Everton

Michael Keane was Everton’s unsung hero in Brighton triumph

Michael Keane was Everton’s unsung hero in Brighton triumph

Everton supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their team get back to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday. 

Marco Silva’s men went into their encounter with Brighton at Goodison Park off the back of losing 2-1 to Manchester United in their previous league meeting, and thus seeking to bounce back at home to Chris Hughton’s Seagulls. And the Toffees did just that as a brace from Richarlison alongside a Seamus Coleman effort inspired the hosts to a 3-1 success on Merseyside, a result which kept them ninth in the Premier League table.

As such, there have been many thrilled Evertonians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have unsurprisingly been heaping praise on Brazil international Richarlison, who continued his excellent start to life at Goodison Park with another two goals at the weekend.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Silva’s side as Brighton gave them something to worry about following Lewis Dunk’s equaliser after half an hour, with it requiring another outstanding display from defender Michael Keane to help the Toffees record a fifth win of the season.

The England international struggled for much of his debut season at Goodison Park last term to call into question the £30 million they paid for him back in 2017, but he is looking more and more like the player who earned rave reviews at Burnley, and indeed four England caps.

The 25-year-old has always been calm and composed on the ball, exemplified again by his 77 touches and 83% pass success rate on Saturday, but it was how dominant the centre back was off it that really helped an Everton side that were pegged back late on in the first half despite their supremacy.

Keane won an impressive nine of his 12 aerial duels to underline that he was more than up to the task of dealing with Brighton’s aerial assault, while he also won two of his three tackles to suggest that there was no way through for Hughton’s side on the floor either.

And with three clearances and two interceptions, the former Burnley man did a stellar job at relieving the pressure at the back at a time whereby the hosts really needed it – it was one of his best performances in an Everton shirt.

So while Richarlison will unsurprisingly earn many plaudits for bagging twice on Saturday, the rearguard effort of £19.8 million-rated Keane (as per Transfermarkt) simply cannot go unnoticed, with his dominance defensively seriously helping the Toffees to a fourth win in five Premier League matches.

Everton fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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