Digne own goal gifts Brighton dramatic win over Everton

Everton defender Lucas Digne scored a dramatic own goal deep into stoppage time to gift Brighton a 3-2 Premier League win at the Amex Stadium.

Digne slid home a cross from substitute Leandro Trossard in the fourth minute of added time after Albion striker Neal Maupay equalised in contentious fashion with the first Premier League penalty awarded with the use of VAR.

Substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin looked to have earned the Toffees a first away win since March after Adam Webster’s own goal cancelled out Pascal Gross’ free-kick opener.

But the visitors were denied in sensational style as the Seagulls recorded successive home wins with two late strikes which pile pressure back on Everton boss Marco Silva.

Referee Andrew Madley pointed to the spot in the 80th minute following a lengthy consultation with Stockley Park.

Replays showed Toffees defender Michael Keane stood on the foot of Seagulls striker Aaron Connolly inside the box, although far stronger claims for spot-kicks have been waved away in the top flight this season.

Silva was furious with the decision and, after Maupay took full advantage from 12 yards, a miserable afternoon for the Portuguese was compounded by another late twist in rain-soaked Sussex.

Everton had temporarily quelled growing criticism of their manager with a deserved win over West Ham last weekend.

The Toffees were seeking to build on that success with an overdue victory on the road but, despite a positive start, soon fell behind.

Andre Gomes clumsily fouled Connolly just outside the box and Gross stepped forward to lash home the resultant 15th-minute free-kick to claim his first goal for six months.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was far from convincing as the ball thundered past him and would have been relieved to see the visitors level within five minutes.

Digne delivered an inviting, outswinging corner from the right, allowing the unmarked Richarlison to find space at the near post and glance a header against the unfortunate Webster and into the bottom left corner.

The away side were then dealt a blow when in-form winger Bernard limped off after slipping on the wet surface and suffering what appeared to a nasty knee injury.

Silva was incensed Brighton did not stop play while the Brazilian lay stricken on the field, although he had plenty of reasons to be pleased with his dominant team’s attacking intent.

Theo Walcott, who earlier had an effort smothered by Mat Ryan following a poor touch, saw a goal-bound effort blocked by Lewis Dunk, before the Brighton goalkeeper clawed Alex Iwobi’s deflected effort off the line.

Gross had the ball in the net for a second time in the 65th minute but was ruled offside, a decision verified by a VAR check.

Everton had been beaten on their two previous visits to the Amex Stadium but looked like snapping that run when Calvert-Lewin made an almost immediate impact from the bench.

Just two minutes after replacing Iwobi, the England Under-21 striker latched on to a delightful Gomes through ball to slide it under the onrushing Ryan.

Any hope the visitors had of easing to victory were quickly scuppered after they were penalised in extremely contentious circumstances and Maupay stepped up to slam the ball down the middle and claim his fourth goal of the season.

Everton defender Mason Holgate, making his first top-flight start in 13 months, then escaped with only a booking after scything down Maupay.

The Merseyside club would undoubtedly have been frustrated with just a point and things took a turn for the worse deep into stoppage time when Trossard’s teasing ball across goal tempted Digne into a mistake which delighted the home crowd.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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