Six things we learned from Everton v Brighton & Hove Albion

Albion's three-game winning run came to an end at Everton yesterday. Here's six things we learned from the game.

Lewis Dunk. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Lewis Dunk. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

A reality check

Brighton travelled to Goodison Park aiming for a fourth successive Premier League win but left with somewhat of a reality check.

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While the top six are head and shoulders above the majority of the league, there can be little dispute that Everton are the seventh-best side in the top flight and could even push for a top six finish come the end of the season.

No one expects Albion to get points away to the top six and the majority of Brighton fans would have happily taken a point at Goodison Park before kick-off.

Everton were on top for the majority of the match and you've got to remember this is just Brighton's second season in the top flight. Matches away to the top six - and arguably Everton - aren't going to determine where they finish come the end of the season.

Mistake shouldn't deny Dunk England call

Lewis Dunk had a mixed afternoon but his mistake for Everton's third goal shouldn't deny him an England call-up later this month.

The 26-year-old received his first call-up to Gareth Southgate's squad last month and was an unused substitute for the matches with Croatia and Spain.

Since training with the squad, he'd been in his best form of the season as he helped Albion keep three successive clean sheets against West Ham, Newcastle and Wolves.

He scored his first goal of the season when he made it 1-1 at Goodison Park but later gifted the ball to Richarlison when he looked to play it across the back to fellow centre-half Shane Duffy. The Brazilian forward made Dunk pay by going through, rounding Ryan and tapping home to seal all three points for the Toffees.

Dunk's the type of player who won't let the mistake affect him and Albion will need him to again be on top form when they travel to Cardiff next weekend.

Another solid display could ensure he is again named in the next Three Lions squad.

Everton's summer signings beginning to shine

Everton made some astute summer signings and Toffees fans are beginning to see the best of them after a slightly slow start to the season.

Richarlison began the campaign on fire with a double at Wolves and notched another brace against the Seagulls to move on to six goals for the season.

Barcelona loanee Andre Gomes looks an excellent addition in the middle of the park and left-back Lucas Digne, a summer signing from Barca, is keeping Leighton Baines out of the side.

Bernard also joined the Toffees in the summer and although he had a quiet game against Albion, you could see he's got the quality to hurt teams.

Richarlison was the most expensive of Everton's summer additions at £40m from Watford and that just shows the difference between the clubs, with Albion not in a position to spend £40m on a player.

With Yerry Mina still to force his way into team, expect Everton to get better and better throughout the rest of the season.

Another frustrating return

Shane Duffy endured another frustrating return to the club where he began his career.

The Seagulls lost 2-0 at Goodison Park last season and again lost by two goals this time around.

Duffy headed clear several crosses into the penalty area and blocked several shots but he afterwards admitted he was frustrated with the goals Albion conceded.

The first came from a quick breakaway, Seamus Coleman was left with too much time and space to fire home the second and the third came from a mistake.

They were all types of goals you don't normally see Albion concede. Duffy, Dunk and co will hope to be resilient and tough to score against again next week.

The right man for the job

Unbelievably a fan phoned up Robbie Savage on 606 on Radio 5 Live after the game and suggested Chris Hughton should step aside.

He said Albion need a more attacking manager and questioned whether Hughton had taken Brighton as far as he can.

Admittedly the Seagulls didn't really get going at Everton, apart from a ten-minute spell after Lewis Dunk's equaliser, but to suggest he goes - or is in any way under pressure - is ridiculous.

Albion had won three successive Premier League games prior to defeat at the Toffees, the last time they recorded three top-flight wins on the bounce was 1981.

When Hughton took charge, Brighton were 20th in the Championship. Four years later they're 12th in the Premier League after 11 games and nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Surely expectations can't be higher than that in just the club's second season in the Premier League?

Changes for Cardiff?

After keeping the same side for three successive matches, Chris Hughton has a decision to make regarding changes to the starting line-up at Cardiff next week.

The bulk of the side will still pick itself but will Anthony Knockaert come back into the side? Could Martin Montoya be restored at right-back? Is Florin Andone pushing for more minutes after making his debut yesterday?

Pascal Gross is closing in on a return to action but it's unlikely he'll be risked at the Bluebirds with a two-week international break following the game.

Davy Propper is also set to return after the international break, so Hughton will hope to have a fully fit squad when Leicester visit the Amex on November 24.