Everton snatch 1-0 win over Brentford to escape relegation
Early goal seals crucial victory
Everton secured a crucial 1-0 victory over Brentford at Goodison Park on Saturday, dragging themselves out of the Premier League relegation zone thanks to a goal from Dwight McNeil in the opening minute. The winger produced a superb left-footed finish after an assist from Abdoulaye Doucoure to end Brentford’s 12-match unbeaten league run.
Everton waste chances in first half
Despite their early lead, Everton squandered several chances to extend their lead in the first half. Michael Keane missed with a header from an Everton free kick in the 15th minute, and Amadou Onana blazed wide five minutes later, after Brentford goalkeeper David Raya parried Alex Iwobi’s cross into his path. Raya also made a great save to deny Iwobi’s snap shot from close range following an Everton corner.
VAR denies Demarai Gray goal
Everton had a chance to go 2-0 up before halftime when Demarai Gray bundled home after being put clean through by Idrissa Gueye. However, the goal was ruled out for handball following a VAR review.
Brentford push hard, but Everton hold on
Brentford dominated possession after halftime as they pushed for an equalizer but were unable to breach Everton’s stubborn defense. Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford denied Rico Henry with an excellent save in the second half, while Brentford’s Ivan Toney was kept quiet throughout the game. The visitors came close to scoring in injury time when Raya went up for a corner in the dying minutes but headed narrowly wide.
Dyche: “A game of two halves”
Despite Brentford’s dominance after halftime, Everton manager Sean Dyche was pleased with his side’s resilience and mentality. “We were very strong in the first half and created two or three golden chances. And then in the second half they came at us. But the resilience of the side is growing, the mentality of the side is growing and sometimes you’ve got to fight. There are no mugs in the Premier League nowadays and we’ve delivered a performance that could get us the three points.”
Everton climb out of bottom three
The win moved Everton out of the bottom three and up to 15th in the Premier League table with 25 points, while Brentford remained in 9th position.