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English Premier League

Brentford 1 – 3 Everton



Brentford 1 - 3 Everton

Dominic Calvert-Lewin helped Everton end their winless Premier League start in a thoroughly deserved victory over Brentford at Gtech Community Stadium.

Substitute Calvert-Lewin, who had scored just twice in 19 league games since May 2022 amid several injury setbacks, ensured Sean Dyche’s side claimed maximum reward for their efforts by adding his side’s third.

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s superbly taken half-volley had given the lively visitors the lead inside the opening six minutes.

However, after Dwight McNeil shot narrowly wide and Doucoure hit the crossbar with another excellent attempt, a below-par Brentford delivered a sucker-punch.

Just 90 seconds after Doucoure had gone close to adding a second goal, Mathias Jensen found the bottom corner following a slick passing move to equalize against the run of play.

Everton continued to pose the greater threat and impressive £30m summer signing Beto went close to a first Premier League goal before half-time, lifting a shot over Mark Flekken which rolled wide of the far post,

But it was captain James Tarkowski who took advantage of poor Brentford defending to head home McNeil’s corner after 67 minutes, before Calvert-Lewin raced on to James Garner’s pass to fire past Flekken and seal a much-needed three points.

The victory lifted Everton out of the bottom three and up to 15th, while Brentford sit just two points ahead of them following back-to-back defeats.

Doucoure and Beto impress in positive Everton performance
Amid the ongoing noise around Everton, four defeats from five league games ahead of Saturday’s trip to London suggested a third successive relegation dogfight could be in store for the club. However, Dyche this week called for his players to “play with a smile”.

And while uncertainty continues off the pitch, amid a proposed takeover of the club by American investment group 777 Partners, Dyche and his players know they must focus on making progress on it.

At last, the Toffees have hinted at their ability to achieve that.

A lack of goals had been a pressing concern in the early stages of the campaign – Everton had scored in only one previous league game, with two goals in a draw at Sheffield United.

Although they scored three here, perhaps Dyche’s only complaint can be that they failed to add more.

The industrious Doucoure led by example, dictating Everton’s rhythm and producing the early moment of quality to inspire an encouraging performance that Dyche will desperately hope can kickstart his side’s campaign.

Doucoure was inches away from chasing a hat-trick after 26 minutes – before Jensen dealt a harsh reminder of the Premier League’s punishing nature by converting Brentford’s first chance of note.

But Everton continued to play positively, and with no shortage of belief, to earn a first league win since beating Bournemouth to secure their Premier League safety on the final day of last season.

In a match full of positives for the away side there was yet another promising display by Beto, whose hard work and ability to win duels created space for those around him to exploit.

Calvert-Lewin, on his 250th club career appearance, added the finishing touch after great work by Garner to dispossess Nathan Collins. It provided the perfect end to a hugely satisfying evening for Dyche.

Rare off day for Brentford

This was an uncharacteristic Brentford performance and manager Thomas Frank will hope his side offer an immediate response after slumping to successive defeats following an unbeaten first four games.

The Bees were dealt a setback in the warm-up when Kevin Schade suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Keane Lewis-Potter.

Lewis-Potter wasted no time announcing himself – the 22-year-old’s threatening run leading to Ashley Young being shown a yellow card after 38 seconds – while he also missed a chance under pressure from Tarkowski.

But those flashes, along with Jensen’s equaliser and the passing sequence preceding it, proved rare moments of promise.

Brentford, in the ongoing absence of banned talisman Ivan Toney, struggled to assert themselves throughout a frustrating evening and could have few complaints about the result.


English Premier League

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 – 0 Burnley




Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 - 0 Burnley

Gary O’Neil hailed a “massive win” after Hwang Hee-chan scored a first-half winner to edge Wolves past relegation-threatened Burnley at Molineux.

The Clarets had come into the game on the back of Saturday’s morale-boosting 5-0 thrashing of Sheffield United, but were unable to back up that impressive showing and were left to rue a costly defensive error.

On a chilly evening in the Midlands, the contest failed to spark into life until the 38th minute when stand-in goalkeeper Daniel Bentley made a fine double save to deny Jay Rodriguez then Josh Brownhill’s follow-up at full stretch.

Having been in a position to lead, the visitors then conceded at the other end shortly after as Sander Berge’s heavy touch was picked off by Matheus Cunha, who fed Hwang to slot a composed finish.

O’Neil said: “I think it was a massive win for us because I have watched a lot of Burnley. They are very well organised and every team I have watched struggled to progress up the pitch with the ball.

“They are a good side and [it’s] disrespectful to just say ‘job done’. They won the Championship by a long way, spent around £90m-odd and will be competitive at this level. No Premier League game is easy and it is a big win.”

The Clarets sought for the equaliser in the second half but were unable to trouble Bentley, with Vitinho’s effort from outside the area which sailed over the closest they came to claiming a point.

Wolves held on to secure their first win in three games and move up to 12th in the table, while Burnley remain in trouble in the bottom three.

Hwang continues fine form

O’Neil’s men had been beaten by league leaders Arsenal and Fulham in their last two games and ground out a much-needed result in freezing conditions.

Number one Jose Sa failed to recover from a back injury suffered against the Gunners and Bentley came in to keep Wolves’ first clean sheet since August.

The Englishman made a telling contribution in the opening period when Joao Gomes gave the ball away deep in his own half and Burnley fashioned their best opportunity of the game.

Rodriguez, who scored after 15 seconds on Saturday, could only his hit strike straight at Bentley but the goalkeeper’s second save was superb, springing low to his right to tip away Brownhill’s volley.

“The double save should never exist from our own throw-in,” added O’Neil. “That was crazy but a big save from Daniel. Really pleased with the goal and clean sheet, pleased to be on 18 points.”

Burnley’s possession-based style of football is admirable but individual errors have left them in the league position they find themselves in and it was another mistake that led to their downfall here.

Vincent Kompany’s side had been controlling much of the game and Zeki Amdouni’s low drive tested Bentley, but then Berge’s loose touch proved fatal as Hwang tucked away his ninth goal of the campaign, and sixth at Molineux.

Pablo Sarabia forced visiting goalkeeper James Trafford into tipping the ball over the crossbar from a deflected strike and the England U21 international also pushed away a free-kick from the Spaniard which was heading for the top corner.

Wolves could have made it a more handsome scoreline but Mario Lemina headed over at the far post and Cunha’s long-range drive was gathered by Trafford.

Burnley failed to apply pressure on the Wolves goal as the match wore on and have now lost eight of their nine away games this season – the worst record of any top-flight team.

Kompany said: “It is defined in moments. We had ours, didn’t take it and one of the few chances we conceded we conceded a goal. In the end I don’t think the game was decided by just one moment, we should have scored.

“I am never going to be here after a defeat and not feel the way I feel now. I can be objective and quite honest about what I am seeing – a team that is alive, in games and fighting.

“We have to believe that being in games for some time now is what will give us the results. When you have the chances you have to take them, at the moment I am not going to feel sorry for us but this is where we need to step it up.”


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English Premier League

Luton Town 3 – 4 Arsenal




Luton Town 3 - 4 Arsenal

Declan Rice’s last-gasp header snatched victory for Arsenal in a seven-goal thriller at Luton to move them five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

It was the conclusion to a compelling encounter in which the hosts twice fought back and threatened to win when Elijah Adebayo and Ross Barkley scored in an eight-minute period after the break, with Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya culpable for both goals.

However, the Hatters were denied a valuable point when Rice met Martin Odegaard’s cross in the seventh minute of stoppage time, 23 seconds after the six official minutes added on had expired.

Arsenal had dominated a largely uneventful opening to a game which sparked into life when Gabriel Martinelli steered Bukayo Saka’s pass into the bottom-left corner.

Gabriel Osho’s header from Alfie Doughty’s corner brought the hosts level shortly after, but when Gabriel Jesus nodded in Ben White’s cross from close range the Gunners looked to have regained control.

But in a chaotic period after the interval, the league’s best defence suddenly appeared flustered with Adebayo leaping above Raya to head in another Doughty delivery from a corner.

And with Luton in the ascendency, Barkley collected an Andros Townsend pass and beat White before driving a low left-foot shot under Raya.

The momentum swung back towards Mikel Arteta’s side when Kai Havertz prodded in from the impressive Jesus’ pass to equalise, but Luton looked to have held the visitors at bay until Rice’s dramatic intervention.

The result leaves Luton 17th, two points above the relegation zone. Second-placed Liverpool, five points adrift of Arsenal, play their game in hand at Sheffield United on Wednesday (19:30 GMT), while Manchester City, a point further back, are at fourth-placed Aston Villa (20:15).

Jesus stars as Raya blunders rekindle goalkeeper debate
Arsenal have now won their past six matches in all competitions but there were clear positives and negatives to take from this latest success.

Jesus underlined his importance to Arteta’s side with a superb contribution that saw him have a hand in two goals and score another.

The Brazil forward’s quick thinking caught Doughty out for Arsenal’s first goal, while his physicality and perfectly weighted pass gave Havertz the simplest opportunity to level at 3-3.

While he has only scored two top-flight goals this season, his influence is key. He has not lost any of the 58 Premier League games in which he has scored for Arsenal or Manchester City, and the Gunners will need to keep him fit if they are to stay the course in the title race.

On the flipside Arteta’s team had conceded just three league goals on their travels before kick-off, but they leave Bedfordshire with that tally having doubled.

All three appeared preventable, with Martinelli standing and watching as Osho got Luton back on track for the first time in the evening.

The performance of Raya will also undoubtedly add further scrutiny to Arteta’s decision to prefer his fellow Spaniard as first-choice goalkeeper to England stopper Aaron Ramsdale.

Gallant Luton go close

For Luton, this was another occasion when they came so close to delivering a result their fans could only have dreamed of on their long climb back up the English football pyramid.

While Luton famously beat the Gunners in the 1988 League Cup final, Andros Townsend was the only player in their starting XI on Tuesday to have been born when the clubs last met in the English top flight 32 years ago.

Their draw against Liverpool in November showed exactly what they are capable of against the Premier League big boys, and on another night they would have secured at least a point for their endeavours.

Barkley excelled in midfield and both Teden Mengi and goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski impressed for Rob Edwards’ side, who also face Manchester City, Newcastle and Chelsea at home before the end of the year.


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