Despite putting in a less than stellar showing at Goodison Park, Everton were able to come away with a big three points against Crystal Palace to improve their chances of making a push for the top six.
A tale of two halves
Everton did manage to dominate the first half, before letting it slip in the second, putting on the kind of showcase was needed on a weekend largely devoid of Premier League football. Bernard was able to open the scoring not long into proceedings with a fantastic volley after a divine cross from Theo Walcott, ensuring the Toffees took a lead into half time.
After the break, however, Palace were able to battle back despite their poor run of form to start 2020. They equalised after Jordan Pickford made a hash of Christian Benteke’s low effort to gift the Eagles a goal on Merseyside. Thankfully for the Everton faithful they were able to re-take the lead courtesy of star man Richarlison, before Pickford redeemed himself with a wonderful save to prevent Benteke from scoring his second.
Moving on up
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was able to seal the win with close range effort after Richarlison’s header had struck the crossbar. The win puts Everton just a point behind Tottenham, whereas Crystal Palace need to re-evaluate and make a few changes in the next few weeks. If they don’t, they’re in serious trouble as the battle to avoid relegation continues.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti was as honest as they come after the full time whistle.
The best thing today is the result as the performance was not good. It was a difficult game with a lot of interruptions, so we were not able to keep the intensity.
“The target since I arrived was to get into Europe – now we have a possibility to think about the Europa League.”
Roy Hodgson, as you can imagine, was generally a bit unhappy with the end result.
“We didn’t start as well as we would have liked, but when we equalised it was the result of quite a lot of pressure.
“We have a bit less than the team’s performance deserved and it’s another defeat that we’re unhappy about.”
Everton: Pickford (5.5), Digne (8), Keane (7), Mina (6.5), Coleman (7), Bernard (7.5), Sigurdsson (6.5), Schneiderlin (7.5), Walcott (7), Richarlison (9), Calvert-Lewin (8), Davies (6), Holgate (6), Sidibe (6.5)
Crystal Palace: Guaita (6.5), Ward (6), Tomkins (6.5), Cahill (6), van Aanholt (6), Milivojevic (6.5), Ayew (6.5), McCarthy (6.5), McArthur (6.5), Zaha (7), Benteke (8), Dann (6.5), Kouyate (6), Meyer (6)
Referee: David Coote
Goals: Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin :: Benteke
Yellow Cards: McCarthy
Red Cards: N/A