Anthony Gordon described his emotions as “bittersweet” after scoring his first Everton goals in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at Goodison Park.
Gordon’s deflected strike on 53 minutes got the Blues back in the game after Brighton had gone into the half-time interval 2-0 ahead.
The away side re-established their two-goal advantage through Alexis Mac Allister but the excellent Gordon again gave Everton a lifeline, with his clinical first-time finish making the score 3-2 with a quarter-of-an-hour left to play.
Everton pressed for a late leveller – with Gordon going close to completing a hat-trick when he shot just wide from a Salomon Rondon cross – but the away team held out to take maximum points.
“It’s a bittersweet day,” said Gordon. “While I was buzzing to score, at the same time I’m devastated [with the result].
“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and we have got to start games better.
“Especially at home, we need to be aggressive, and when we have done well it’s when we have done that.
“In the second half, we were always looking a threat. I feel like we created a lot and I think we always will, with the attacking players we have.
“For my goals, I was just being direct. I’ve been not so good at that in the past and I’m trying to get better in that aspect – being direct and causing problems. I think that showed.
“I got a deflection [for the first goal], but I created my own luck in that situation. For the second, it was a great ball from Jonjoe [Kenny] and I was able to guide it in.
“I thought I should’ve had a hat-trick, but I got cramp just as I was taking my shot.”
Next up for Everton is a third-round FA Cup tie at Hull City on Saturday (5.30pm GMT).
The Blues then return to Premier League action three days later when Leicester City visit Goodison.
“We should be winning more games and the results have been disappointing recently,” Gordon added.
“We gave ourselves too much to do today. We went into half-time 2-0 down and Brighton are a very good team.
“But I’m still confident, with the players we’ve got, we’ll have a good second half of the season.”
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HIGHLIGHTS: EVERTON 2-3 BRIGHTON