert-Lewin calmly converted from the spot. It became a pressure kick for the striker because Richarlison had tried to take the ball for himself and was confronted by Coleman and Townsend, who had to diffuse a potentially nasty situation.
Leandro Trossard looked the most likely player in a Brighton shirt to make something happen, although in the end it seemed that Everton were more likely to score a third than let the hosts back into the game. Alex Iwobi impressed off the bench in that respect.
Here’s a closer look at how both sets of players fared…
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Robert Sanchez (GK) 6/10: Stood little chance with the Everton goals but made other good saves that at least kept Brighton in the game.
Adam Webster (CB) 5/10: Unable to handle the pace of Gray when the first goal was scored.
Shane Duffy (CB) 6/10: Kept Calvert-Lewin under wraps for large chunks of the first half.
Lewis Dunk (CB) 6/10: Found it tougher against threats coming from wide.
Pascal Gross (RM) 6/10: Forced a good save from Pickford but struggled to be as creative in open play.
Yves Bissouma (CM) 7/10: Grafted hard in midfield and underlined why he is so highly rated.
Adam Lallana (CM) 5/10: Looked good in the early stages when the Seagulls were dominating possession but lacked any real incisive edge.
Jakub Moder (LM) 5/10: The Pole didn’t make his mark on the game.
Leandro Trossard (RW) 7/10: Looked like he was trying to make something happen and came closest of any Brighton player to making the breakthrough.
Neal Maupay (ST) 6/10: Movement was okay but didn’t make the most of the handful of half chances that came his way.
Alexis Mac Allister (LW) 5/10: Didn’t do enough in the first half and was sacrificed at the interval for a stronger defensive structure.
Joel Veltman (LM) 5/10: Called upon to made Brighton more sturdy defensively, but it was he that gave away the penalty that put the hosts further behind.
Danny Welbeck (ST) 6/10: Provided a focal point for the Brighton attack that had been missing before he was on the pitch.
Taylor Richards (CM) 6/10: Positive performance on his Premier League debut.
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Jordan Pickford (GK) 6/10: Preserved Everton’s lead with an important stop early in the second half. Handling wasn’t great at times.
Seamus Coleman (RB) 7/10: Drew the foul from Veltman to earn his team the penalty that effectively sealed the result.
Mason Holgate (CB) 7/10: Strong performance in the centre of defence to repel Brighton attacks with big headers and clearances.
Michael Keane (CB) 6/10: Kept Brighton at bay, which is an improvement on recent performances.
Lucas Digne (LB) 6/10: Moved up and down the left flank well, as is usually expected of him.
Andros Townsend (RM) 7/10: Looked sharp in the first half. He also diffused the situation when Richarlison was arguing about who should take the penalty.
Allan (CM) 7/10: Gave Everton’s back four plenty of protection and limited Brighton’s ability to create chances.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (CM) 7/10: Covered plenty of ground in midfield and impressed.
Demarai Gray (LM) 7/10: Full of direct running and well worth his goal to give Everton the lead.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ST) 7/10: Coolly converted what became a pressured penalty because of the situation. Appeared to be withdrawn as an injury precaution.
Richarlison (ST) 5/10: Disappointing to see him try and take the ball for himself when Everton got their penalty, ignoring the usual hierarchy, and reacting badly when teammates intervened.
Alex Iwobi (ST) 7/10: Slotted in to the attacking setup really well when Calvert-Lewin came off and posed a threat on the counter attack.
Andre Gomes (CM) 6/10: First Premier League appearance of the season off the bench.