Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace: Post, crossbar very unkind to Toffees

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Everton and Crystal Palace traded haymakers for 90 straight minutes at Goodison Park on Monday, with the two sides ultimately splitting the points after a 1-1 draw. Roberto Martinez’s Toffees will feel hard done by, though, having hit the frame of the goal not one, not twice, but three times on the night.

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In a bit of perfect symmetry, Romelu Lukaku marked his 100th appearance for Everton by scoring his 50th goal for the club (above video), rescuing a point for the home side after Palace so nearly completed another classic smash-and-grab away from home.

Palace’s best chance of the first half came and went in the 16th minute, when U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard made a reaction save of Connor Wickham‘s header at point-blank range. Yannick Bolasie whipped the cross in from the left wing, and Wickham flicked the ball on, but Howard was positioned perfectly at the near post and made the save with his chest.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Lukaku went so close to putting Everton into the lead in the 21st minute, but the big Belgian striker’s shot found only the front side of the far post. After a quick one-two with Ross Barkley put him into space, Lukaku made a quick turn and cut inside to put the ball on his favored left foot. His shot from the top of the 18-yard box had beaten Wayne Hennessey but found only the woodwork.

It was Wickham who nearly gave the Toffees the game’s first goal when his wayward headed clearance went horribly wrong and nearly found the back of his own net. Barkley whipped in a low, flat free kick from the left wing and Wickham rose as the first defender in the penalty area for Palace, the ball skipping off the top of his head and making its way to the far post where it hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced downward, missing the goal line by mere inches.

Lukaku combined with Tom Cleverley to create another very-nearly chance in the 66th minute. Barkley played the ball to Lukaku at the top of the Palace box, where he backheeled the ball to Cleverley in a bit of space. Cleverley hit a first-time volley with his right foot that was always dipping away from Hennessey, but the Welsh ‘keeper did well to spring across the face of goal and get fingertips to the ball to tip it over the bar.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Palace found themselves on the back foot for much of the second half, but eventually broke through against the run of play in the 76th minute, when Scott Dann rose above the crowd to head in Jason Puncheon‘s corner kick.

Lukaku unleashed a brilliant strike only to hit the crossbar two minutes later. The 22-year-old fired a dipping, swerving volley, which had Hennessey beaten all the way, from just outside the penalty area with that same left foot. Alas, it was the Toffees’ third time clanging the ball off the frame of the goal.

On 80 minutes, Everton — and Lukaku — got their very deserved goal to equalize. Gerard Deulofeu broke down the left wing and hit a low, stinging cross to the far post, where Lukaku was waiting, shielding the nearest defenders with the full frame of his body, making the finish a simple tap-in from three yards out.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Left back Leighton Baines made his return to first-team action as a 62nd-minute substitute after more than 10 months out injured (last appearance for Everton was Jan. 13, 2015).

With the draw on Monday, the Toffees climb two spots, up ninth in the Premier League table, a point behind Palace, West Ham and Liverpool who are all level on 23 points at sixth, seventh and eighth in the league respectively.

Chelsea needs to wait “48 hours” to assess Mount

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Mason Mount‘s move from the Championship to the Premier League has been nearly seamless.

His adjustment to the Champions League was cut down too quickly to get an understanding of whether it would be too big of a jump.

[ MORE: Match recap | Barkley drama ]

Mount, 20, was chopped down by Valencia’s Francis Coquelin, the former Arsenal man, and had to leave the game after just 16 minutes.

Here’s Frank Lampard, from ChelseaFC.com:

“He’s got an ankle injury but we don’t know how bad it is. We’ll have to assess it in the next 48 hours to see the scale of the injury. It was a shame because he started the game well and it meant we had to make the change early on.”

Mount scored nine times with four assists on loan under Lampard at Derby County last season, and has already chipped in three goals for Chelsea this season.

Lampard turned to Pedro off the bench on Tuesday, but any lengthy absence for Mount will spell more time for American youngster Christian Pulisic.

UEFA Champions League Wednesday preview: Man City, Spurs debut

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Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur begin their UEFA Champions League campaigns on very different results and with very different vibes.

City is coming off a stunning 3-2 loss to injury-hit Norwich City, and is set up in Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk for the third-straight season, a side which beat Pep Guardiola once in four tries between 2017/18 and 2018/19 in the UCL.

[ MORE: UCL Tues. wrap ]

But on Wednesday, Guardiola’s men are going to carry a similar feel to one of his old Barcelona teams, as Pep seemingly will have Fernandinho pull a Javier Mascherano and drop into the back line.

Yes, Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi are Manchester City’s hopes at center back, now that John Stones has joined Aymeric Laporte on the shelf.

“For me as a manager it’s an incredible challenge,” said Pep Guardiola. “But I believe a lot, people don’t know the spirit and resolve to solve this problem. The players going to come back with Dinho, Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis. … It’s happened, but what we are not going to do is complain. We have to have 11 players on the pitch and I like it, to find a solution. For the players as well to find an incredible step forward.”

Spurs, meanwhile, will simply be trying to build on any momentum gained by a 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at the weekend, a win which came after manager Mauricio Pochettino begged his side to “re-focus” after a relatively poor start to the season.

Now a bit more relaxed, Spurs head to Greece as the clear favorites against stingy Olympiacos. These are, after all, the finalists of last season’s tournament.

Pochettino won’t be sleeping on the challenge, from The London Evening Standard:

“They have good players and if we are not focused and don’t take our best game we are going to suffer. But last season we played in the final of Champions League, so it’s normal people think before the game, Tottenham is one step above Olympiacos but in the end you need to show it on the pitch.”

Spurs are one of two early kickoffs on Tuesday.

Full UCL Wednesday schedule

12:55 p.m. ET
Club Brugge v. Galatasaray
Olympiacos v. Tottenham Hotspur

3 p.m. ET
Bayer Leverkusen v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Paris Saint-Germain v. Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid v. Juventus
Dinamo Zagreb v. Atalanta
Bayern Munich v. Red Star Belgrade
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Manchester City

American coach Marsch speaks after landmark Champions League day

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Jesse Marsch made his UEFA Champions League debut on Tuesday, a historic first for not just the Wisconsin native but also his country.

Marsch, 45, oversaw Red Bull Salzburg’s 6-2 demolition of Genk, becoming the first American to win a UCL match as manager.

[ MORE: Champions League Tues. wrap ]

“We knew we were going into the match full of confidence,” he said, via the Salzburg site. “We knew too that we could put in a performance of this quality. I wasn’t pleased with a few situations, such as conceding for 3-1. That shows our incredible mentality though as it prompted us to give a few more percent and immediately score two goals.”

The ex-New York Red Bulls manager and RB Leipzig assistant manager got another three goals from incredible 19-year-old striker Erling Braut Haland, who nows has 17 goals in nine matches this season.

“It is an absolute joy to work with this team. We have a lot of players who just know how to battle, and that rubs off on the others. You can see that on the pitch on nights like tonight.”

There will be tougher nights ahead for Marsch, who is in a group with Liverpool and Napoli, but Tuesday was a fine start for the tactician. And it was a banner moment for American coaches abroad, who’ve been led by past and present USMNT coaches Bob Bradley and Gregg Berhalter.

Maybe one day that’ll be Marsch’s title… but it seems like he may have some loftier ground to cover on his path through world soccer.

Klopp: Liverpool made wrong decisions; Penalty also incorrect

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is going to bat for his left back after Andrew Robertson gave away what became the decisive penalty in a 2-0 loss to Napoli in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s a penalty,” Klopp said. “What can I say, for me, it is clear and obvious no penalty. He jumps before any contact, we can’t change that.”

[ RECAP: Napoli 2-0 Liverpool ]

For what it’s worth: It sure seemed like both a foul on Robertson and a comical embellishment from Callejon, but we digress.

Liverpool just didn’t have it on the day, like when Sadio Mane played a terrible pass to Mohamed Salah on what could’ve been an easy 1-0 lead.

In the moments they did have it, there was Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret making a splendid save.

“We played a lot of good football but didn’t finish it off. We controlled moments but had not enough chances in the end. We made decisions that were not right and have to accept the result. It was very often the final ball that was not right.”

Also, forgive Klopp if he has stopped enjoying the beautiful country of Italy.