Crystal Palace saw little of the ball but did more when they had it as Everton fell to the table’s worst team as Crystal Palace proved lethal on the break in a 3-1 win at Goodison Park.
Mile Jedinak, Frazier Campbell, and Yannick Bolasie all scored to prove more than enough to cancel out Romelu Lukaku’s early goal.
Everton started the brightest and thanks to the opposite from Palace, they went one-up almost immediately.
Romelu Lukaku finished off a blistering run with an easy tap past Julian Speroni inside nine minutes for the opener. It was well worked on first-touch passes from Leon Osman to James McCarthy who found a streaking Lukaku. The play cut right through the heart of the meek Palace midfield.
Everton continued to dominate, owning upwards of 80% of possession through the first half hour as Palace barely had a sniff of the ball, and certainly not in a dangerous position.
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Osman himself almost had one himself, but his first-time shot from close range was parried and held by Speroni.
Unfortunately for the Toffees, a moment of stupidity on the other end allowed Palace a way back on the half-hour mark. Tim Howard appeared to be up to the run of Mile Jedinak, but just before Howard got to the edge of the box, McCarthy felled the Australian in the box and it was given a penalty. He buried it into the top corner himself, sending Howard the wrong way for the early equalizer.
The home side regained their possession supremacy, and looked to pump balls into the box for Lukaku, which nearly worked on a number of occasions.
Unfortunately after the halftime break, it broke down for the Toffees again on a mistake by Howard. Martin Kelly built down the right flank and lofted in a long but accurate cross. Frazier Campbell was waiting, and he clattered into Howard who failed to collect cleanly. It ricoched off Campbell’s head and bungled into the net for a 2-1 Palace lead.
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It would go from bad to worse for Everton as Palace grew in confidence with their lead. Jason Puncheon found Yannick Bolasie on the break, and the latter converted a sliding low finish past Howard to seal the win.
Everton will be disappointed with the defeat, having clearly dominated the game early and still finishing with a 75-25 advantage in the possession game and 7 corners to Palace’s 1, but they were much less incisive on the day overall. They pulled one back late as Leighton Baines picked up a goal with seven minutes to go but it was little more than a consolation as Julian Speroni made some good saves late to preserve the win.
The victory for Palace means the league’s bottom two teams starting the day both won, and they come off the bottom to join West Brom outside the relegation zone. Everton remain in 13th with the loss.
Everton: Howard; Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Stones (Mirallas 64′); Barry, McCarthy, Osman, Atsu, Eto’o, Lukaku.
Goals: Lukaku 9′, Baines 83′
Crystal Palace: Speroni; Kelly, Dann, Delaney, Ward; Puncheon, McArthur, Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie, Campbell.
Goals: Jedinak 30′ (pen), Campbell 54′, Bolasie 69′