89 min Gross slides the ball into Lallana, 20 yards from goal. He looks for a pass, realises the Everton defenders are all backpedalling and tries a shot instead. It’s a decent effort, just over the bar, though Olsen had it covered.
88 min A double change for Brighton: Dan Burn and Ali Jahanbakhsh replace Moder and Maupay. And Everton bring on
Harry Maguire Nathan Broadhead for Tom Davies.
87 min Brighton continue to try to find an eye in the Everton needle. I’m not sure there is one. If there’s one thing Brighton haven’t done enough tonight, it’s get round the back.
84 min Trossard’s free-kick, hit in the David Luiz style, deflects behind for yet another corner. Gross’s inswinger ricochets around the six-yard box before being cleared.
82 min Keane gives the ball to Welbeck in a dangerous area, then ploughs straight through him in a desperate attempt to redeem the error. He got the ball but he also got the man, and he is booked. More to the point, it’s a free-kick to Brighton 25 yards from goal.
82 min “With 5/6ths of the game played, the only reference in the whole MBM to VAR isn’t even anything to do with tonight’s game,” says Colin Young. “Should we celebrate or something?”
Yes. Let’s go to Stephen Carr’s local.
81 min Everton almost pilfer a goal on the break. Sigurdsson’s well-struck volley from the edge of the area is blocked by Dunk, then Davies drives over from 20 yards.
80 min Brighton have been much the better attacking team, but Everton’s defensive performance has been close to immaculate. All their young defenders must be learning so much from working with Carlo Ancelotti. And their old ones, for that matter.
79 min Here’s Ian Copestake, who may or may be a Liverpool fan, on the subject of Adam Lallana. “Reading the words ‘it’s lovely to see him have a run of games without injury’ evoked horror images of Lallana being put through one on one with the Everton goalkeeper!”
78 min Gross’s corner is only half cleared. Lallana helps it back into the area and Dunk twists his neck to steer a looping header that is tipped over acrobatically by Olsen. That was a pretty good save.
77 min Trossard cuts inside a couple of Everton defenders in the area and hits a shot that deflects wide off Davies.
76 min A double chance for Brighton! First Welbeck’s shot is brilliantly blocked by the sliding Godfrey; then Bissouma surges into the area from the left and crosses low to Maupay, who flicks the ball up but then cracks it wide from eight yards. That was Brighton’s best chance of the match.
75 min Mason Holgate has had a fine game for Everton in two different positions – first as a holding midfielder and now at centre-back. Whenever I watch Everton he looks really accomplished.
72 min James’s corner is headed away. I’m still cooing about his first touch a moment ago, which was essentially two in one – he controlled an awkward ball and pushed it away from Dunk at the same time.
71 min Coleman clips a left-footed cross towards James in the area. He takes it down majestically on the run, away from Dunk, and screws a shot from a very tight angle that is clawed behind by Sanchez.
70 min Trossard cuts the ball back from the byline towards Lallana, whose shot is crucially blocked by Coleman. Lallana has been really sprightly tonight; it’s lovely to see him have a run of games without injury. The resulting corner is headed towards Moder on the edge of the area, and he lashes the bouncing ball towards Falmer.
68 min The paradox of this game is that Brighton are the team pushing for the win, yet Everton are the ones who really need three points. But you can understand Everton’s approach given their recent form and particularly their injury list. Gary Naylor’s turned his phone on for heaven’s sake!
67 min For the third time this half Welbeck is denied by some good defending, on this occasion a header at the far post by the stretching Holgate. Brighton work a really nice training-ground corner, with Lallana angling a sharp pass back to Moder on the edge of the area. His first-time shot whistles just over the bar.
65 min “I realize this has nothing whatsoever to do either with your MBM labour or the match at hand,” boasts Alex Moffett, “but can I just register the unalloyed delight I experienced when I discovered today that a Finnish composer wrote a symphonic tone poem about Duncan Ferguson’s career? How could I not have known about this?”
64 min I’m running out of ways to say that Brighton are dominating without really creating much.
62 min “Evening Rob,” says Stephen Carr. “Events at the Amex not even coming remotely close to the drama at my local. Two police vans and a flurry of cars on the scene before teatime. This country.”
I bet VAR was involved in the discussions that led to the fisticuffs that led to the police vans.
61 min Gross’s corner leads to a game of head tennis in the Everton area, until Olsen spoils it all by grabbing the ball.
60 min After good play from Trossard and Lallana, Coleman takes the ball off Welbeck’s toes in the area. Brighton are getting closer.
59 min “I am here to state, under the threat of MBM banishment, that the ‘so called’ Mary Waltz lives in California, that the Guardian has no control of my posting output, that I am retired and thus have the time to vent so often, in such an amateur fashion, that it is given freely, and that I have no influence on the potential labor exploitation of the official MBM writers,” writes, well, Mary Waltz.
58 min Mina is replaced by Iwobi. Holgate moves to centre-back.
57 min It looks like yet another injury for Everton: Yerry Mina is down with a muscle problem, and Alex Iwobi is getting ready to replace him.
55 min Terrific defending from Godfrey, who charges back to stop Welbeck reaching Maupay’s clever reverse pass.
54 min Bissouma is given a final warning after inflicting pin on James Rodriguez.
49 min Brighton are dominating possession at the start of the second half, as they did for much of the first. Lallana plays a sharp pass into Maupay, who turns smartly on the edge of the area and flicks a shot with the outside of the foot that deflects behind for a corner.
“Evening Rob,” says Graham Moger. “Reading Matt Dony’s understandably sympathetic email, he obviously isn’t aware (unlike those of us that are part of the MBM cognoscenti), that you are in fact sharing the ‘minute by minute’ writing tasks with the so-called Mary Waltz. Correct? I claim my five pounds.”
I thought Mary Waltz was Gary Naylor. And what letter comes after G? Exactly.
“I can’t see it happening,” says Geoff Wignall, “but Brighton and Aguerro look like such a perfect fit.”
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but is his link play good enough? Maupay is a very neat footballer. Depends on the system I suppose.
“Nice to see MBM regulars standing up for our zero (social) hours MBMers,” says Ian Copestake. “Scott Murray was no sooner finished whispering about dimple lengths at Augusta all weekend than he was dragged in to watch West Brom.”
As I said, it doesn’t bode well to speak openly about such things. It’s important thy know I didn’t speak. That’s right, isn’t it, DI Copestake? Ididn’t.Talk.
Half time: Brighton 0-0 Everton
Peep peep! No goals and no clear chances, though the match was better than that bald summary suggests. It’s been a typical Brighton home performance to date – plenty of style, not enough substance.
44 min “Speaking of looking at the Everton bench, who is Broadhead?” says Peter Oh. “This league ain’t big enough for two Harry Maguires!”
43 min Bissouma makes a terrific blindside tackle on Sigurdsson, who was about to shoot from the edge of the area after running onto a return pass from Coleman.
41 min Bissouma plays a good angled ball to find Lallana in a bit of space, 30 yards from goal. He tries to feed Maupay in the area, but the pass is slightly behind him and the ball runs through to Olsen.
39 min “Having seen the Everton bench, I’m going to have the phone switched on and at hand come Thursday in case Carlo needs me for Friday’s match,” says Gary Naylor. “Big Duncan is already 6/4 for anytime goalscorer.”
38 min Maupay drags a clever little pass round the corner towards Lallana, but his shot from the edge of the area is easily saved by Olsen.
37 min “Rob,” says Matt Dony. “We’re all friends here. Are you ok? Blink twice if you need rescuing. The last week or so, it feels like every time I’ve opened the Guardian app, you’ve been at the helm of the good(!) ship MBM. Are they treating you ok? Do you get enough sunlight? Do you want me to write a charity single, to raise awareness of your plight?”
It doesn’t bode well to speak openly about such things.
34 min That’s a much better effort from Bissouma, an improvised overhead kick from the left side of the area that loops onto the roof of the net. Olsen slipped, so had it been on target it would probably have gone in.
32 min The corner is cleared as far as Bissouma, who launches one into orbit from 25 yards.