Everton celebrated a breakthrough first victory of the Premier League season at Brentford on Saturday with James Tarkowski scoring against his former club in a well-deserved 3-1 win.
After a first half of many missed opportunities ended 1-1, Tarkowski headed in off Dwight McNeil’s corner after 67 minutes and England forward Dominic Calvert-Lewis made it 3-1 in the 71st off the leg of goalkeeper Mark Flekken.
The victory lifted the transformed Toffees out of the drop zone and up to 15th with four points and left Brentford, now 12th on six, waiting for their first home win of the season.
Abdoulaye Doucoure put Everton ahead in the sixth minute with a shot into the top right corner of the net after Tarkowski had headed on but Mathias Jensen levelled in the 28th from the right with an effort that went in off the far post.
The visitors could have been two or three goals up by then, with Vitaliy Mykolenko shooting straight at Mark Flekken in the 21st and Doucoure hitting the crossbar seven minutes later.
Brentford’s record signing Kevin Schade was injured in the warm-up, with Keane Lewis-Potter replacing him up front.
Brentford 1 Everton 3, as it happened: below
07:28 PM BST
Full time: Brentford 1 Everton 3
A most satisfactory win for Everton and their fans. Brentford were lacklustre. We’ll have a match report here shortly, and also any manager quotes in case Frank lets rip.
07:27 PM BST
90 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 3
Brentford are pressing for a goal but Everton defending well. With the personnel available, the Goodison side could surely be a solid proposition.
No joy for Brentford and that’s the end of the six minutes added.
07:22 PM BST
90 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 3
Alan Smith on Sky gives the man of the match to Doucoure and explains that his top class use of the ball and threat behind the striker have earned him the honour. I concur, plus the goal.
07:17 PM BST
85 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 3
Don’t see Brentford getting back into this. Everton should ask to play more games away from home I reckon. They’ve been excellent this evening, brave and offensive, Brentford have had an off-day.
07:16 PM BST
82 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 3
Ghoddos is booked for fouling Young.
07:10 PM BST
76 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 3
Moment of slapstick as Jordan Pickford bungles a clearance and referee Michael Oliver gets in the way of the ball. Had it not his the hapless whistler a Brentford player would have had an opportunity for a pot shot at the half empty net....
07:06 PM BST
72 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 3
Nathan Collins the man who lost the ball there in the Brentford midfield, he’s got his head in his hands as DCL wheels away in celebration.
07:03 PM BST
GOAL! Brentford 1 Everton 3 (Calvert-Lewin 71)
Brentford lose the ball in midfield, Everton attack on the counter with Garner the man who carries it, and slips it through to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who slots it home. Got a little bit of good fortune in that the keeper got something on it but not enough.
Hard to begrudge Dominic, who seems like a very nice lad and has had a lot of injury trouble.
07:01 PM BST
70 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 2
Tarkowski, who upset the Brentford fans when he left, put his fingers in his ears as he celebrated that goal (!) And he’s causing blood pressure spikes in Brentford again here, when he very nearly gets up again at a corner.
06:59 PM BST
68 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 2
Chaos in the Everton area! Brentford play it in, flick on, and it’s a good old fashioned bundle. Eventually hacked behind for a corner.
06:58 PM BST
GOAL! Brentford 1 Everton 2 (Tarkowski 66)
Everton lead! Corner comes in, Tarkowski up for a neat little header and that’s that. McNeil the player with the accurate delivery on the dead ball, left foot curler.
Everton have bullied Brentford at the set pieces.
06:54 PM BST
61 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
For Everton, Calvert-Lewin on for Beto. Decent shift from the Portuguese forward albeit that he looks to be running out of puff.
06:52 PM BST
60 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Been mainly Everton since the start of the second half. Brentford are making some changes. And it seems that they will go to a back five. Mbeumo been sent to RWB and Alan Smith notes that he does not look too happy about his new digs.
Kristoffer Ajer and Frank Onyeka on, Mads Roerslev and Vitaly Janelt off.
06:51 PM BST
59 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Dwight McNeil shoots at Mark Flekken.
06:49 PM BST
55 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Ooh that was a chance. Good deep cross into the box and here’s Onana with a header that glances wide. Difficult angle and he never really quite got in position.
06:44 PM BST
52 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
This is a good even battle at the moment but without any particular incident to tell you about.
06:38 PM BST
48 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Gueye has his elbows up as he challenges for the ball with Jensen. Clangs the Brentford man in the back of the bonce.
06:37 PM BST
47 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
No changes incidentally.
06:36 PM BST
46 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Brentford have the first use of the ball and are playing it around in defence.
06:35 PM BST
Players will be out shortly
Be sure to join us for Burnley vs Man United live blog right after this one.
06:20 PM BST
Half time: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Entertaining stuff. Brentford didn’t turn up for the first 25 minutes, Everton played pretty well and maybe should have got the second while the going was good. Brentford then scored on a break against the run of things and it’s anybody’s guess what happens from here.
Here is Jensen with the equaliser
06:15 PM BST
43 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Dear me, now Gueye makes a terrible decision to go for an ambitious long-shot with multiple colleagues better placed., and indeed better suited. He hasn’t scored since his previous spell at EFC.
06:13 PM BST
41 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Gueye gives the ball away in a dangerous area. Mbeumo crosses it, Lewis-Potter is sliding in at the far post but Tarkowski just manages to slide in and prevent the finish at the back post.
06:11 PM BST
39 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Beto gallops forward, and plays the ball across. Onana goes down in the area to hoots of derision. Hickey certainly didn’t foul him.
06:10 PM BST
37 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Hickey blooters a shot miles over.
06:07 PM BST
34 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
Oh Beto! Should have scored.... He’s sent through and tries to chip it over the keeper but he has made a horrible contact on the ball and it flubbles wide in humiliating fashion.
06:04 PM BST
32 mins: Brentford 1 Everton 1
The Brentford crowd are suddenly well into it, and the momentum has totally switched as the hosts pin Everton back and pressure them.
05:59 PM BST
GOAL! Brentford 1 Everton 1 (Jensen 28)
Out of the blue, the home side are level.... but Var might be having a say....
Vitaly Janelt plays it through and Mathias Jensen has cracked it home with the right foot.
Close to being offside but the goal stands. Totally against the run of play but hey Everton are a poor side for a reason, and part of that is mental fragility. They were all over Brentford here.
05:57 PM BST
25 mins: Brentford 0 Everton 1
Now Pinnock has passed the ball straight into touch. Mbuemo, the pass’s target, shouts at his colleague in irritation
And now Doucoure has hit the bar! Tarkowski with a long pass, Doucoure controls and fires. Keeper’s well beaten but it hits the crossbar
05:54 PM BST
20 mins: Brentford 0 Everton 1
McNeil crosses, Pinnock fails to clear and somehow manages to lay it up for Mykolenko. Shot is straight at the keeper and he should have done better.
05:53 PM BST
18 mins: Brentford 0 Everton 1
“Unusually” sloppy is Alan Smith’s take on Brentford so far.
They’ve been well short of their usual.
I wonder if that injury in the warm up derailed plans?
05:48 PM BST
12 mins: Brentford 0 Everton 1
This is as well as I’ve seen Everton play for a wee while. They’re full of power and running and heart. Ball hit forward, Beto with a beefy header down, McNeil races onto it and drags a decent shot only a couple of feet wide.
The Bees have not got going.
05:46 PM BST
Really crisp finish that
05:40 PM BST
GOAL! Brentford 0 Everton 1 (Doucouré 6)
Nicely done for the Toffees!
That corner I mentioend not really cleared fully, ball out to Garner on the flank. He delivers a good ball in, Tarkowski rises to flick it on with the head, and it’s finished with an attractive half-volley by Doucouré.
05:38 PM BST
5 mins: Brentford 0 Everton 0
McNeil wins a corner. Beto has started well for Everton, putting it at about. Corner cleared, but Everton keep the ball alive...
05:34 PM BST
3 mins: Brentford 0 Everton 0
The freekick is curled well wide. Mbeumo the taker.
05:33 PM BST
2 mins: Brentford 0 Everton 0
Lewis-Potter receives the ball from that breakdown, charges forward, and is chopped down by Ashley Young outside the area. Young is booked.
05:33 PM BST
1 mins: Brentford 0 Everton 0
Here is the aforementioned Beto, powering forward but losing the ball.
05:32 PM BST
Alan Smith is on Sky Sports
“Beto is not what you would call a sophisticated centre forward but if you give him something to attack then you’ve got half a chance.”
05:25 PM BST
Brentford: Flekken, Roerslev, Collins, Pinnock, Hickey, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Mbeumo, Wissa, Lewis-Potter. Subs: Jorgensen, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Ajer, Strakosha, Yarmolyuk, Olakigbe, Brierley, Balcombe.
Everton: Pickford, Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Garner, Gueye, Doucoure, McNeil, Onana, Beto. Subs: Patterson, Keane, Calvert-Lewin, Danjuma, Virginia, Godfrey, Chermiti, Hunt, Dobbin.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
05:24 PM BST
will come in for Schade.
05:17 PM BST
Breaking: injury in the warm up to Schade
Was doing some shooting practice and has gone down with what could be a groin injury. Kevin Schade limping off and that surely is his evening done before it’s started. Bad luck son.
05:11 PM BST
was good on Monday Night Football the other night, smart and engaging guy. Certainly he seems to be doing a fine job with Brentford.
Here he is on Sky Sports: “We will use a back four, Hickey to the left. Good players to step in when needed (Mee and Henry missing). Rico has a big injury and is a key player, but that happens, other players need to step in.
“We will come flying out, put them on the back foot. The dynamic between the team and the fans is that we both help each other.”
05:08 PM BST
“Looking for a solid edge to the performance. We stepped off it against Arsenal.
“They are hard to beat here. Brentford are well-rounded squad. The players have been talking this week about things we can do better.”
04:57 PM BST
04:55 PM BST
Bees fans arriving
04:35 PM BST
Brentford: Flekken, Hickey, Collins, Pinnock, Roerslev, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Mbeumo, Wissa, Schade. Subs: Jorgensen, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Ajer, Strakosha, Lewis-Potter, Yarmolyuk, Olakigbe, Brierley.
Everton: Pickford, Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Garner, Gueye, Onana, Doucoure, McNeil, Beto. Subs: Patterson, Keane, Calvert-Lewin, Danjuma, Virginia, Godfrey, Chermiti, Dobbin, Hunt.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) September 23, 2023
Brentford have made two changes for the visit of Everton, with defenders Rico Henry and Ben Mee out injured. They are replaced by Mads Roerslev and Kevin Schade.
James Garner is in for Arnaut Danjuma in Everton’s only change.
— Everton (@Everton) September 23, 2023
03:29 PM BST
Brentford welcome Everton
Good afternoon and welcome to our Saturday 5.30pm game between Brentford and Everton at Gtech Community Stadium. The home side have played five games and have six points, results have been mixed and a little deflating after a fine campaign last year. They began the season with a home draw against Palace, then an excellent 3-0 win over local rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage. Then a 2-2 draw with Spurs followed by a 1-0 defeat up in Newcastle. Then a 2-2 draw at home to Bournemouth. So all in all, three home games with three draws...
... but if you had to pick a visiting team to help you get your party started in front of your own fans, why not Everton? The hapless Toffees have picked up where they left off from last year, losing at home to Fulham and Wolves, getting pumped at Villa, losing at home to Arsenal and drawing at Sheffield United. That gives them the princely sum of one point from five games. They are in the relegation places and they’re highly likely to be there or thereabouts in May. They’re third favourites to go down with only Luton and the Blades less fanciable as a Premier League proposition for next term. Sounds about right to me from what I have seen so far this year.
Everton’s record at Brentford is poor: they have played seven times in West London, drawn three and lost four, that would equal the record set by Derby County in 2000-01. Jim Smith’s side eventually managed to secure 17th place and stayed up. That was a heck of a turnaround around from the Rams actually: after 13 games they only had seven points. Anyway.
On the subject of slowe starters, I just the following excellent stat on the BBC: that Sean Dyche has a weirdly terrible record in August and September. A Dyche side has not won in August or September in 14 attempts, when his Burnley outfit beat Norwich. Maybe the big man’s coaching philosophy takes a while to bed in. Or maybe he and his teams prefer the levelling factors of driving rain, cold etc.
Here is Dyche on the season so far: “There is a lot of good in it but the league table doesn’t lie. I can’t change my tune when you’re going well and when you’re not. The underlying story is better than the league table says but at the end of the day we are the only ones that can change that. I am under no illusion we have to change that. Sometimes you want to play well, if you don’t and you win then at this stage you take it.”
So in summary the league table doesn’t lie but in this case it does?
We will have team news and updates from 4.30pm this Saturday afternoon and then kick off is at 5.30pm. I’ll also be blogging the 8pm match, involving Manchester United by the way, so please stick around for that if you can.