Everton score inside first minute to earn crucial win against Brentford

Dwight McNeil scored Everton's only goal in the 1-0 victory over Everton (Pro Sports Images)

PREMIER LEAGUE Everton score inside first minute to earn crucial win against Brentford

Ayoola Kelechi 18:16 - 11.03.2023
Alex Iwobi and Everton celebrated a hard-fought win over Brentford which saw them end their recent poor form

Everton overcame a resilient Brentford side to grind out a 1-0 win and claim three precious points in their battle against relegation. 

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A goal in the first minute of the game from Dwight McNeil was enough for Everton to secure the victory despite the best efforts of Brentford, who had their own poor finishing to blame for the loss. 

The win sees Everton leave the relegation zone as they open a two-point gap between themselves and West Ham in 18th place, although they have played two more matches than the Hammers.

How it happened

Everton entered the fixture looking to improve on their recent form, which had seen them fail to pick up maximum points in any of their last three games after losses against Aston Villa and Arsenal as well as a 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest in the last game week. 

Everton set about righting their wrongs from the opening whistle and were ahead after less than a minute as Dwight McNeil fired home from inside the penalty area with a brilliant left-footed strike. 

The goal spurred Everton on, and they created numerous chances to extend their lead in the first half, but failed to find the net despite Alex Iwobi forcing a decent save from David Raya in the Brentford goal. 

Everton continued to press for a bigger advantage, and they thought they got it two minutes before the halftime break as Demarai Grey turned in a loose ball in the area, but the goal was ruled out after VAR spotted a handball that directly affected the goal.

Everton went into the halftime break on top and looked like they could have been ahead by three or four goals, but the second half saw Brentford reverse the dynamics of the game. 

The Bees pressed Everton for an equaliser and their relentless pursuit almost paid off when Ivan Toney came close, but he was denied by a goal-line clearance from goalscorer McNeil. 

Brentford created better chances in the second half but ultimately fell short of a leveler, even as goalkeeper Raya missed another good chance in the closing stages with a good header that narrowly missed the target. 

Everton out of the relegation zone

The 1-0 win means that Everton can look at the Premier League table with a little less distress as they now find themselves 15th on the table and with a good chance of remaining there if results go their way this weekend. 

The battle to stay in the Premier League next season is shaping up to be one of the most thrilling in recent years, and Everton will be happy with three more points to drag them towards safety. 

Man of the Match

Everton’s Dwight McNeil made major interventions at both ends of the pitch. His goal after less than one minute of play was eventually the winning goal and he also made sure of it with a game-saving goal-line clearance towards the end. 

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