Crystal Palace vs Everton: The Eagles pulled out of free fall to soar again, as they were comfortable 3-1 winners over the Toffees at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
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Conor Gallagher got the opening goal not long before halftime and James Tomkins doubled the advantage just after the hour mark. Salomon Rondon made it 2-1 in the 71st minute, just as Everton began to ascend, but Gallagher put his name buck up in lights with a sensational strike from distance.
The victory sends Crystal Palace (19 points) into 12th in the Premier League table, now eight points clear of the relegation zone and only three out of 8th place. Everton (18 points), meanwhile, drop to 14th as the Eagles overtake them.
Crystal Palace vs Everton final score, stats, results
Final score: Crystal Palace 3, Everton 1
Goal scorers: Crystal Palace (Gallagher 41′, 90’+2, Tomkins 62′), Everton (Rondon 70′)
Shots: Crystal Palace 17, Everton 12
Shots on target: Crystal Palace 6, Everton 6
Possession: Crystal Palace 61%, Everton 39%
3 things we learned – Crystal Palace vs Everton
1. One-way traffic for an hour: One of the greatest compliments you can pay to a team, in any sport, is that they do not beat themselves; self-inflicted disasters are few and far between; there’s a steadiness that comes from never getting too high or too low. All of the above is true for Crystal Palace, one of the best possession sides in the Premier League (this season’s Brighton, perhaps). Ironically enough, going 2-0 ahead was the worst thing that could have happened to Crystal Palace, as they quickly shrunk themselves defensively and came under heavy pressure late on. Vicente Guaita did his part with a pair of key saves.
2. Gallagher a blossoming star for Palace (and Chelsea): If the season ended today, Gallagher would be a worthy Team of the Year selection (whether or not he would get the exposure and support is another story) — he’s been that good, particularly of late. In his last seven Premier League appearances, Gallagher has bagged four goals and tallied a pair of assists while also pulling the strings in Crystal Palace’s midfield with tireless work on both sides of the ball. He’s 21 years old and, by the way, on loan from Chelsea for the season. There are, however, reports of Chelsea having included a January recall clause in the loan agreement, thus it won’t be long before chatter over a Stamford Bridge return commences.
3. Players turning on Rafa: First, it was reported that left back Lucas Digne had been dropped for a second straight game over tactical disagreements and, perhaps, the way those grievances were aired. Then, Richarlison was visibly less than pleased at being subbed off after 58 minutes, and he made little effort to hide his frustrations in the face of his manager. Benitez’s reaction could be best described as bemusement.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 12, 2021
Man of the Match: Conor Gallagher – There’s an entire paragraph above explaining this selection (and the case for Team of the Season).
Crystal Palace vs Everton highlights
Conor Gallagher slots past Pickford for 1-0 (goal video)
Jordan Ayew did well to get into such a dangerous position down the right wing, but the cut-back ball had to be measured just right for the late-arriving Gallagher to set himself and make clean contact. Well done all around.
James Tomkins cleans up at the back post for 2-0 (goal video)
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Salomon Rondon pulls a goal back for Everton (video)
A thoroughly deserved goal for Rondon, whose deft touch set up the initial shot to be saved into his path for an empty-netter.