Late Rooney penalty earns Everton draw against Brighton

Everton managed to secure a desperately late draw thanks to a Wayne Rooney penalty at Brighton and Hove Albion, but its display was poor.

Wayne Rooney's late penalty salvaged Everton a point against Brighton on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

Wayne Rooney rescued Everton with a late penalty to secure a 1-1 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion, but its woeful performance will do little to ease the mounting pressure on Ronald Koeman.

Anthony Knockaert appeared to have secured a win for the home side when he struck eight minutes from time, but Rooney saved the day with a spot-kick, undoubtedly proving a relief for Koeman, who was seemingly about to see his side lose a fifth league game in six.

MATCH CENTRE

The first half was every inch a match between two struggling teams, as neither managed to really take control and the only clear-cut chance fell to Brighton defender Lewis Dunk, who saw his effort deflected wide.

Things did improve slightly in the second period and Everton began to look more dangerous, with Mason Holgate and Nikola Vlasic seeing good opportunities fall its way just after the break.

But there was still an alarming lack of quality in the final third on show from both teams, until Knockaert capitalised on shoddy Everton defending to put Brighton on course for a third successive home win in the league.

There was a twist in the tale, though, as Rooney converted a penalty after bad foul from Bruno and Everton stood firm for a point, wrapping up a manic late show at the Amex Stadium.

READ: Rooney makes Brighton his 36th Premier League victim

The early exchanges showed few signs of what was to follow in the closing stages, with both teams offering very little in attack.

Everton looked marginally more threatening and did eventually have the match's first shot 20 minutes in, but Mat Ryan made a strong save down to his right after Vlasic teed up Idrissa Gueye on the edge of the box.

The host finally began to offer a little more from an attacking sense after the half-hour and went close the taking the lead.

A corner was cleared as far as Knockaert on the edge of the box and the Frenchman's subsequent volley struck a defender before landing kindly for Dunk, whose effort was crucially blocked behind by Michael Keane.

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Glenn Murray was then presented with a chance moments later, but he stumbled when controlling Knockaert's cross on his chest when he probably should have met the delivery with a header.

Everton looked a little brighter at the start of the second half and nearly went ahead, as Holgate turned Solly March inside out and forced Ryan into an important stop from a tight angle.

And Vlasic saw a better chance go to waste shortly after, slipping at the crucial moment after beating Dunk on the edge of the area.

Things really began to liven up towards the end, however, and Knockaert had appeared to have earned Brighton all three points when he struck in the 82nd minute, stabbing home after Jose Izquierdo's effort was blocked.

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But a moment of madness at the other end from Brighton captain Bruno allowed Rooney to score from the spot, with the Spanish defender appearing to elbow Holgate in the face at a free-kick.

Brighton was left hanging on at the end, with Ryan ultimately crucial in ensuring they secured a point, as the goalkeeper made a brilliant double save to deny Kevin Mirallas in stoppage time.

-Southampton 2 Newcastle United 2: Gabbiadini brace denies Magpies-

Manolo Gabbiadini scored a brace as Southampton twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Newcastle United in an entertaining contest at the St Mary's Stadium.

Mauricio Pellegrino's side had failed to score in its previous two home games but, after Isaac Hayden scored his first Premier League goal in the first half, Gabbiadini equalised early in the second.

The Italian's strike was quickly rendered meaningless when Ayoze Perez scored his first goal of the season, but Shane Long won a 75th minute penalty that Gabbiadini emphatically converted to earn Southampton a much-needed point following back-to-back defeats.

Despite scoring at home for first time since August 19, Southampton's attack still lacked potency, while Rafael Benitez's Newcastle, who sit two points and one place above Saints in ninth, played with far more urgency in the final third.

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Pellegrino won two league titles as a player at Valencia under Rafael Benitez and he needs to inject Southampton with some of Newcastle's attacking flair if he is to improve his side's form at St Mary's, where the Saints have picked up just five points in five games this season.

Despite being denied victory on an afternoon when it played the better football, Benitez's men can reflect on a run of three wins and just one defeat in their last six league games as they prepare to face bottom club Crystal Palace at St James' Park next week.

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