Brentford 1-3 Everton: Toffees seal first win of Premier League season

Brentford 1-3 Everton: Sean Dyche’s men seal first win of Premier League season after second-half goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James Tarkowski against his former club

  • Everton showed enough here to suggest they could avoid a relegation battle
  • The win means they avoid their worst start to a season since 1958
  • Abdoulaye Doucoure shone and Dominic Calvert-Lewin showed his old form  

Everton were superb here.

There is no such thing as a must-win in September but Sean Dyche’s men played as if their lives depended on it. Full of confidence and resilience.

There was enough in this performance to show Dyche and the new prospective owners that this side has enough quality and that they should not be in a relegation battle come spring, this time around.

James Tarkowski led superbly against his former side, commanding Everton from the back and showing how much of a nuisance he can cause in attacking positions. His second-half header capped off a man-of-the-match display.

Abdoulaye Doucoure was immense, scoring his seventh goal in his last 16 league games. Mind you, he had failed to score in his previous 39 and he was unlucky not to get a brace here. He caused Brentford problems throughout.

Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a well-struck half-volley to give Everton an early lead 

Mathias Jensen punished the Toffees before the half-hour mark after Doucoure hit the bar

89 seconds after Doucoure had hit the woodwork in the first half, Brentford had equalised through Mathias Jensen and perhaps he felt a sense of relief when Dominic Calvert-Lewin put the game to bed with 20 minutes to go.

It was Doucoure with a beaming smile as he jumped on Calvert-Lewin in front of a rapturous away end that was the image of this evening in west London.

And how about Calvert-Lewin in his 250th professional game. A journey sadly filled with injury problems but he cracked a smile as wide as the River Mersey when he slotted in his first goal of the season. This was the night that everything just seemed to click for Everton.

Winless in their first five, defeat for Everton would have made this their worst start to a season since 1958. They would have gone bottom of the league.

Instead, they got their first Premier League win of the season and in doing so, their first victory in London since 2021.

Thomas Frank initially made two changes following Brentford’s defeat at Newcastle last weekend with Mads Roerslev and Kevin Schade coming in for birthday boy Ben Mee and Rico Henry – who is set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

James Tarkowski headed in from a corner to haunt his old club and give the visitors a 2-1 lead

But when Schade pulled up in a shooting drill during the warm-up, Frank was forced to bring Keane Lewis-Potter into the eleven for his first league start since last November. Schade was later seen hobbling on crutches and it would be yet another cruel blow for Frank, just days after losing Henry if Schade is out for a lengthy period.

The winger didn’t take long to have an impact, driving down the left flank before he was fouled by Ashley Young in the first minute. With just 38 seconds on the clock, Young went into Michael Oliver’s book for the quickest booking of the season.

Yet minutes later, Everton were remarkably ahead. Sean Dyche made one change from their defeat to Arsenal at Goodison Park with James Garner replacing Arnaut Danjuma as Dyche went for a more defensive lineup but it was Garner who was influential in the breakthrough.

Everton’s first corner came back out to Garner on the left wing and he floated the ball back into the box where Tarkowski headed into the path of Doucoure, who fired his right-footed strike past Mark Flecken and into the Brentford goal.

Frankly, the visitors should have doubled their advantage with Dwight McNeil dragging his effort wide after a lovely header from Beto, before Vitaliy Mykolenko’s attempt from inside the box was straight at Flekken.

Doucoure, operating just behind Beto, was causing carnage and Tarkowski nearly turned provider again when his long ball found the Malian. Doucoure chested the ball down before smashing his effort against the bar.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his first goal of the campaign to seal the three points

Somehow, it remained one-nil and perhaps that was the wake-up call for Frank’s side who made Everton pay for their wastefulness straight after.

Jensen’s clever flick moved the ball forward and when Jarrad Branthwaite’s weak clearance came out to Vitaly Janelt, the German fizzed the ball into the path of Jensen down the right hand side.

The Danish international finished in style past Jordan Pickford and Tarkowski on the line to level things up, despite a VAR check for offside in the buildup.

Both sides could have gone into the break with the lead but neither failed to take their opportunities as Beto scuffed his effort wide after a lovely Everton move. Idrissa Gana Gueye put Beto through on goal with a delightful pass, but the Portuguese forward scooped the ball over Flecken and past the post.

At the other end, Lewis-Potter somehow touched the ball wide at the back post after Yoanne Wissa found Bryan Mbuemo in the box, whose cross-shot evaded everyone with Tarkowski doing just about enough to put Lewis-Potter off.

When the whistle blew for half-time, it was one apiece but such were the chances in the half that it could easily have been three-all.

The result relieves some of the pressure on Sean Dyche after a dire start to the campaign 

Frank rolled the dice first with two changes on the hour mark, before Beto’s evening was came to an end as Calvert-Lewin was introduced.

For Beto, this was another impressive display and if he can improve his ruthlessness in front of goal, Everton know they have a lethal asset.

Five minutes later, Everton were infront as Tarkowski headed in from McNeil’s corner and shortly after, Calvert-Lewin finished through the legs of Flecken for his first goal of the season.

For Dyche and co, they had scored more goals in 90 minutes here than they managed in their first five league matches combined this season.

When the whistle went, Dyche marched onto the pitch with his players and towards the away support.

This was chalk and cheese from their weak display against Arsenal at Goodison Park last week.

Finally, those fans had something to sing about on their journey out of the capital and back up to Merseyside.

Brentford 1-3 Everton  

BRENTFORD (4-3-3): Flekken 5; Hickey, 5 (Ghoddos 73, 5) Collins 5, Pinnock 5, Roerslev 5 (Ajer 61, 5); Jensen 7, Norgaard 6, Janelt 6 (Onyeka 61, 5); Mbeumo 6, Wissa 6, Lewis-Potter 6 (Olakigbe 89).

Subs unused: Strakosha, Balcombe, Zanka, Yarmolyuk, Brierley.

Goals: Jensen 28

Bookings: Mbuemo, Ghoddos

Manager: Thomas Frank 6

EVERTON (4-4-1-1): Pickford 7; Young 6, Tarkowski 8, Branthwaite 6, Mykolenko 6; Garner 6, Gueye 7, Onana 7 (Danjuma 77, 5), Doucoure 7.5, McNeil 7; Beto 7 (Calvert-Lewin 62, 7).

Subs unused: Virgínia, Patterson, Keane, Godfrey, Chermiti, Hunt, Dobbin.

Goals: Doucoure 6, Tarkowski 67, Calvert-Lewin 71

Bookings: Young, Branthwaite

Manager: Sean Dyche 7

Referee: Michael Oliver 7

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