Three things we learned: Brighton - Everton
Brighton and Everton battled to a satisfactory 0-0 draw, in a game with precious few — if any — goal-scoring chances, at the Amex Stadium on Monday.
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The draw effectively ends Everton’s long-shot hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League, as the Toffees now trail 4th-place West Ham United by seven points with just a single game left in hand.
As for Brighton, every point won increases their chances of remaining in the Premier League next season. The gap between themselves and 18th-place Fulham is also seven points, plus a game in hand for the Seagulls.
3 things we learned: Brighton - Everton
1. Tanks on empty, legs on the millionth mile: Brighton - Everton was the latest fixture marred by the ever-increasing wear and tear experienced by players amid the season’s unique, calendar-condensing schedule. Neither Brighton nor Everton want to play the fastest, most intense pressing football for 90 minutes, but they have their moments — usually. Monday’s game was notably lacking in intensity, as two sides with very little left to play for this season appeared happy to go through the motions and each secure a point for their efforts.
2. Everton attacking threat nonexistent: The Toffees were beyond woeful in the final
third half two-thirds of the field when it came to stringing passes together and opening up space to progress the ball in a general direction that vaguely resembled goal-bound. Carlo Ancelotti’s side mustered all of eight shots in the game and didn’t their first (and only) shot on target until the 71st minute, when James Rodriguez was a yard away from scampering over the end line well wide of the six-yard box.
3. Bissouma shines brightly again: Whether or not Brighton stay up or go down, it’s probably safe to assume Yves Bissouma won’t be joining them for the 2021-22 season, as the 24-year-old Malian international is almost certainly headed to a top-half side this summer. He was excellent — ever-present, ever-running, ever-tackling incredibly sharp with the pass — as has been the case for much of the season. For any club needing to rebuild its midfield, Bissouma will prove well worth the 30 or $40 million he’s bound to cost.