LIVERPOOL: Yoane Wissa created one goal and scored another as Brentford compounded Everton’s Premier League relegation woes with a thrilling 3-2 victory at Goodison Park today that leaves the Merseyside club, who finished with nine men, still in peril.
Everton’s bright start was rewarded with a first goal since August for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but their day turned sour when teenage centreback Jarrad Branthwaite was deservedly sent off for a professional foul after 18 minutes.
Brentford took control after that as Wissa forced Everton captain Seamus Coleman to put the ball into his own net, though Richarlison restored the home side’s advantage from the penalty spot to give his team a 2-1 lead at halftime.
But two headed goals in 121 seconds just past the hour mark from Wissa and Rico Henry, and a late red card for Salomon Rondon, handed Brentford a win that leaves Everton two points ahead of Burnley in the third relegation position with both sides having two games remaining.
Everton will have another chance to keep their top flight status when they host Crystal Palace on Thursday, and then travel to Arsenal on the final day of the campaign.
Brentford host Leeds United next Sunday in the final game of the season for both teams, with the Elland Road side also facing the threat of relegation.
“It was a battle. The manager said we had to match the intensity and that’s what we did,” Henry told Sky Sports.
“We knew we had to dig in there and stick together. We want to finish in the top 10. We’ll bring it to Leeds.”
After Calvert-Lewin had edged Everton in front, the game turned when Branthwaite clipped the heels of Ivan Toney as the last defender.
Coleman headed Wissa’s cross into his own net, before Richarlison won and converted a penalty, but Brentford used their numerical advantage to great effect and turned the screw in the second half.
They were back level after Christian Eriksen’s corner was superbly met at the near post by Wissa, whose looping header drifted in at the far side of the goal.
Worse was to follow for the hosts moments later when Henry headed Christian Norgaard’s cross into the net, with Everton’s lack of height at the back following Branthwaite’s red card cruelly exposed.
“Very frustrating,” Calvert-Lewin said.
“We started so well. A big decision has gone against us and it was difficult from there. We got the lead and were defending, defending but unfortunately it went against us.
“It’s still in our hands. The chat after the game was positive. We have to rest and recover and work as hard as we possibly can on Thursday.” - Reuters