(Reuters) -Brighton & Hove Albion kicked off the new year with a hard-fought 3-2 Premier League victory at Everton on Sunday, with two goals from Alexis Mac Allister and one from Dan Burn.
It was Brighton's first win at Goodison Park in any competition and the result lifted them to eighth in the table with 27 points after 19 matches.
Everton, who were sluggish on their return to action after 17 days following COVID-related match postponements, remain 15th following an eighth defeat in their last 12 league games.
"Brilliant. It has been a fantastic week for us," Brighton manager Graham Potter told the BBC. "We took the lead, deservedly so. We had to dig in and defend and then scored some good goals. Delighted for the players.
"Mac Allister has had to be patient. He's had to support the team from the sides. I thought it was a fantastic performance from him."
Brighton took the lead in the third minute when Mac Allister finished off a brilliant team move with a first-time shot past Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
In the 21st minute, centre-back Burn, unmarked at the back post, nodded in Enock Mwepu's flick-on from a free-kick.
Everton were thrown a lifeline four minutes later when a foul by Mwepu on Anthony Gordon led to a penalty, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin clipped the crossbar from the spot in his first appearance since August following an injury layoff.
The hosts were greeted with a chorus of boos from fans at the half-time whistle, but put up an improved performance in the second half.
Gordon, 20, pulled one back for Everton in the 53rd minute, cutting inside from the right and firing a left-footed shot that took a huge deflection off Brighton's Adam Lallana.
Mac Allister restored Brighton's two-goal lead in the 71st minute with a volley from outside the penalty area. Gordon added a second goal shortly afterwards but Everton could not turn the match around as boos rang out again for Rafa Benitez's side.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith)