October 21, 2018
Everton left it late, very late, to record their third consecutive Premier League win under Marco Silva and leave Crystal Palace with an all-too-familiar sense of regret. The substitutes Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun struck twice in the final three minutes at Goodison Park to punish Roy Hodgson’s profligate side.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin sparks Everton’s late demolition of Crystal Palace
Only Huddersfield Town have scored fewer goals than Palace in the Premier League this season and it was not difficult to locate the root of their problems on Hodgson’s return to Merseyside. Luka Milivojevic was thwarted from the penalty spot by Jordan Pickford and the visitors missed several other inviting opportunities before Everton’s determination – and their manager’s substitutions – turned the game.
There was a fresh, balanced look to the Everton team, with André Gomes making his first appearance since a summer loan from Barcelona, Bernard operating on the left and Richarlison continuing in attack. But they were the latest to find Palace an obstinate and awkward opponent away from Selhurst Park. The first third of the contest was devoid of incident or goalscoring opportunity, a procession of petty fouls disrupting the rhythm. Eventually the visitors’ threat from out wide began to stretch Everton and improve the spectacle although their limitations in front of goal – a consistent problem this season – again drove Hodgson to distraction in his technical area.
James Tomkins was first to send the former England manager apoplectic by steering a free header wastefully wide from Andros Townsend’s inviting delivery. Minutes later, with Palace increasing the pressure, his team were denied by a combination of Pickford and the crossbar. The Everton keeper foiled Milivojevic for the first time in the game with a low save from a 25-yard free-kick that was bent around the wall. From the resulting corner, taken by Townsend, an unmarked Tomkins headed back across goal for Cheikhou Kouyaté to head against the woodwork from close range. Kouyaté then headed a clearer opening wide.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin sparks Everton’s late demolition of Crystal Palace
Palace were physically strong, compact and disciplined – a recipe to frustrate the hosts throughout – and should have broken the stalemate when awarded a penalty on the hour. Wilfried Zaha won it, much to the consternation of the home crowd who were incensed when he escaped a booking for diving seconds earlier. They could have no complaints on this occasion. Turning back inside the fit-again Séamus Coleman, Zaha was caught on the ankle by the Everton captain and Anthony Taylor was well-placed to spot the offence. Milivojevic struck the penalty hard and low but straight down the middle of Pickford’s goal. The keeper intervened with his feet, sending the ball skyward and Goodison into uproar. It was Pickford’s first penalty save since the shootout against Colombia in the World Cup. It was also the turning point in Everton’s afternoon.
Silva’s side had been neat in possession without finding the urgency or the right decisions to hurt Palace in the final third. Coleman fired an early chance over the bar and Wayne Hennessey saved well from Gylfi Sigurdsson when the in-form midfielder was picked out by the Republic of Ireland captain inside the area. But it was only after Pickford’s penalty save that they exposed the visiting defence. Theo Walcott was played through by Sigurdsson’s within seconds of the spot-kick and, though Hennessey saved well from the winger, Everton maintained the pressure. A double substitution from Silva helped turn it into three points.
Ademola Lookman and Calvert-Lewin had only been on the pitch for five minutes, replacing Walcott and Gomes respectively, when the former fed the latter for a late breakthrough. Found in space on the left by Richarlison, Lookman floated a delightful ball into the six-yard box where the England Under-21 international was perfectly placed to head beyond Hennessey. Two minutes later, Palace were caught out when pushing for an equaliser.
Jeffrey Schlupp was harried out of possession by Sigurdsson and when Michael Keane launched a clearance upfield it sent Cenk Tosun racing clear of Mamadou Sakho. The Turkey international, Silva’s first substitute of the game, burst through and beat Hennessey with a powerful low finish.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin sparks Everton’s late demolition of Crystal Palace
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