Calvert-Lewin secures vital Everton victory after gifts from 10-man Burnley


Everton’s first set of three points in 112 days could be taken away from them this coming week but the impact of a most fortuitous victory may survive nonetheless. Sean Dyche’s team avoided equalling a club record 14 matches without a win thanks to a gift from the Burnley goalkeeper Arijanet Muric and pushed Vincent Kompany’s side closer to the Championship in the process. It was ugly by design, according to the Everton manager. No one knew whether he was joking.

Everton’s taste of a first Premier League win since visiting Burnley in December owed plenty to luck and the visitors’ tendency to aim both barrels at their own feet. Dominic Calvert-Lewin deflected Muric’s delayed clearance into the Burnley net for a crucial match-winner while Dara O’Shea received a straight red card for a foul on Dwight McNeil, puncturing their chances of a recovery in an instant. Kompany’s strugglers still managed to make life fraught for Everton, who are expected to suffer a second points deduction of the season for breaching Premier League profitability and sustainability rules, but a defence guided superbly by Jarrad Branthwaite held on to a precious result.

The importance of the relegation battle was lost on no one, with Goodison suitably tense, but the reason why both teams have toiled this season was also abundantly clear. The opening 46 minutes of play were a complete nonevent, bereft of quality, incident or any sense of urgency, until Everton fluked a breakthrough in stoppage time. It was a moment to forget for Muric. The Kosovo international dwelt too long over a routine clearance and gave Calvert-Lewin time to close in. The Everton striker stuck out his right leg in hope, Muric’s kick cannoned into it, and the ball looped over the keeper and sailed into the empty net. It was almost identical to Darwin Núñez’s opener for Liverpool against Sheffield United on Thursday. For Calvert-Lewin, who ended a 23-game run without a goal with his late penalty at Newcastle on Tuesday, it was evidence his luck in front of goal had finally turned.

SOURCE – Calvert-Lewin secures vital Everton victory after gifts from 10-man Burnley | Premier League | The Guardian