Premier League: Strong Iwobi showing unable to rescue flagging Everton

If everyone in blue had been as switched on as the Nigeria midfielder, the outcome might have been a lot more favourable.

Alex Iwobi

Despite Alex Iwobi’s best efforts, Everton were powerless to prevent their run of winless matches extending to seven games on Sunday.

The Toffees were the better side in terms of possession and shots, but ultimately were defeated 1-0 by hosts Brentford. Ivan Toney’s first half penalty, dispatched with aplomb, proved the difference between the two sides and heaped further pressure on Rafa Benitez in the Everton dugout.

After a slow opening, it was the Bees who showed greater intent, and they were duly rewarded when referee Darren England awarded them a penalty. Everton winger Andros Townsend was the culprit, catching Nigeria international Frank Onyeka flush in the head with a high boot inside the penalty area.

Toney stepped up and duly obliged, netting his first home goal of the Premier League campaign so far to put Brentford in the lead.

The concession stung the visitors into life, and from then on they had more of the running. Chief in their improvement was midfielder Iwobi, who was stationed behind striker Salomon Rondon. The 25-year-old came close to scoring on two occasions, but found the Bees’ goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez in outstanding form.

The first came on the hour mark as Iwobi seized upon a loose ball inside the Brentford penalty area and fizzed goalward, only to see the Spanish goalkeeper produce a fairly comfortable save. Then, with a minute of normal time to play, the former Arsenal man met Lucas Digne’s cross with a well-placed header that seemed destined for the top corner until Fernandez again intervened.

Rondon was also denied by the Spaniard, and midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure was thwarted by a brilliant challenge by Vitaly Janelt on a frustrating afternoon for the Toffees in London.

The defeat sees Everton finish the Gameweek in 14th place, six points clear of the relegation zone.

Brentford midfielder Onyeka played the full 90 minutes, and earned a booking late in the opening half.

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