Jordan Pickford and Demarai Gray were the only positives as Everton were handed a 1-0 defeat by Brentford on Sunday.

Everton were absolutely listless at the Brentford Community Stadium on Sunday, even though they had the bulk of the possession and mustered more shots. However, none of their efforts troubled Alvaro Fernandez at any point, with the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison being telling.

At the opposite end, Brentford were not too menacing. However, the Bees got the chance to break the deadlock midway through the first half when Andros Townsend was penalised for a high boot on Frank Onyeka. Ivan Toney stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick and made no errors in beating Jordan Pickford.

At no other point in the match did it look like a goal would be scored, and Brentford grabbed a well-deserved 1-0 win following a resolute display. The result meant the freefalling Everton have dropped down to 14th on the Premier League table while the Bees are up to 12th. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Rafael Benitez’s men.

Jordan Pickford: 6/10

Pickford has to consider himself unfortunate to have conceded a goal here because he barely put a foot wrong. Apart from one awkward moment in the air, the English international was solid in the box and commanded his area smartly, with his punching in critical situations being impressive.

Seamus Coleman: 5/10

The Everton captain could not make things happen from his side, and he was often too defensive for the Toffees’ own good. The Irishman also faced some iffy moments when Bryan Mbuemo drifted to his flank, but he was solid otherwise.

Ben Godfrey: 5/10

The Everton defenders were not necessarily poor, but their output on the ball was sub-par, to say the least. A 79 per cent passing rate has to be considered unacceptable for a ball-playing centre-back, and Godfrey’s output needs to be better. Otherwise, he was largely solid bar one or two moments and cleared everything in sight.

Michael Keane: 5/10

Keane was not directly at fault for the goal that Everton conceded. However, Toney’s movements caught him by surprise, and he was often unsure of his positioning as a result. The Englishman did have many positive moments, though, and he was particularly imperious in the air, winning six duels there.

Lucas Digne: 5/10

Digne created the only big chance in the game for Everton, but his crosses hardly carried a threat for the most part. In addition, the Frenchman’s deliveries from set-pieces failed to find the intended target while his sloppiness on the ball took the pressure off Brentford in key moments. He has to do so much better.

Abdoulaye Doucoure: 5/10

Back in the starting lineup after recovering from an injury, Doucoure struggled to find his rhythm, and understandably so after a considerable time out. The 28-year-old lost the ball 14 times while also losing more duels than he won. Still, his return bodes well for Benitez & co. in the long run.

Allan: 5/10

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Passed fit to start, Allan would have hoped to have set a quicker tempo in a game wherein Everton dominated the possession. However, the Brazilian could not get his feet sorted on several occasions, and he also struggled against the Brentford press, particularly when Ivan Toney dropped deep.

Andros Townsend: 4/10

It was a dreadful performance by Townsend, whose creative attempts were aimless while he failed to take a single shot in the game. Worse still was the high boot that gave away the match-winning penalty, although he will argue he was somewhat unfortunate to be penalised. Not the performance expected from the Player to Watch in our preview.

Alex Iwobi: 5/10

With Demarai Gray unavailable, Iwobi was deployed in the central areas of the pitch to make things happen in the game. While he laid on a joint game-high three key passes, none of the openings he carved out led to a significant attempt. Still, he did all that he could, but to no avail.

Anthony Gordon: 5/10

Gordon was probably the best of the lot among those who started the game for Everton. However, despite showing some nice movement, he was not picked out by his teammates. On other occasions, he did not create a chance of note and has to do better in the opportunities that will be further afforded to him.

Salomon Rondon: 4/10

With Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin unavailable, Rondon got a chance to impress. However, as has been the case for the veteran striker thus far this season, he could not muster anything from the game, with his shots being more speculative than precise. However, he should have been awarded a penalty when he had his shirt pulled wildly in an aerial situation.

SUBSTITUTES

Demarai Gray: 6/10

On for the listless Townsend, Gray was by far the best Everton player on the day, introducing some much-needed energy and purpose in Everton’s forays in the final third. Unfortunately for him, his teammates were not on the same wavelength as him.

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