Everton boss Sean Dyche has expressed shock at the “disproportionate” 10-point penalty imposed on the club but insisted he and his players are ready to take on the latest challenge put in front of them.

Dyche was trying to enjoy a short break during the international window when he got word of the unprecedented sanction handed down by an independent commission for breaches of the Premier League’s financial rules – a penalty that Everton will appeal against.

Speaking publicly for the first time on the matter, Dyche said: “I think like everyone, certainly in these parts, I was shocked and seemingly from the wave of noise after that, most people in football are shocked by the enormity of it.

“Disproportionate is a word used by the club. Obviously we feel a bit aggrieved by that, but on the other hand it doesn’t change the focus. The focus since I got there is sorting things out on the pitch, getting the team to win.

“I think we were on the right lines, delivering strong performances. This has just given us a push backwards to come forwards again. The job hasn’t changed. It’s just made it more difficult under the current circumstances until the appeal…

“I don’t know every inch of the past, I don’t know why the commission have come out with what they have but I certainly believe in what the club put forward. It feels disproportionate, it feels unjust and plenty of voices out there feel the same.

“What is done is done for now, appeal pending, and we have to get on with it.”

Everton fans have hit out at the penalty, and have raised more than £40,000 to fund protests against the Premier League. A demonstration was due to take in London on Friday outside the league offices, while a plane carrying a banner will fly over Manchester City’s match against Liverpool on Saturday.

On Sunday, when Everton’s game against United will be televised, home fans will be asked to hold up red cards which call the Premier League “corrupt”.

Everton had been showing encouraging signs before the penalty, winning six out of nine in all competitions to climb up the table, but have now dropped to second bottom – level on four points with basement boys Burnley ahead of Sunday’s match against Manchester United.

“I spoke to the group and said, ‘Look, the league table is one thing but I don’t change my story very often and I believe the final league table is the truth of the season, and I’m not going to change now’,” Dyche added.

“For sure, it changes the viewpoint but it doesn’t change what we’re doing. In fact it enhances what we’re doing. We need to go harder, stronger. This is what it is. It’s been about refocus as much as anything.”

The penalty has raised all manner of questions at Everton, with suggestions that rival clubs may now pursue compensation claims potentially impacting the proposed takeover by 777 Partners.

On the pitch, there was a sense of optimism that after two seasons fighting relegation things were looking up but – for now at least – they are back in the bottom three.

Dyche said that did not concern him in the immediate term, but there was clear frustration from the boss that off-pitch dramas are once again dominating the agenda at Goodison Park.

“You have to take away the noise,” he said. “I’ve had to do it endlessly since I’ve been here, keep pushing away the noise around this football club.

“Bizarrely, we were talking about it before – the last press conference before (Crystal) Palace was one of the first ones that was just about football. And lo and behold while I was away we get a 10-point deficit. So what do you do? You just keep taking it on.”

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag knows Everton’s players and fans will be “mad” about the 10-point penalty imposed on the club and has challenged his team to meet fire with fire on Sunday.

United make the short trip to Goodison Park this weekend to face a Toffees team fuelled by a sense of injustice after an independent commission imposed the sanction on the club a week ago for a breach of Premier League profitability and sustainability rules.

For the Red Devils, it is the first of three challenging away games in the space of six days.

On Wednesday they travel to Turkey to face Galatasaray knowing a defeat will end their hopes of reaching the Champions League last 16, before a trip to take on Newcastle a week on Saturday.

Ten Hag is expecting Goodison Park to be a bearpit on Sunday but is determined his players will not be outmuscled.

“It’s always about us, I can see the opposition and I can see they are mad, but then finally it’s about us,” he said at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

“If they are mad and that’s their fuel, we have to match those standards. When we match the standards we have a very good chance to win the game.”

United head into the game in good Premier League form, having won four out of their last five matches.

They are boosted by the return of England international Luke Shaw from a thigh strain which has sidelined him since August.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana has overcome a knock suffered on international duty with Cameroon, but a decision will be taken on Saturday about whether Rasmus Hojlund can feature.

The Dane suffered a muscle strain in the second half of the win over Luton just before the November international break.

Rasmus Hojlund has not been ruled out of Manchester United’s Premier League game at Everton on Sunday, but Christian Eriksen will play no part.

United boss Erik ten Hag has issued an injury update on the Denmark pair, who missed out for their country during the international break.

Hojlund (muscle strain) and Eriksen (knee) both sustained injuries in United’s previous top-flight fixture, a 1-0 home win against Luton on November 11.

Ten Hag told United’s official website: “Christian will take a little bit longer. It will take some weeks until he will return.

“Rasmus Hojlund, not too bad. Everton will be a close finish, but we’re working on that.

“We’re not sure if he can make that but, hopefully, in the next week, he will return to the squad.”

Both players were withdrawn in the closing stages against Luton. United initially confirmed Eriksen would be out for a month, while Hojlund was hoping to return before the end of November.

Should Hojlund fail a fitness test before Sunday’s game at Everton, he could make a timely return to action in next Tuesday’s Champions’ League fixture against Galatasaray in Istanbul.

Fellow forward Marcus Rashford will miss that must-win group game through suspension following his red card in the recent defeat in Copenhagen.

United have confirmed that Ten Hag will serve a touchline ban at Everton this weekend having accumulated three yellow cards.

The 10-point penalty imposed on Everton shows the Premier League is a “defunct organisation”, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has said.

An independent commission sanctioned the Toffees last week after they exceeded losses permitted under the league’s profitability and sustainability rules by £19.5million in the three seasons ending in 2021-22.

Neville compared Everton’s penalty with the £3.5m fines imposed on the ‘Big Six’ clubs in 2021 over their involvement in an attempt to launch a European Super League.

Neville described what those clubs had done as “the attempted murder” of football.

“Everton’s trust and faith (in the Premier League) has gone completely. The greed and selfishness is out of control – it’s lawless,” he said on the Stick to Football podcast brought to you by Sky Bet.

“The Premier League is a defunct organisation because they’ve got 20 clubs all voting with self-interest. This has been coming for many years.

“The Super League clubs that tried to destroy the whole of European football – they were fined a total of £22m, £3.5m for each team, which is an absolute disgrace and a scandal for what they attempted to do, which was the attempted murder of our game.

“I actually feel sorry for the executives at the Premier League because I think they’re dealing with a mob that you can’t control.”

Everton have appealed against the sanction, but could yet face compensation claims from other clubs.

Neville’s former United team-mate Roy Keane told the same podcast Everton should just “take their medicine”.

“I know it’s extreme with 10 points, but it brings a bit of closure to Everton after a difficult few years, and we all think that from a football point of view they’ll still be able to stay up,” he said.

“They’ll have enough to stay up, have got a cup game coming up, and can try and get the feel-good factor back in the club and take their medicine, have closure, move on, and learn from their past mistakes.”

Everton striker Oumar Niasse became the first Premier League player to be hit with a retrospective suspension for diving on this day in 2017.

The Senegal international was handed a two-match ban by the Football Association after winning a controversial penalty, under pressure from Scott Dann, in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Niasse’s punishment came six months after the FA voted in favour of introducing new laws in an attempt to clamp down on players diving or feigning injury.

Everton caretaker boss David Unsworth felt a “dangerous precedent” could be set by the sanction.

“I think these people (the FA) will be very busy,” he said. “He (Niasse) was shocked and I was shocked (by the charge).

“It’s a dangerous precedent that could be set if decisions are given against you which are debatable.”

Niasse denied he had “committed an act of simulation” which led to a spot-kick being awarded in the fifth minute of the game in south London.

But he was found guilty by the FA’s Independent Regulatory Commission, which includes former players.

Leighton Baines converted the contentious penalty to cancel out James McArthur’s early opener before Niasse earned Everton a point by equalising following a goal from Eagles forward Wilfried Zaha.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson said: “My only satisfaction is that the FA and the people who make those decisions have sided with me rather than the player.”

Everton’s 10-point penalty for breaching Premier League financial rules should be suspended until an independent regulator can examine the case, a Liverpool MP has said.

Ian Byrne, the Labour member of parliament for Liverpool West Derby, has tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons concerning the club’s plight.

Everton were found by the independent commission which imposed the sanction to have acted “irresponsibly” in exceeding permitted losses over a three-year period by £19.5million.

Byrne’s motion criticises the commission’s “cavalier approach to points deductions” and argues that the Premier League “can no longer fairly govern top-flight football without independent scrutiny and legislation”.

The motion’s text describes the sanction as “grossly unjust” and as a “punishment lacking any legal or equitable foundation or justification for the level of sanction”.

Byrne’s motion also notes that financial rather than sporting penalties were handed down to the clubs who sought to join the European Super League in 2021.

The motion urges the Government to immediately establish an independent regulator and “requests the suspension of all proceedings and sanctions made by the commission until the regulator makes its own determinations”.

An independent regulator for the top five tiers of the English game moved a step closer earlier this month, with the inclusion of the Football Governance Bill in the King’s Speech.

Everton have already indicated their intention to appeal against the commission’s sanction, with the appeal expected to be heard during the course of the current season.

The club could face compensation claims from other teams in relation to the case, although no other club has yet confirmed an intention to do so.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Steve Rotheram, wrote to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters on Monday to highlight what he felt was the “excessive” nature of the sanction imposed.

“The decision to deduct 10 points from Everton is excessive considering the club’s willingness and proactivity in collaborating with the Premier League to ensure all dealings were FFP compliant when it was clear they were close to breaching the rules,” Rotheram wrote.

“There are a number of mitigating factors in Everton’s transgression in relation to debt ceilings that are in effect geo-political and therefore outside of their control.

“As many people have pointed out, the punishment imposed appears severe for the charge in question and sets a new precedent.

“I completely support the club’s appeal and would urge you to take a more balanced approach and consider alternative forms of punishment that do not unfairly penalise the club’s players and supporters.

“As a founding member of both the Football League and the Premier League, Everton are an important part of the fabric of English football. They deserve to be treated with respect.”

The Premier League has "opened Pandora's box" after Everton were deducted 10 points for breaching financial regulations.

That is the view of John Blain, the vice-chairman of the Everton Shareholders' Association and of Toffee TV.

Everton were hit with the largest points deduction in Premier League history on Friday, after being found guilty by an independent commission of breaching the competition's Profit and Sustainability rules.

The commission found that Everton had lost £124.5million over a three-year period, which is £19.5m over the £105m threshold.

Everton's punishment comes amid the backdrop of Manchester City facing 115 charges, while Chelsea are under investigation after reports detailed a series of payments, worth tens of millions, were made during the tenure of former owner Roman Abramovich. The deduction has taken Everton from 14th to 19th in the Premier League.

The Toffees have confirmed they will appeal the decision, and Blain believes the Premier League wanted a "show trial" in a bid to put off the installation of a government-backed independent regulator.

"A fair amount of this document is like a subjective VAR decision. In every place where it can't be proven, because the onus of proof is on Everton, then it's come down as bad for Everton," Blain told Stats Perform.

"The commission says: 'We agree with the Premier League that the requirement of punishment, deterrents, a vindication of complying clubs, and the protection of the integrity of the sport demand a sporting sample'. I think it's quite hilarious that it thinks it is protecting sporting integrity by doing this to this football club at this time, and the report itself says that Everton did not breach the rules deliberately.

"Yet we have other clubs, notably Manchester City, where there's no sign of the integrity being protected by bringing them to the courtroom. I think the Premier League has opened Pandora's Box – other clubs are in the tunnel, and at the end of the tunnel, you meet one of these commissions.

"It is interesting that when Everton were referred to an independent commission, the Premier League did not have any method whatsoever for calculating what the punishment would be, yet they sought to influence the commission by creating one as recently as August.

"The commission chose to ignore that guidance, but those rules that were put in place in August, should – and I suspect they won't – apply to clubs who have made huge losses.

"They appear to have opened Pandora's Box and they can't close it now. The next league game for Everton is at Goodison Park, and is against Manchester United, and I think people around the world will see what Everton fans think of this.

"We as fans are talking about the policy and process of the Premier League that we're objecting to – a fit-for-purpose sanction would not be 10 points. This will hang over Everton for a good chunk of the season, but also those clubs that think Everton getting deducted 10 points will stop them getting relegated. Those clubs won't know how many points they'll need to be safe until the end of the appeal process. It's crazy."

While Everton feel hard done by, Blain pointed out that Farhad Moshiri's leadership has left much to be desired.

He said: "Moshiri's legacy will be one of mismanagement and not making the board more effective. He has the good fortune that a new stadium, which will be seen across Europe when the Euros are here, will probably be the legacy that he quite likes.

"But the rest of it is not going to cover him in glory at all. The sad thing is the people who are culpable, who were running the business at the time of the transgressions, most notably the former chief executive [Denise Barrett-Baxendale] and chief financial officer [Grant Ingles], chose not to submit a witness statement to this commission.

"The chief executive of the Premier League made a witness statement, and the CFO of the Premier League made a statement – there was only one side of the story; that in itself is quite damning.

"If Everton were to be relegated because of this 10-point deduction, then clearly it would be the most damning of legacies. That the complete and utter failure to run the business probably resulted in the ultimate sanction of a founding member of the Premier League falling out of it for the first time ever."

Blain does, though, feel Sean Dyche's side are well-equipped to stay up despite the sanction.

"The team, and the management on the sporting side is in a far better place than it has been in many years," he said. "We will be "safe" from relegation and probably miss it by more points than in the last few years.

"We've been to the well as Everton fans and really suffered due to the ineptness of our sporting side, but it's getting sorted out. So perversely, this points deduction is not as emotive as it might have been if the policies and procedures of the Premier League were in place and they'd been able to take the club to court quicker.

"That's the thing that might upset other clubs, who all believe they would not have been relegated had this happened sooner. We will never know, and there's a fair amount of precedent inside the document that these are just normal business hurdles that you have to overcome."

Everton have been deducted 10 points with immediate affect after being found to have breached Premier League financial rules.

The Toffees have confirmed their intention to appeal against the sanction, which relates to the period ending in the 2021-22 season.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look back at the two other Premier League clubs to be handed a points deduction.

Portsmouth (March 2010)

Portsmouth were deducted nine points in 2010 after the south-coast club went into administration.
The sanction all but rubber-stamped Pompey’s relegation, as they were left 17 points from safety with nine league games remaining.
Despite the off-field issues, with the club reportedly having debts of £65million, Avram Grant took Portsmouth to the FA Cup final that season, where they were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea before facing up to life in the Championship.

Middlesbrough (January 1997)

Middlesbrough were given a three-point deduction after postponing a Premier League match at short notice for not having enough fit players to put out a team.
Ahead of the game against Blackburn at Ewood Park, scheduled for Saturday, December 21 1996, Bryan Robson’s already injury-hit squad was further depleted by a virus.
On the Friday morning, Boro were left with only 17 players available – three of them being goalkeepers while five were without a first-team appearance for the club, and so informed the Premier League they would have to call off the game.
Boro were eventually ordered to appear before a Premier League commission, which ruled a three-point deduction would be imposed and the Blackburn match to be replayed.
Robson’s side went on to reach the finals of both the League Cup and FA Cup, losing both, but were relegated from the Premier League by two points.

Chelsea shrugged aside the attention surrounding Emma Hayes’ impending departure with a 3-0 win at Everton to consolidate their lead at the top of the Women’s Super League.

Jessie Fleming’s opener was followed by goals from Sam Kerr and former Everton loanee Aggie Beever-Jones as the London side eased to victory over a spirited Toffees side who caused the champions plenty of first-half problems.

Chelsea, who were playing for the first time since the announcement last weekend that Hayes will step down at the end of the season after 12 years as manager, remained clear of the chasing pack as a result.

That is due in part to a surprise defeat for Manchester City, who headed into the weekend in second place and three points adrift of the leaders.

Lee Geum-min returned to haunt her former club when she fired Brighton to a 1-0 win over Gareth Taylor’s team at the City Football Academy.

The South Korea international scored the game’s only goal nine minutes from time as title hopefuls City were made to pay for not making the most of their dominance and slipped to a second successive league defeat in the process.

Manchester United made no such mistake, routing West Ham 5-0 to leapfrog their neighbours.

United stunned the Hammers with a fast start and then killed them off with a late flurry as they surged to a victory in torrential rain at Leigh Sports Village.

First-half goals from Geyse, Millie Turner and Nikita Parris put the hosts in charge by the break, and late strikes from substitutes Lucia Garcia and Melvine Malard wrapped up a comprehensive triumph.

Sophie Roman Haug’s second-half header ensured Liverpool emerged from their trip to Tottenham with something to show for their efforts.

Celine Bizet Ildhusoy had fired the hosts ahead with a stunning solo effort at Brisbane Road, but the Norway striker levelled as the sides who started the day in third and fourth places respectively ended it with a 1-1 draw.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Aston Villa Women (@avwfcofficial)


Late goals from England international Rachel Daly and Ebony Salmon handed Aston Villa their first points of the season courtesy of a 2-0 victory at Bristol City.

In a game of few clear-cut chances between the division’s bottom two sides, Daly broke the deadlock with 14 minutes remaining before substitute Salmon struck four minutes from time to secure three priceless points which lifted Villa from the foot of the table on goal difference.

Sean Dyche praised Everton’s improved mentality away from home after he watched his side beat Crystal Palace 3-2 at Selhurst Park to make it back-to-back Premier League victories on the road.

Twice in south London Everton surrendered their lead but neither time were they deterred and they finally nicked it with a goal from Idrissa Gueye four minutes from the end.

Dyche, whose side beat West Ham at the London Stadium on their last Premier League away day, said he saw clear signs that his players are forging a mentality to win consistently away from Goodison Park.

“Obviously topsy-turvy,” said Dyche. “We started so well, with a fantastic goal. They responded with a moment we should have dealt with earlier. They get a soft penalty from our point of view.

“Then really it was a strange game after that. I don’t think anyone really gripped the first half, and second half (Palace) did. I thought they were very good. I think we had to work very hard.

“I think the mentality I’m trying to work with the players on is the belief in finding different ways of winning games, and I think we’re showing that.

“We had to do it last week against Brighton, so nearly won but got a good point. Then coming (to Palace) today.

“Away form here was a big question mark when got here. We’re beginning to change the mentality towards these games. That was on show today.”

Vitalii Mykolenko headed in Jack Harrison’s cross after only 55 seconds but Eberechi Eze, on his first start since returning from a hamstring injury, levelled from the penalty spot four minutes later.

Abdoulaye Doucoure restored Everton’s lead minutes after the break, but again Palace fought back to level when Odsonne Edouard capitalised on James Tarkowski’s error to score.

The hosts could not hold on to a point, though, as Gueye struck late to win it after latching on to Doucoure’s excellent through-ball.

Mykolenko, who had a hand in Doucoure’s goal, put in one of his best performances in an Everton shirt and Dyche said he felt the Ukrainian’s progression encapsulated his side’s improved approach in recent weeks.

“He’s beginning to mature into himself really as a player and in his Everton career,” he said. “I think he can defend, he’s beginning to show that he can go forwards, he wants to get into the right areas.

“It’s a fantastic header and he’s nearly got a brace with a lovely strike, a controlled effort at goal.”

Palace boss Roy Hodgson reflected on a match that ultimately slipped away from his side despite a gallant effort to twice recover from falling behind.

“I’m sad, I’m frustrated,” he said. “Early goals in each half, we had to come from behind twice.

“We had to work very hard to come from behind twice and put in a very good effort. We had a lot of the ball and worked hard to create those chances.

“To then concede a third goal and lose the game, that’s hard to take.”

Everton beat Crystal Palace 3-2 at Selhurst Park as Idrissa Gueye’s goal four minutes from time capped a superb away performance from Sean Dyche’s team.

Palace twice came from behind, with Eberechi Eze’s penalty quickly cancelling out Vitalii Mykolenko’s early opener and Odsonne Edouard capitalising on a howler from James Tarkowski to level up after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s goal.

But they had no answer a third time after Gueye kept his cool to seal victory and propel his side to consecutive away wins.

It all came after an electric start. Palace failed to clear their lines as Mykolenko’s shot was blocked, and as the ball broke wide on the right the Ukrainian found space inside the box and climbed highest to nod Jack Harrison’s cross past Sam Johnstone after just 55 seconds.

Palace fans may have been stunned but their team quickly hit back.

Within three minutes they were level, and it was Eze, back in the side after a hamstring injury, who danced into Everton’s box and drew a foul from Jarrad Branthwaite.

VAR checked and saw no reason to overturn referee Sam Barrott’s penalty award, leaving the Eze the task of calmly rolling the ball past Jordan Pickford.

Selhurst Park howled for a second spot-kick when Eze again went down under apparent pressure inside the box. This time the referee deemed the forward had dived, and rather than a penalty, a yellow card was Eze’s reward.

Edouard forced Pickford into a save low to his right in added time at the end of the half in what was a rare instance of attacking threat from the home team.

Everton had won three of their previous six in the league, and after the frustration of failing to hold on to their early lead they began the second half in similarly urgent fashion.

A corner from the visitors’ right was cleared only to the edge of the box, where Amadou Onana scooped the ball square to Mykolenko. For the second time in the game he was given too much time to line up an effort on goal, and as his volley cannoned back off a post there was Doucoure unmarked to tap home.

The advantage looked fragile. On the hour mark, Mykolenko and Gueye almost produced a comical own-goal, getting in one another’s way as Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross dropped into the box and they required Pickford’s fingertips to keep them from bundling the ball over their own goal line.

Edouard was growing as a threat and with 25 minutes to go he handed Jefferson Lerma a golden chance to level, coming inside from the left of the box and cutting the ball back, only for Lerma, free on the edge of the box, to fire wide.

Michael Oliseh came off the bench for his first appearance of the season and drew a roar of anticipation from around Selhurst Park with a shot from 20 yards that deflected narrowly over.

Palace were by now dominant, and their second equaliser came courtesy of a defensive calamity. A high, headed ball into the box looked an easy mop-up job for Tarkowski, but rather than nod it clear he left the ball for his goalkeeper, and in stole Edouard to tap home.

Still Palace could not hold on to their point, and Everton roared back at them once more with four minutes to go, this time decisively.

Doucoure received the ball in midfield and looked up to see Gueye racing through the centre. Doucoure’s pass was weighted expertly and Gueye needed barely to break stride as he evaded Tyrick Mitchell’s lunging challenge and guided it beyond Johnstone.

Both Sean Dyche and Roberto De Zerbi declared themselves satisfied with a point from the 1-1 draw at Goodison Park but the Everton manager had more cause to rue a missed opportunity than his Brighton counterpart.

Having taken a seventh-minute lead through Vitalii Mykolenko’s first goal in 18 months the hosts put up a resilient defensive performance against opponents who enjoyed 80 percent possession.

But just when it appeared they had secured a sixth win in eight games, Kaoru Mitoma’s cross deflected wickedly off Ashley Young and looped over goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

“It is definitely a point gained, they are a very good outfit,” said Dyche.

“Obviously we are very unfortunate with a massive deflection after them not having many chances at all.

“I thought the tactical side of the game was fantastic from the players.”

When Dyche reflects on the game he will see it more as two points dropped as he felt his side should have had a second-half penalty while still leading when Dominic Calvert-Lewin was wrestled to the ground by Jan Paul van Hecke.

“I know, because I was a centre-half, he (Van Hecke) is the wrong side of him. I think you do things like that because you have that moment when you think ‘He is in’,” Dyche added.

“That is a really important call and it went against us but I don’t know how it went against us because I thought it was obvious.

“I’m bound to say that, but when people see it I’ll be surprised if they didn’t think there was certainly a big suggestion of that being wrong.

“I’m not saying it is an absolute but it is a long way to being a decision which should have been given in my opinion.”

Despite the draw, Brighton’s malaise continues as they have not won a Premier League match since September and despite dominating they managed just two shots on target, neither of which was the goal.

“It’s an important point. We are not playing well like a month ago but there are many reasons for it,” said De Zerbi.

“It’s not a very brilliant moment for us but in many ways we are fighting. I think we played a good game, we didn’t shoot enough to win the game and the result is fair.

“I’m happy for the point. I am proud of the performance. We are fighting but we are not in the best moment.”

Ashley Young’s unfortunate own goal denied Everton a sixth win in eight matches as Brighton snatched a late 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.

Defender Vitalii Mykolenko looked like being an unlikely match-winner with his first goal in 18 months until Kaoru Mitoma’s cross took a freakish deflection off the Toffees’ other full-back with six minutes remaining.

Having taken the lead, Everton had done a good job of keeping the visitors at bay – assisted by VAR ruling out Lewis Dunk’s equaliser for offside and also a good save by Jordan Pickford to deny the Seagulls captain – and Sean Dyche’s side looked well set for their first back-to-back Premier League wins in 13 months.

It says a lot about how perspectives have changed in the last few weeks that Everton were disappointed with a draw against a team who finished sixth last season, but in the see-saw world of the Premier League the Merseysiders remain upwardly mobile while Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi is still trying to work out why his team cannot convert possession into points.

The Seagulls’ last top-flight victory on September 24 lifted them to third in the table on 15 points; the same weekend Everton won their first game to move out of the bottom three with four points.

Brighton, who have taken just three points from the last 15 available, enjoyed 90 percent possession in the opening 10 minutes but Everton had already managed three shots on target, two of those from Mykolenko in the attack which led to his goal.

The other was a volley from Abdoulaye Doucoure, fresh from signing a new contract, which was parried by Bart Verbruggen who had replaced Jason Steele in goal as one of five changes.

Mykolenko showed a proficiency in front of goal not seen before as his left-foot strike from Dwight McNeil’s cross was parried by Verbruggen only for the defender to lash home only his second goal for the club with his weaker right foot in the seventh minute.

The Ukraine international last found the net towards the end of his debut season in May 2022.

With the pattern of the game firmly established – Brighton ended the game with 80 percent possession – it was set up for an Everton rearguard action and that played right into their hands, with James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite again excellent against Evan Ferguson, with Mykolenko providing admirable support.

Everton looked to have been breached by Dunk’s brilliant volleyed equaliser at the far post from Pascal Gross’s 15th-minute free-kick only for VAR to intervene as the Seagulls began their long dominance of the ball, although they remained uncharacteristically careless with it and that offered Everton encouragement.

As a result, Dominic Calvert-Lewin found himself in a two-on-two but dragged a shot wide with Doucoure in support, while Joel Veltman’s tangle with McNeil in the penalty area was deemed accidental by referee Tim Robinson.

Joao Pedro’s second-half introduction for Adam Lallana gave Brighton a better option going forward but even then they did not properly threaten, with Pickford’s first genuine save coming in the 55th minute when he tipped over Dunk’s free-kick.

But he could not reach the wickedly dipping ball which sailed over him from Mitoma via Young.

Everton manager Sean Dyche wants his players to develop a physical and mental resilience so they are happy playing three times a week.

The Toffees boss made just two changes for the comfortable 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over his former side Burnley – who made seven – to set up a quarter-final meeting with Fulham.

Dyche’s school of thought is if his side are playing more it means they are involved in more competitions for longer and that is the route to success.

“It’s always tempting (to make changes),” he said after goals from James Tarkowski, Amadou Onana and Ashley Young – his first for the club – saw off the Clarets without much fuss.

“The challenge you have got is if you want to go and be really super-successful you will play a lot of football so I want the players to realise they can play three games a week, that they can have the mentality and take these games on.

“The support systems have never been greater so I don’t think it’s a lot to ask players to play three in a week.

“At the end of the day I want the mentality to be ‘I want to play every game’. It’s not finished but it’s building.”

Momentum is also building after a fifth win in seven matches as Everton gave their late chairman Bill Kenwright the send-off he would have wanted.

Goodison Park rose as one to mark his death last week at the age of 78 and the team ensured the occasion was marked in fitting fashion.

“It’s work in progress but there is progress. When you start winning people start to believe a bit more,” Dyche added.

“I think the players are beginning to believe more and more. Five in seven is a good marker. The players deserve it, they are working very hard on the training pitch.”

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany insists his side are still trying to adapt to life at elite level despite blowing away the Championship last season to book an immediate return to the top flight.

“I have never mastered the art of feeling good after a defeat. The first half was good but mistakes cost us at this level,” he said.

“You don’t accept it, absolutely not. But you put it into context because it could make your head crazy.

“Is it a bad performance? No. The worrying thing would be if you didn’t have belief in the squad but that’s not the case. These are steps we have to make.

“You go through such a huge gap between the Championship and Premier League. It is not an excuse but motivation to get better.

“When you get promoted it is not supposed to be easy. You are on a journey. That is part of what we are experiencing now.”

Everton gave their late chairman Bill Kenwright the send-off he would have wanted as ex-Burnley duo James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil played a major part in the 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over their former club.

On a night when the fanbase, which has often been divided over the role of Kenwright spanning almost two decades, rose as one to mark his death last week at the age of 78, the team ensured the occasion was marked in fitting fashion.

Tarkowski’s header opened the scoring in the 13th minute and the centre-back’s aerial prowess came to the fore early in the second half when he nodded McNeil’s header back into the danger area for Amadou Onana to poke home from close range.

Ashley Young’s first Everton goal in added time came courtesy of substitute Beto’s driving run along the byline, handing Toffees manager Sean Dyche victory against his former side.

The scoreline flattered Burnley, struggling after promotion straight back to the Premier League, whose side registering seven changes struggled to lay a glove on their hosts.

They were no match for Everton, watched by owner Farhad Moshiri for the first time in over two years, and they are growing in confidence after a fifth victory in seven matches – their best run in a non-Covid-19 season since May 2019.

From the moment Tarkowski buried a header from a McNeil cross the result was barely in doubt.

The centre-back’s celebration was low-key against his former team but McNeil, whose first-half stint on the left wing put him in the firing line of the travelling support, turned and cupped his ear to Clarets fans.

And he almost silenced them completely with a drive just over from the edge of the penalty area.

Burnley’s inability to play out from the back against better quality opposition was highlighted when Dara O’Shea, one of four players to be retained from the Bournemouth defeat, passed straight to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and was fortunate the striker’s low shot was off target.

McNeil’s harsh treatment from the visiting fans was extended onto the pitch when Ameen Al-Dakhil, another player keeping his place, was booked for chopping him down as he threatened to break.

Burnley’s best chance was denied by a sliding James Garner cutting out a cross which was destined to be a Jay Rodriguez tap-in at the far post.

Everton – particularly goalkeeper Jordan Pickford making his 250th appearance for the club – were barely extended and more calamitous defending early in the second half led to another goal.

Al-Dakhil lost all perspective of where the ball was, allowing it to bounce off him into the path of Calvert-Lewin whose shot was deflected behind.

Onana delivered the killer blow from the resulting corner and another close-range strike from Young saw Everton coast into the quarter-finals.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.