Everton 2 - 0 Crystal Palace
Given it was still about two and a half hours until kick-off, we were a bit surprised by the number of parked cars at our usual parking area. We were in the pub with plenty of time to kill. Steven, an Evertonian friend who had travelled over for the game from Netherlands, joined us for a few beers also. It was nice to catch up with him and his Dad.
The team news information came through and we were all pretty excited to see Andrew Gomes had made the starting XI. Seamus Coleman also returned with Yerry Mina making his first appearance in an Everton squad, albeit as an unused substitute.
We headed on to Goodison Park in good time, even stopping for a bit of food on the way. The way the atmosphere was bubbling pre kick-off – you felt you were going to experience the famous Goodison Park roar throughout but such turgid and scrappy was the first half, the only noise you could really hear was the sound of the Crystal Palace supporters singing “This is a library”.
Indeed, Crystral Palace proved stern opposition, particularly in the first half. Gylfi Sigurdsson came closest to scoring for Everton when his drive from a Seamus Coleman cross was slapped around the post by Welshman Wayne Hennessey. At the other end of the pitch, however, it was Chekhou Kouyate who came closest to scoring in the half when his header from a corner kick came back off the underside of the crossbar and was bundled away out of play.
It was a difficult half to watch with neither team really settling, but Everton did at least finish the half strongly and Richarlison wasn’t too far away from scoring when he rose well to head Lucas Digne’s header at goal, but it was about a yard over the crossbar.
Mercifully Everton have changed the half-time entertainment and no longer do the ‘Generations Game’ style carousel, and have instead thankfully reverted to the old ‘Hit The Bar’ competition. That certainly makes half-time much more bearable.
Everton attacked the Gwladys Street in the second half and the crowd came to life, instilling a much better atmosphere as we willed the team on. It was quite the struggle, with our forward line really failing to find a telling cutting edge in the final third, but our performance was much improved on the first half.
We were probably in the ascendancy when Crystal Palace earned themselves a penalty when the infuriating Wilfred Zaha scampered into the box, drew a foul from Seamus Coleman, and gladly hit the deck. Anthony Taylor pointed to the penalty spot. I haven’t seen it since so have no idea if it should have been a penalty or not. In any event, up stepped Luka Milivojevic who went down the middle. Jordan jumped to his left but managed to leave enough of his leg outstretched in the middle of the goal and was able to volley the ball away from danger. Though not a great penalty, a brilliant save by Jordan and it was good work by whoever operates the screens at Goodison Park when it quickly displayed “ENGLAND NO 1” while showing repeats of the save.
This really ignited the crowd and Goodison Park became something of a cauldron. I’ve got to say, I’m liking the atmosphere that’s generally generated from Marco SIlva’s style of football. I always felt the Goodison Park atmosphere was good under David Moyes, largely due to the high tempo play he would instil. Under Roberto Martinez’s slow-paced, patient football the atmosphere was often flat. Under Ronald Koeman it was indifferent, and under Sam Allardyce it was toxic. Marco’s tempo makes the atmosphere a bit more like the David Moyes days, which is a good thing in my opinion.
Hope turned to expectation and, shortly after the spot-kick, Theo Walcott was put through on goal and should have scored but was thwarted by Wayne Hennessey. Marco Silva bravely went for the kill. Cenk Tosun had already been introduced, but he added Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to the fray, and all three made telling contributions to secure three valuable points.
With time receding and Everton on the front foot, Lookman picked up the ball at the edge of the penalty area and crossed, Calvert-Lewin, despite Wayne Hennessey getting a hand to it, heading the ball into the net and triggering jubilant scenes in the stands.
Crystal Palace then launched forward from the restart and Michael Keane gave the ball the big hoof up field. Cenk Tosun was onto it, away from the defender and through on goal, and finished smartly through the legs of Hennessey. Everton with two late goals from two late substitutes causing an eruption of joy at Goodison Park, oh, and you’ve got to love a knee-slide celebration!
The last few minutes thereafter were party time as the crowd celebrated the three points. Three wins on the bounce for Everton in what was an enjoyable day at the game. Next Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford could well be the biggest indicator yet of how far Marco’s Blues have come in a short space of time.
Pickford: My man of the match. He saved everything he had to well, not least the spot kick, and also distributed brilliantly in the second half. Played a very key role in our win, and that’s now two clean sheets in three games. Well done Jordan. 8
Digne: Did pretty well getting forward, albeit without much of an end product in the final third. 6
Keane: Rock solid at the back. 8
Zouma: It speaks volumes of Keane and Zouma that Yerry Mina is not a certainty to play such is their form. They’ve struck up a good partnership together and seem quite settled. 8
Coleman: Not quite at the races. 5
Gueye: Though a lot of his passing was astray, his ability to win the ball and intercept was extremely valuable and important to our victory. 8
Gomes: An impressive debut from André particularly given he hasn’t played in some time. He was a little rusty but you can see he’s a top player. He always seems to find space and have time on the ball and has a calm head on his shoulders. I’m looking forward to seeing how he’s doing in about 10 games time when he’s really up to speed but I think we’ll enjoy having him. A Rolls-Royce of a player. 7
Sigurdsson: Effort was there but he didn’t quite orchestrate as he has in the previous few games. 7
Bernard: Not quite at his best but always a threat. 6
Walcott: A bit off colour. 6
Richarlison: The pick of the forward line. Put in a solid brave effort. 7
Tosun (for Barnard): Took his goal very well and linked up the attack. Great to see him come in and contribute. I really want him to succeed. He seems a good lad and looks to be popular with his team mates. 8
Calvert-Lewin (for Gomes): What a great impact from Dominic. Well done. 7
Lookman (for Walcott): Also a great impact. Well done, Ademola. Worth a start against Manchester United? 7
Reader Comments (51)
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1 Posted 22/10/2018 at 06:23:29
Hopefully the fluency will come with more game time together as the team settles down. Certainly Walcott was not on the same wavelength as Coleman or Richarlison. And Bernard had similar issues. But that comes with game time playing together.
Gomes looks like he could be the missing link. A real Arteta-like presence. Lookman's body language is transformed and I can now see why we didn't sell him.
Tosun's confidence looks back. A Lukaku-like goal at the end.
For the first time in ages I'm looking at our first XI and thinking there's no real weak links there. They didn't really gel, and there's question marks over our right flank, but I think we've got a decent team on our hands.
2 Posted 22/10/2018 at 08:02:13
Agree about Gomes, he oozes class and has the confidence to use it plus he's obviously a fit lad to play 80 minutes against a team of runners after so long out.
3 Posted 22/10/2018 at 09:17:38
4 Posted 22/10/2018 at 09:58:55
Lookman is quality and the competition for places can only be a good thing. Let's get at 'em next weekend at Old Trafford. COYB!!
5 Posted 22/10/2018 at 10:28:28
First goal, Keane and Zouma both won headers to keep the play alive and, after watching it again on MotD, I've got to say that it looked like Michael Keane made a great percentage ball, the way he passed it long down the channel for Tosun to come alive.
I've slagged Tosun lately, but that was a great first touch and the way the crowd went berserk when he scored... surely that more than anything will give him the confidence to go and do it again.
6 Posted 22/10/2018 at 10:29:35
This was my first game of the season and I agree, the atmosphere, the vibe was much more positive than recent seasons I was well impressed at the support for the latter part of the second half. MotD pundits aluded to such too.
I liked the Gueye and Gomes combo in the middle. I thought Gomes had an exceptional first outing . and a well deserved standing ovation.
I agree with the call for Lookman ahead of Walcott. Walcott needs a kick up the ass.
Over the past 2 to 3 years, Coleman has become a father for the first time and suffered a nasty injury – both are pretty big events in a young man's life. He has been an excellent asset to the club but I feel that it's valid to question if he has what is required anymore. I hope so.
7 Posted 22/10/2018 at 10:53:23
A win at Old Trafford next weekend would be brilliant for team and fans alike.
8 Posted 22/10/2018 at 11:44:45
9 Posted 22/10/2018 at 11:55:32
I'd have opted for Keane as MotM... he won literally every header he contested for, and his clearances were accurate – they went right to one of ours, a skill Zouma hasn't mastered yet. This is a good-looking central defense at the moment, but I still have trust issues with Zouma.
Pleased with Gomes's debut. Showed what I saw of him at Barca, both good and bad and, although I wouldn't give him Rolls-Royce wings, I remain convinced he will be a contributor in attack. Against better attacking sides, however, his defensive frailties will figure more than they did yesterday.
10 Posted 22/10/2018 at 12:02:47
I don't think Seamus is head and shoulders above Kenny at the moment. What he's got is more than 200 Premier League games experience over Jonjoe; that puts him ahead of Kenny at the moment. I agree with Gerard (7), we've got two good right backs in the squad and one is pushing the other.
11 Posted 22/10/2018 at 12:32:28
You can't fault the guy's efforts and commitment to the cause, but I think he's a long way off the player we knew under Martinez.
Hopefully just needs a bit of time, but how long can we wait for?
12 Posted 22/10/2018 at 13:54:51
I think you will find all our young players in and around our 1st team - Kenny, Holgate, Davies, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman - receive far, FAR more scathing and dismissive criticism than Coleman.
Seamus made an absurdly good return to the 1st team last season v Leicester, playing arguably his best ever game for the club.
It was a gold standard performance that he could not be expected to reproduce every week.
Rather than being a 'hate' figure Derek claims, Seamus is a much loved and respected figure at the club.
But football at the highest level is unforgiving and our No 23's performances following his return to action last season, and even more so this season, have not been close to what we have come to take for granted from Seamus. Being the man and player he is, I am sure Seamus himself will not be entirely happy with his contributions.
It may be, as Mike Gaynes writes, that it could be another 3-4 months before Seamus is back to his best.
Equally possible is that, due to his double fracture, we may never see him return to such exalted levels.
Based on what I've seen this season, Kenny is a lot closer performance wise to Coleman than some are claiming.
And curiously enough, Kenny is drawing exactly the same criticism that Coleman drew when he first broke into the side on return from his loan to Blackpool, even though comparatively speaking Kenny's 1st team experience has come at an earlier age than Coleman's did.
13 Posted 22/10/2018 at 16:57:58
Most supporters raved about Bernard in his last few games. On Sunday, things did not quite work out the way he probably wanted them to. He still has lots to offer and will also have games that are below his standard. If so, we now seem to have good players to take his place.
Despite everything, I feel we should be satisfied with Sunday's performance. That means there is still room for improvement. We were much better than Palace and fully deserved to win. They were given far too much credit by the media and their own manager. Not surprising as the media always supports the underdog using such terms as "gallant" and "hard-working", when they only had one player,"Saha" who really troubled our defence. As for any defeated manager's perspective, they are always unlucky and deserved more. This particularly applies to the likes of Mourinho who feels he deserves to win all thirty eight games every season.
We only have to wait until next weekend to find out. Personally I hope he is complaining about the result after next Saturday's game. CYOB... don't let us down. Make Mourinho even more miserable than he already is.
14 Posted 22/10/2018 at 19:59:18
15 Posted 22/10/2018 at 20:54:04
Wait a minute, you are kidding, right??!
16 Posted 22/10/2018 at 21:11:13
17 Posted 23/10/2018 at 10:43:44
A great win, three on the bounce, clean sheets being recorded and players that are starting to play to their strengths and believe in their own abilities, a real team ethic that I hope will carry us on to the Xmas period and beyond.
Dare we dream of all three points at Old Trafford on Sunday!?
18 Posted 23/10/2018 at 12:40:22
19 Posted 23/10/2018 at 13:04:48
I also have concerns, and that is that he seems to have lost more than a yard of pace and that it's really affecting his game.
I hope he recovers his fitness and the pace returns, but he was fit by the end of last season, and Leicester aside, he struggled on his return. So, I remain concerned that, even once he gets his fitness back, he will still be lacking that searing pace he once had.
Time catches up with us all and Seamus is over 30 now.
20 Posted 23/10/2018 at 14:21:32
But, I also agree that, since the injury, he has stopped doing some of the things that made him so special. In particular, he seems to have lost the confidence to burst into the box and pull the ball back from the byline. We used to score so many goals from doing that.
You can't blame him. He suffered a horrific injury from an even more horrific challenge. Anyone would be mentally scarred by that. I really, really hope he gets his confidence back by playing games this season. I think he will.
21 Posted 23/10/2018 at 20:13:32
Hopefully this Sunday the whole team will resonate to a victory tune.
Seems a life time away but we used to turn them over home and away most years after they came back up to the 1st Division.
It seemed to turn around 1990, but at long last our club is in a good position to continue its rejuvenation, and beating Man Utd would be a nice tonic.
22 Posted 23/10/2018 at 23:12:43
Viewing this more than a few times, it looks to me like Seamus actually gets the ball before Zaha's leg (lazily) makes contact with Seamus'.
I understand why it was called. But I'm not so sure it was a penalty after all?
He definitely gets a piece of the ball before contact.
Has anyone seen this (again) and thought maybe it isn't a penalty?
23 Posted 23/10/2018 at 23:21:27
It was a little harsh on Seamus but it was a penalty. And he had done well up to that point against a very dangerous player.
I thought Gomes did very well and could be a tremendous asset now that he is fit.
24 Posted 23/10/2018 at 23:24:54
I was thinking of that as well. If you're going to call Seamus's penalty, surely an arm around the neck of a player wrestling him back so he can't get on the end of a cross is a penalty too?
Nit-picking, and arguably blue-tinted specs, but worth noting in my opinion.
25 Posted 24/10/2018 at 00:46:11
26 Posted 24/10/2018 at 02:39:21
My take on it is, in slo mo it looks to me like he has initiated the contact by moving his own foot toward Seamus and going down.
Very difficult call for the ref but he bottled it big time on the Richarleson decision.
27 Posted 24/10/2018 at 11:13:20
But he does look like he's a bit off the pace and looks a bit more vulnerable defensively while offering much less going forward. It's no surprise Palace were targetting him not Digne who is a solid technical defender, albeit less useful going forward.
Hopefully he can recover his form and fitness but someone above mentioned Oviedo, and fo a time, he looked excellent for us but after the terrible leg break, was never the same.
28 Posted 24/10/2018 at 13:19:14
Check the OS 5 minute highlights. At :18 in you can see the ball change it's forward path after Seamus gets a toe on it just before Zaha cuts back and goes down.
The better angle might be at :38 in - it's more close up. The ball is behind Zaha's legs. Seamus dives in and does get a touch (slight) to my eyes.
I think it's one of the reasons Seamus reacted so adamantly when it was called against him.
Check it again I'm fairly confident he gets a touch on the ball.
Be keen to watch the rotation of the ball as well. Zaha cuts back and the ball is rotating east-to-west. After Seamus puts a foot in the ball rotates north to south.
Forgive the compass description, but I'm sure he's gotten a touch on the ball.
29 Posted 24/10/2018 at 13:37:11
30 Posted 24/10/2018 at 13:48:11
Or more likely – that's the side of the field that Zaha plays, so the majority of their play will always go through him.
I thought Seamus did well. Albeit it was a penalty, Zaha was always going down with the first point of contact. Coleman is still getting used to the partnership with Theo and vice versa.
I can't and hopefully won't see any starting changes for Old Trafford. We need the same front four to press high up and harass their defense and bring on Lookman and Co for the last 15-20 mins.
31 Posted 24/10/2018 at 13:48:19
Jamie #28, perhaps, if you look at it frame-by-frame. But even if so, there was no way for any human eye to see it in real time. Bottom line for me is that, even with a possible touch and Zaha taking full advantage, the penalty is still not a bad call. I'd have whistled it.
And I'm still backing Seamus to be back at full form within 3-4 months.
32 Posted 24/10/2018 at 13:49:06
As a right-back myself (now centre-back as I'm unbelievably slow), I've always loved Coleman. But I do have some doubts as to whether he'll ever reach his previous heights again; very few if any do after such an injury.
The standard of our first team has gone up under Brands and Silva this season and I will expect it to do so again next season. It may well be that right-back is a position we can improve in; there's little room for sentiment at highest levels.
33 Posted 24/10/2018 at 13:58:30
Getting a touch on the ball no longer definitively prevents a foul being called. I think it was the right call. Coleman gained an advantage from tripping Zaha who was still in possession despite Coleman's touch.
34 Posted 24/10/2018 at 14:23:07
The easy thing for him to do is to play Kenny and next season Kenny is too old for selection and his dilemma is gone. Also, if Wan-Bissaka keeps playing, and Kenny remains out the side, then he again can make an easy decision.
For what it's worth, I thought Wan-Bisakka was fantastic on Sunday. He looks a player. The only thing is that he excels playing for Palace in the way Palace plays. What would he be like playing for an attacking side like us? I believe Kenny has the edge over him there. But this kid certainly needs to be monitored.
As for Zaha targeting Coleman, I agree with Liam. Zaha played where Zaha plays. There was no targeting, he did his usual. Coleman coped ok with Zaha. Not great, but only a few issues, including the penalty. Zaha could have given a peak Coleman a few problems. So, all judgements need to be tempered in that regard. Although, I do retain my concerns.
35 Posted 24/10/2018 at 14:54:16
Either way, that tended to be the side where they had most joy and that's not the only time this season. I hope he can recover to 100% because I've always like Seamus. He was so cheap to buy, has given sterling service, rather like Baines, and if I am to believe the quoted salaries at EFC, he has been very underpaid compared to the crazy amounts we have lavished on assorted rubbish.
36 Posted 24/10/2018 at 14:58:59
To add to that, he was actually dropped in September for poor performances. Plus, despite Sunderland needing to take his £40k plus off their wage bill, not least for the divisiveness within the squad that is an inevitable consequence of that, there were no takers this summer.
He may just about have found his level, but it ought to have been higher than that.
37 Posted 24/10/2018 at 16:24:12
I hope we're looking for someone now, to buy in the summer, so we can begin the handover process in the 2019-20 season when Seamus will be in his 32nd year.
38 Posted 24/10/2018 at 17:30:03
But he's not 18. He turns 21 next month. He's only eight months younger than Kenny.
39 Posted 24/10/2018 at 17:39:05
I also don't agree with Palace targeting anyone in particular. Zaha moaned at the ref at every opportunity and got his rewards with a very soft penalty.
Without doubt, Kenny has improved but he isn't at Coleman's level yet. He may get there next year who knows but he is definitely one to develop rather than just go out and buy someone.
40 Posted 24/10/2018 at 17:39:20
At this level, are we talking muscle-memory, maybe?
Still, I noticed him gesticulating a lot the last game, but not getting the ball back when he clearly wanted it. I'll put that all down to getting the team properly gelled after all the changes we've made so far this season.
Just as a PS: I've broken my ankle bone twice. My leg did not at all work as I expected it to afterwards, and it took me a few years to get adjusted.
41 Posted 24/10/2018 at 18:10:40
42 Posted 24/10/2018 at 18:18:38
43 Posted 24/10/2018 at 18:35:04
"Lukakus now gone eight games without a goal and Jose Mourinho admitted afterwards that his ‘first touch was a source of concern."
Oh I remember!
44 Posted 24/10/2018 at 18:35:28
45 Posted 24/10/2018 at 18:50:48
46 Posted 24/10/2018 at 19:47:33
47 Posted 24/10/2018 at 21:22:13
I sincerely hope he is dropped for our game. I could see him coming back and being very motivated to beat his current team.
If they drop him, great. If not, I hope he pulls his "Romelu sleep-walking" act.
Man Utd is ripe to be beaten... Ripe I tell ya!
48 Posted 24/10/2018 at 22:26:40
Player not scored at home since March, can't hit a barn door at the moment.
Who you gona call? Everton!
49 Posted 25/10/2018 at 01:12:41
50 Posted 25/10/2018 at 10:01:11
Firstly, as Mike pointed out, Wan-Bissaka is only half a year or so younger than Kenny. They are direct rivals.
Secondly, if anything, I think Kenny is weaker offensively. Wan-Bissaka scores higher for completed passes and for key passes per game. He also is rather stellar running with the ball, beating his man over twice per game which compares well with the best wingers in the league (he is 6th rated in Premier League, tied with Sterling). Impressive; reminiscent of a young Coleman perhaps.
I certainly agree that the Palace man is worth keeping an eye on but I have a feeling that, when he moves, it may be to a richer club than us. He looks a true dynamic, modern fullback.
51 Posted 25/10/2018 at 19:35:16
As I wrote on another thread, Gomes is the new Martin Dobson. A Nr 8 Midfield General! Play him in front of Gana. Only one defensive midfielder required. Gana is best then.
Mina to replace Zouma in two weeks. Lookman to replace Walcott. Dowell introduced as sub again.
We can beat Man Utd. Their weakness being at right-back and centre-half (Smalling). They will score. But so can we.
Good report, Paul.
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