Everton – Crystal Palace was a one-sided clash which ended even, as the Eagles somehow snatched a point after the Toffees missed so many chances.
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James Rodriguez gave Everton the lead in the second half after Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison had both missed several chances, plus Vicente Guiata was in fine form, but substitute Michy Batshuayi scored a late equalizer to snatch a point for Palace.
The point leaves Everton on 47 for the season, four points off the top four, while Palace have 38.
Three things we learned
1. Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison have off day: Yes, Guaita made some great saves, but both DCL and Richarlison missed several big chances. Calvert-Lewin has scored just three times in his last 15 Premier League games and it showed. He seemed to lack confidence when going through and almost had too much time to focus on his finish. Richarlison snatched at chances too (he had six attempts at goal) and all of those misses were costly not just against Palace but in the last few months. This will be the difference between Everton qualifying for Europe or not.
2. Guaita saves Palace from a mauling: This was a great goalkeeping display. Guaita was on form with a variety of saves and Palace’s defense was undone by Everton’s forwards three on so many occasions. Palace are usually a solid defensive team but they weren’t at Everton and somehow Guaita kept them in it as they snatched a late goal to steal a point.
3. Everton miss big chance to close gap on top 4: This is a big blow for Everton. They were a few minutes away from going two points off the top four with a game in hand. All season long they have got within one step of making that big step into the top four, but they keep coming up short, especially at home. Carlo Ancelotti’s side only have themselves to blame. They should have won this game easily and after Chelsea and Tottenham dropped points this weekend, this is a huge opportunity missed.
Man of the Match: Vicente Guaita – The Palace goalkeeper was superb, making several one-on-one stops and he raced off his line on numerous occasions. Without him Palace would have lost by five or six.
Palace had an early shot blocked as Wilfried Zaha tried to work some space on the edge of the box, but then it was all Everton.
First up, Richarlison was played in and set up Calvert-Lewin but some desperate defending from Palace blocked his effort. At the other end Eberechi Eze had a low shot that Robin Olsen saved easily.
Moments later Calvert-Lewin was played through after a fine ball from Mason Holgate, but Vicente Guaita stood tall to deny him.
Then Richarlison headed over from close range and he was then denied twice by Guaita after being played in by Andre Gomes.
Before half time Richarlison headed over and whipped a free kick wide as the hosts continued to create chances and Palace rarely threatened.
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Gylfi Sigurdsson had a goalbound shot blocked as Everton continued to press for the opener, and finally they broke through.
Lucas Digne crossed for Sigurdsson and his shot was saved and Calvert-Lewin almost got on the end of it but Seamus Coleman kept the ball in play and set up James to slam home the opener.
Guaita then denied Calvert-Lewin, again, as Everton carved through the middle of the Palace defense. Olsen pushed away Eze’s shot and stopped another from Zaha as Palace finally woke up.
Late on the brilliant Guaita again denied Everton and Richarlison, while Jeffrey Schlupp dragged a good chance wide and then substitute Batshuayi jumped off the bench to tuck home a late equalizer.