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Venue: Goodison Park
Premier League
Thursday 19 May 2022; 7:45pm
3 2
Crystal Palace
Keane 54'
Richarlison 75'
Calvert-Lewin 85'
Half Time: 0 - 2 
Mateta 21'
J. Ayew 36'
Attendance: 38,448
Fixture 37
Referee: Anthony Taylor

Match Reports
2021-22 Reports Index
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  Keane booked
  Gomes (Alli 46')
  Doucoure booked
  Gordon (Gray 61')
  Richarlison (Kenny 90'+1)
  Subs not used
  Van de Beek
  Branthwaite (suspended)
  Rondon (suspended)
  Delph (injured)
  Mina (injured)
  Patterson (injured)
  Townsend (injured)
  Van de Beek (injured)
  Broadhead (loan)
  Gbamin (loan)
  Kean (loan)
  Nkounkou (loan)
  Simms (loan)
  Virginia (loan)

  Hughes booked (Milivojevic 57')
  Schlupp (Gallagher 74')
  J. Ayew booked
  Zaha booked
  Mateta (Benteke 81')
  Subs not used

Match Stats

Shots on target

Premier League Scores
Aston Villa 1-1 Burnley
Chelsea 1-1 Leicester
Everton 3-2 C Palace

1 Manchester City 90
2 Liverpool 89
3 Chelsea 71
4 Tottenham Hotspur 68
5 Arsenal 66
6 Manchester United 58
7 West Ham United 56
8 Wolves 51
9 Leicester City 49
10 Brighton & Hove Albion 48
11 Brentford 46
12 Newcastle United 46
13 Crystal Palace 45
14 Aston Villa 45
15 Southampton 40
16 Everton 39
17 Leeds United 35
18 Burnley 35
19 Watford 23
20 Norwich City 21

Match Report

For Goodison Park and a fanbase that has done something unique in the history of football these past fraught few weeks of rollercoaster emotions, this was the Last Chance Saloon. One last push of passion and energy, blue smoke and thunderous renditions from the Everton catalogue of chants.

A trip to Arsenal lay in wait on Sunday but Evertonians knew this was the last opportunity for one more collective trip to the well of emotion and devotion and to use the power of the Grand Old Lady and all her history to finally drag this club out of the mire and preserve its Premier League life.

For a third successive home game, fans lined the streets outside Goodison Park to usher the team coach towards the players’ entrance and turn the air blue. By most accounts, it was the most vociferous welcome yet for Frank Lampard’s team and the hope was that it would be enough to propel Everton to the three points that had eluded them at Watford and at Brentford in the preceding nine days.

By 8:30, the Old Lady was a murmuring shell as Evertonians contemplated a relegation battle going right to the wire at the Emirates, with all the uncertainty and danger that would entail. Everton were 2-0 down at half-time to Crystal Palace following a fairly dreadful first 45 minutes, with many of those lessons from a chastening season seemingly unheeded as a two-man midfield featuring the struggling André Gomes was overrun by Patrick Vieira’s confident charges and the Toffees’ infamous vulnerabilities at set-pieces were exploited by Jean-Philippe Mateta.

To add insult to injury, another one of those dangerous tackles that were supposed to have been outlawed by the Premier League failed to yield a red card for Jordan Ayew and the forward would pop up just two minutes after his ugly challenge on Anthony Gordon to bundle in a goal that was horribly reminiscent of Gary Ablett’s almost comical own goal against Wimbledon 28 years ago.

But, just like that “That Game” in 1994, the Toffees, more Goodison Gang than Crazy Gang, refused to lie down and over 45 minutes that are now irrevocably woven into Goodison folklore, amid an atmosphere that somehow surpassed those that have stunned neutral observers in recent weeks, they dug down deep and pulled off a thrilling comeback victory. Win number 1,878 in England’s top flight… as if it were written in the stars.

On rare occasion, thanks largely to the transformative introduction at half-time of Dele Alli and a decisive switch from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3, it was enterprising and smooth. More often it was scrappy and ugly; direct, uncompromising and uncultured football tailored to the desperation of the stakes. Mostly it was spirited, visceral and, by the end, pure Everton, as a classic diving headed goal scored by a No.9 in front of the Gwladys Street secured a quite remarkable 85th-minute winner.

This was a night that Dele, a largely forgotten January addition who has remained an enigma rather than undergo a renaissance after leaving Tottenham, and Calvert-Lewin, a player who has struggled to recapture anything close to his 2020-21 form, joined the ranks of the redeemed.

This was vintage Calvert-Lewin; all committed running, prodigious leaps, flick-ons and chest lay-offs before the decisive lunge to meet Demarai Gray’s curling free-kick and bury a header past Jack Butland to spark pandemonium in a stadium that was rocking to its foundations.

Behind him for 90-plus minutes was a cast of tireless heroes, most prominent among them Richarlison and Michael Keane who had scored the goals to bring Everton back from the dead to 2-2, Alex Iwobi who never stopped from start to finish, and veteran captain Seamus Coleman who atoned for a first-half error to roll back the years to play a vital role in a game for the ages in L4.

And on the sidelines, Lampard got to reprise those fist-pumping, bulging-vein celebrations that marked his arrival at Everton but this time in the knowledge that he had completed the first part of the massive job he undertook back in January.

Everton had started in the frenetic and adrenaline-charged fashion that has characterised their performances recently under Frank Lampard while the visitors were playing the more measured passing football.

It was the hosts who almost drew first blood, though, after a quarter of an hour when Richarlison lined up a direct free-kick after a foul by Joachim Andersen and from 25 yards out the Brazilian clipped the top of the crossbar with a sweeping effort.

Five minutes later, though, it was 1-0 to Patrick Vieira's side and it came in all-too familiar circumstances for Everton's supporters. André Gomes was deemed to have fouled Jeffrey Schlupp on Palace's left flank and when Eberechi Eze swung the resulting free-kick into the box, Mateta easily got in front of his marker to plant a header past Jordan Pickford from a central position in front of goal.

Vitalii Mykolenko had a decent opportunity at the far post in front of the Park End when he arrived to meet Seamus Coleman's clipped cross but he couldn't steer his volley on target and Richarlison's tame effort was saved by Jack Butland before Ayew ignited howls of protest from the Goodison crowd with a horrible tackle on Gordon that only resulted in a yellow card.

And just two minutes later, the Ghanaian doubled Palace's lead amid calamitous defending from Everton. Pickford only parried Mateta's cross away from goal out to Wilfried Zaha and then got a hand to the Ivorian's bouncing first-time shot but the ball fell to Ayew's head and he bundled it over the line as Mykolenko desperately tried to keep it from going it.

Gomes had once again struggled in a midfield that was being overrun at times by Vieira's men but a chance opened up for him from 25 yards out only for him to slip as he pulled the trigger and Butland was able to gather comfortably. Richarlison then went close with the last chance of the half as his header looped narrowly wide before an edgy Goodison contemplated the ramifications for the relegation battle of Burnley's goal at Aston Villa in the 8 o' clock kick-off at Villa Park.

Lampard, meanwhile, had already made up his mind to make a decisive and much-needed change by sending Dele out to warm up during the break. The former Spurs man had made sporadic appearances up until now but his impact in the second half was seismic and it was the foul on him that led to Everton pulling a goal back in the 54th minute.

Mykolenko swung in a deep free-kick, Mason Holgate headed it back into the danger area where Michael Keane took a touch before guiding a lovely left-foot finish into the far corner of Butland's goal.

Demarai Gray replaced the willing but flagging Anthony Gordon to re-inject some pace and verve to the Toffees' attack but it was the visitors who temporarily regained the initiative in the contest and it required another match-winning contribution from Pickford to keep Everton in it.

Palace moved the ball swiftly through the lines from back to front and Eze played in Mateta for a clear chance at goal but Pickford had positioned himself superbly to bat the Frenchman's shot behind with a raised glove. From the corner, Schlupp eventually fired straight at the Everton keeper who parried and gathered the ball safely.

Everton regained their footing and after Mykolenko's cross had just eluded Calvert-Lewin, they levelled with 15 minutes of an increasingly bruising contest to go and it came not long after Vieira had introduced the Blues' chief tormentor from the reverse fixture at Selhurst Park.

Coleman turned inside his man and clipped the ball to the back post, Dele's cross-shot was kicked back to Richarlison and the Brazilian dug it out from under his feet before scooping it past Butland with the help of a slight deflection off a Palace leg.

And then, with five minutes of the regulation 90 to go, Everton completed their amazing recovery after Coleman was dragged down by Zaha, setting up a set-piece for Gray to line up on the Blues' right flank.

The winger arced his free-kick behind the Palace defence and Calvert-Lewin threw himself at the ball, powering a wonderful diving header home. Goodison erupted and a small, ill-advised invasion of the pitch by ecstatic fans ensured that stoppage would stretch beyond seven agonising minutes.

Everton hung on, though, as the home faithful cheered every throw-in and free-kick earned before referee Anthony Taylor blew his whistle and charged towards the tunnel as the stands emptied onto the pitch in unbridled joy at survival achieved.

As they did after the wins over Chelsea and Leicester, the celebrations went on long after the final whistle, only this time the Goodison pitch was a high-decibel mass of jubilant Evertonians; a chorus of relief and joy following an evening of high drama and true Blue spirit.

Police and stewards formed an arc around the dugouts within which the players stayed after they had been mobbed by fans, some held aloft on the shoulders of supporters. Arm-in-arm, they chanted along with the crowd from the Goodison hymn book and eventually Lampard made his way through bowels of the Main Stand to emerge triumphant in front of the Directors’ Box to bask in adulation.

In his post-match interview, the manager once again struck all the right notes, acknowledging that while Everton haven’t won anything, the celebrations by the fans were an out-pouring of emotion from a fanbase that has gone through a horrible year, looked square in the face relegation from the top flight for the first time in 68 years and emerged with their proud membership of the elite intact. And they’d done it all together.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

Everton came back from a dreadful 2-0 deficit against Crystal Palace to win an incredible second half and secure Premier League survival, with goals from Keane, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin and tremendous scenes of celebration all over the field.

Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph are both out injured but Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey and Donny van de Beek are all in tonight's squad, with Branthwaite and Rondon suspended after getting red cards against Brentford.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues up-front alongside Richarlison and Gordon, with Gray dropped to the bench and Gomes getting another start despite being somewhat ineffective and prone to giving up silly fouls.

After another rapturous welcome for the team bus in Goodison Road before the game, the visitors got the game underway in front of a hugely expectant home crowd.

Everton worked hard to put Palace under an immediate high press and take the initiative. Zaha and Gordon got out their handbags inside 2 minutes, Zaha with a push on Gordon's throat, taking umbrage after Gordon came in hard on him. Plenty of talking but no sanctions…

Everton continued to press and Richarlison won the first corner to a tremendous cheer. But Gordon could not beat the first defender, Ayew.

Palace did get forward and Ayew got a strong header well wide, beating Mykolenko to the ball. At the other end, a cross was poorly overhit. But good recycling saw Mykolenko cross in again and Everton kept the pressure on until Holgate overhit his cross behind.

Palace overlapped easily past Doucoure and Schlupp won an easy corner, then mishitting his shot well wide. Gordon tried to advance, then Richarlison pathetically threw himself to the ground, drawing no sympathy.

Calvert-Lewin showed great height to head on a clearance but Gordon could not benefit and Palace attacked again through Zaha. Richarlisn goes down again after another prodigious Calvert-Lewin leap won the ball, and Anhomy Taylor gave Everton a decent threatening free-kick.

Richarlison readied the set-piece, 24-yards out, and clipped the top of the Palace bar, Butland perhaps getting his fingertip to it.

Everton then had to defend a set-piece, and it was so simple for Mateta at the far post, a free header on the wrong side of the marker.

Everton had failed to take advantage, whereas Palace had done the simplest of things to score, putting an entirely different complexion on the game as Everton's good start once again gave way to increasing desperation.

Mykolenko crossed in but Calvert-Lewin could not reach it. The ball was recycled and came across for a Mykolenko volledy that was well wide of the far post. At the other end, Zaha got in close for a header that could have gone anywhere but won a corner that Pickford collected.

Palace were exerting more and more control, Everton poor in trying to break forward but Richarlison got space for a weak shot at Butland. Gordon was fouled by Hughes, who was booked. The EVerton free-kick was taken by Gordon, delivered reasonably well by Gordon.

It all kicked off again when Ayew did a horrible scissors tackle on Gordon, should have been a red, of course... but wasn't, despite the VAR review.

And straight after that injustice, Coleman was embarrassed and Zaha galloped past him, crossed for Pickford to clear but straight to Zaha who played it back in, Pickford parried it to that man Ayew (who should have been sent off) on the goalline and he forced the ball over the line for a soul-destroying second goal.

Gomes was lifted a chance of a shot but he sipped and denied it the power that was needed. Gomes took dow Eze but no card. A chance seemed to pen up for Everton through Gomes but he passed to Gordon who could not eat his two markers.

Everton did get forward again, Mykolenko crossing in but Richarlison leaning backwards could do nothing to threaten the Palace goal. Calvert-Lewin once again won a high ball in but could not direct it.

An obvious handball by Schupp in his area was deemed accidental (?) and Palace were soon attacking again, until the whistle went for half-time. Plenty of huff and puff from Everton in the first half but all to no avail when silly simple goals are given up to a side that has nothing to play for.

Iwobi kicked off the second ha,f with Dele Alli on for Gomes — something of a massive move for Lampard. Everton tried to drive forward but naive moments form Gordon and then Calvert-Lewin saw possession lost cheaply. But some nice movement and passing almost ended with a good set-up from Coleman but played behind the strikers in the box.

At the other end, Palace looked imperious running without fear at the shell-shocked Everton defence, giving up a corner that was cleared to nobody — they were all back for the corner.

Eze got free and ran at the Everton defence again, beating three players but getting stopped eventually.But Everton got some possession and applied some better pressure without creating a shooting chance.

Everton attacked again but Doucoure put his crucial pass behind Dele Alli. Andersen took out Dele Alli but no punishment. Form the free-kick, headed back by Holgate to Keane, and exquisite finish from the big man with his left foot. Superb.

Everton tried more adventurous attacks, Calvert-Lewin not quite getting to a lose ball. Gordon piling on the pressure but his cross was wayward before Richarlisn ran in and forced a corner, but Mykolenko could not beat the first man.

Everton tried to press forward in a tremendous atmosphere, but Palace broke and forced a corner off Holgate. Gray replaced Gordon. Richarlison worked a good cross to Calvert-Lewin under pressure at the far post, he should have forced a shot but played it backwards.

Ayew and Eze cut through the Everton defence like the proverbial knife through butter, Mateta to score but Pickford pulled off another great save.

Calvert-Lewin does a similar robust challenge on __ but he got the ball. Everton continued to press for the equalizer that would at least get them a point. More hard challenges, Keane slipping as he went in on Eze very late: yellow card. Zaha then caught Dele, yellow card.

Calvert-Lewin forced a corner that eventually saw a weak shot from Doucouré. Mykolenko delivered a lovely ball in for Calvert-Lewin but he didn't get his body in the right position and could not execute the header.

Some excellent work by Gray fed Coleman whose cross caused havoc, the ball coming back off Gray and Richarlison scooping a very hopeful shot off the defender and past Butland into the Palace net.

It was manic as Palace attacked and Zaha looked set to score but he was a yard offside. Palace were seeing a lot more of the all now as the effort to get back in it seemed to have exhausted the Everton players.

Doucoure was shown yellow for pulling back Eze. Calvert-Lewin was unable to head on a high ball from Pickford with the final minutes ticking away. Zaha tried to tackle Coleman to stop him getting to a ball, giving up a dangerous free-kick for Everton 30 yards out.

Gray delivered it brilliantly and Calvert-Lewin headed it in even more superbly with power and accuracy, a tremendous goal for the big man — he absolutely launched himself to connect perfectly with this one — but idiotic Evertonians then ran all over the pitch! What utter fools!

An unbelievable recovery in an unbelievable game but would Everton now be punished for the idiocy of the passionate stupid fans who ran all over the pitch? But it was eventually cleared and the game restarted, with no doubt many minutes to be added on.

Dele Alli went on a silly run, with no-one in support, and ran the ball out as Kenny replaced Richarlison., 7 minutes added.

The manic nature of the game continued unrelenting, with battles and clashes wherever you looked as every player wanted the ball, and Lampard demanded more support from the fans to carry his charges over the line.

Palace were still keen to put pressure on Everton, Pickford coming out and colliding with Ayew. Everton resorted to pumping the ball forward, trying to deny Palace the ball.

Palace hoofed it up to Benteke, who handballed to the huge delight of the Goodison crowd, what a fantastic atmosphere with just 1 minute to go, Pickford clearing the ball long. Calvert-Lewin did his best to hold the ball in the corner and when it went forward, Taylor blew the final whistle that saw Everton safe in the Premier League for another probably tumultuous season.

Kick-off: 7:45pm, Thursday 19 May 2022

Everton: Pickford, Mykolenko, Holgate, Keane [Y:68'], Coleman, Iwobi, Doucoure [Y:82'], Gomes (46' Dele), Gordon (61' Gray), Richarlison (90' Kenny), Calvert-Lewin.
Subs: Begovic, Allan, Godfrey, Davies, Van de Beek, Welch.

Crystal Palace: Butland, Mitchell, Guéhi, Ayew [Y:33'], Eze, Zaha [Y:68'], Hughes [Y:32'] (57' Milivojevic), Mateta (80' Benteke), Schlupp (74' Gallagher), Andersen, Clyne.
Subs: Guaita, Ward, Kouyaté, Édouard, Kelly, Rak-Sakyi.

Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Mike Dean

Michael Kenrick

What a Night!

I managed to get out of work a few hours early, and headed over to Liverpool on the bus. Excited, apprehensive yet optimistic, I was nervous of what the evening had in store.

Lyndon had already suffered quite the ordeal with his luggage going missing during his flight over the pond. “Hopefully that’s the worst thing that happens to you today” I said.

Conscious of how the evening may pan out, we grabbed some food at Thomas Rigby’s as we figured we might not get the chance later. Lyndon and I then chatted for an hour or so about pretty much everything and anything but Everton. Whether that was subconsciously deliberate given what was at stake in the evening, I don’t know, but it was great to catch up with Lyndon. A little after 5pm Matt Jones from The Blue Room joined us for a jar or two, and as we ticked around 6pm we felt it was time to make a move towards Goodison Park. We were talking nothing but Everton at this point.

Lyndon and I were lucky enough to find a taxi pretty quickly and made the quick dart towards Goodison Park. We then went separate ways, Lyndon to go and catch up with Ell Bretland, myself to catch up with Steve and Thomas for a pint, two Dutch Evertonians who had also travelled in for the big game. It’s always good to catch up with them fellas. As we walked down Goodison Road and took in the electric atmosphere Steve commented “it feels like Everton are wining the league, but this is just to stay in the league”. He was correct. The support Evertonians have produced in the club’s hour of need has been as outstanding as it has extraordinary.

I was in my seat with about 20 minutes to go until kick off. It felt like a very protracted, though thoroughly enjoyable build up to the game, but now we were here. This is it.

The roar that greeted the players as they took to the field was breathtaking, truly phenomenal. I hadn’t seen the team news yet, and was baffled to see Andre Gomes again preferred to Allan. As expected, Michael Keane was recalled to the team following his sickness bout.

Seamus Coleman won the toss. The noise was deafening. And just when we were wondering where Gary was he appeared. “I didn’t want to come” he said. “I can’t face it”. You won’t meet many bigger Evertonians than Gary. I’m glad he was with us. It was a cagey beginning to the game. I thought the players looked visibly nervous and really struggled to take the game to Crystal Palace in the opening exchanges, indeed the Eagles settled far quicker into the game.

Richarlison has never scored a free kick for Everton though I doubt he has ever come closer than with his 25 yard effort which struck the Crystal Palace crossbar. That was a little unlucky, but that was about all we had in terms of opportunities in the opening spell, and indeed Crystal Palace opened the scoring quite easily when Eberechi Eze’s good ball into the box was well met by Jean-Phillipe Mateta.

Usually a crowd’s nervousness can transfer to the players though in this instance it felt the other way round, everyone, rightly became increasingly nervous, worried, agitated, and a little bit angry. A lot of this ire was directed at Andre Gomes who was producing an impact-less display. I felt for the Portuguese’, he was trying, but couldn’t get on the ball, and his efforts to win it back were in vain.

On 34 minutes Anthony Gordon was lucky not to have broken his leg, not for the first time this season, following a rotten challenge by an opponent, this time Jordan Ayew. Why he wasn’t shown a red card I don’t know. Such is schadenfreude, Ayew had the last wicked laugh when he finally scored with his collarbone following a series of ridiculous Everton mistakes. More than a few people both at half time and later in the pub compared it to the Gary Ablett own goal in 1994. They weren’t wrong, it was terrible.

We were all a bit disconsolate at the break. I was stunned with the position we’d found ourselves in and didn’t know what to say or do. I remember Gary talking at me and I could barely reply to him, I was lost. Ste said “Well we’re either going down or we’re going to witness one of the greatest ever Goodison nights” or something to that effect.

Each match day the fella at the end of the row and I, I’ve no idea what his name is, say hello and pat each other on the back as I shuffle past him. We barely ever say anything to each other apart from “alright mate”, but I always like seeing him on match day. As I came back from the loo at half time we looked at each and we probably both looked as crestfallen as each other. He looked incredibly sad, as probably did I, as we gave each other a sorry nod. All this time we’ve been awful this season, I hadn’t at any point believed we were going down until this moment then. Despite still having another game, I felt we were now on that spiral. We are going to be relegated.

All you could do was get behind the lads, and the sight of Dele Alli warming up and ready to go in full kit gave everyone a lift. The crowd did their bit, no question. We needed an early goal in the second half. It certainly felt like a long nine minutes until we got it, and in truth ‘til that point we didn’t look like getting it, and then out of nothing, a determined knock down from Mason Holgate fell to Michael Keane who took a touch and nonchalantly volleyed into the corner on his left foot. A lifeline for Everton. Back in the game. The atmosphere cranked up a notch.

The players grew in confidence, aided by a touch of class and calmness in possession from Dele Alli. And less than ten minutes later 1-2 became 2-2 when Richarlison’s scuffed effort somehow found the corner. You suddenly believed. It was incredible.

The important goal came of course, and what a header it was from Dominic Calvert-Lewin. A delicious free kick from substitute Demarai Gray, a bullet diving header from Dominic, and Everton had done it. We all hugged and held for dear life. Amazing. Some fans spilled onto the pitch, which wasn’t particularly helpful, as it meant we had to navigate seven minutes of stoppage time. It felt like a chunk of it had gone and I said to Ste “we must have used up five minutes of stoppage time by now surely?”. Ste, who had set his stopwatch, shook his head dismissively and said “two”. Two! Jesus, still five minutes to go.

Though tense, we negotiated it pretty well and were seldom in danger. Crystal Palace just wanted out of there and it was hard to blame them. Anthony Taylor started giving us all the 50/50 decisions, and who could blame him with the baying Goodison mob?

The whistle finally went. Anthony Taylor already making a hasty retreat across the pitch as he blew for full time. Evertonians, naturally ran onto the pitch. Once it got to the point of anybody being allowed on, which didn’t take long, Gary and Ste went onto the pitch. I stayed put for a while, taking it all in. Though then I saw Gary and Ste on the pitch having the time of their lives, and I got envious and went on the pitch myself. I saw the guy at the end of the row and we gave each other a big bear hug. To think at half time we were disconsolate.

On the pitch everyone was celebrating, hugging each other, singing, dancing, some lads were even having a kick around. I could do nothing. I was so stunned, totally beaten by this season from Hell, I just walked around speechless. A crowd began forming towards the players entrance. I had no idea what for, I couldn’t see Frank Lampard jumping up and dwn. People were beginning to leave and I did too, finally meeting Lyndon and Ste back at the statue. We were all rather speechless, unable to put what happened into words. We got the train to Moorfields and went to the Denbigh Castle pub (it’s great fun in there) to carry on the party…which we later finished off at Matthew Street. I got home not long before 4am. Not my most productive day of work today I must admit.

So that’s it for me this season. I’ll obviously take a passing interest in our game at Arsenal on Sunday, but am not bothered about watching it, I’ll be going to watch some cricket, with no TV in sight. I don’t care much for who wins the league, or who gets relegated. We’re safe, that’s all that matters. This season has been wretched, and I’m looking forward to not caring about the football for one weekend. A lot of comings and goings are required over the Summer, and we’ll have to do it on a shoestring it seems, but now isn’t the time to think about that.

Right now, relax. You’ve earned it. UTFT.

Player ratings:

Jordan Pickford: Having seen it again since, I have to feel Jordan was one of the many at fault for Crystal Palace’s second goal, though he was otherwise OK. His kicking was poor for a lot of the first half but he was improved after the break. Our player of the season. 6

Vitalii Mykolenko: He was OK, kept at it. 6

Mason Holgate: As an ever-present in our last six games, in which we have picked up 10 points, Mason has been an ever present, and thus an unsung hero in my book. Two clean sheets and his two goals and one assist far outshine nearly all of his outfield compatriots. He’s dug in when it mattered. He cares about our club, and if finances are on them wires for the foreseeable future, lads like Mason, who will go out there and give their best are invaluable. Well done Mason. 7

Michael Keane: A very welcome return to the team, and had he not have become sick ahead of the Brentford match maybe we would have got the job done then. Like Mason, he has also stood up to be counted, especially as he’s had to come into games as a last minute swap, or replacing players early in games. We were saying in the pub after the game that he’s quite a classy player Michael, pretty cultured at times, and thus we weren’t incredibly shocked by his well-taken goal. A good player, we could do a lot worse. 8

Seamus Coleman: Made a big error ahead of the second Crystal Palace goal, but he didn’t let it faze him and he kept on going. He had a tough job up against Wilfred Zaha but he came through it very well. 7

Alex Iwobi: He began at right back but at 0-2 down was pushed further forward. In the second half he never stopped trying. He never stopped believing. He wasn’t going to give this up. From zero to hero in a matter of months. Well done Alex. 8

Andre Gomes: I felt sorry for Andre, because his failings were not due to a lack of effort, it just didn’t work for him. He had to come off. 5

Abdoulaye Doucoure: He was a bit frustrating in the first half but he certainly upped his game in the second half and had a big impact. 7

Anthony Gordon: Not his best game, but not due to lack of effort. He’ll be jaded after a long slog of a breakthrough season. One of the few positives from the season. 5

Richarlison: Wasn’t quite at his best, presumably due to carrying an injury, but he got through 91 minutes and scored a vital goal of course. 7

Dominic Calvert-Lewin: He was colossal in the second half. He brought aggression to the party and Crystal Palace weren’t ready for it. His goal was a brilliant header, but his fight was just as important. A great effort. My man of the match. 9


Dele Alli (for Andre Gomes): Cometh the hour, etc. Dele settled into the game quickly and helped get us up the pitch. An Important introduction. 8

Demarai Gray (for Anthony Gordon): He also got into the swing of things quickly and put in a delicious ball for our winning goal. 7

Jonjoe Kenny (for Richarlison): Such is the blur of them final seven minutes, I really can’t remember anything Jonjoe did so can’t grade him.

Paul Traill

Match Preview

Everton go into what is arguably the most important match the club has faced in 24 years against Crystal Palace as the Blues seek the victory that will make sure of Premier League safety.

Sunday's painful and controversial defeat to Brentford means that Frank Lampard's team sit two points from safety with two games left to play, with their final match taking place at one of Everton's least-favoured venues, Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

The circumstances still favour the Toffees, with Leeds and Burnley needing to win themselves before the season is out to drop the Blues back into the bottom three, but no-one of an Everton persuasion will be wanting to rely on results elsewhere between now and Sunday evening.

Any hope that Yerry Mina might have staged a rapid recovery from the injury he sustained at Leicester was dashed by Lampard during his pre-match press conference but there was better news regarding Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey and Donny van de Beek.

Keane, who missed the Brentford game through illness, is well again to play while Godfrey and Van de Beek have overcome their respective thigh and groin problems in time to be added to the squad.

That will boost the manager's options in defence, where Jarrad Branthwaite is suspended following his sending off last Sunday, and in midfield where Fabian Delph is ruled out through injury.

Up front, Salomon Rondon is also suspended but Dominic Calvert-Lewin has shaken off the knock that left him limping through the final few minutes against the Bees and is also in the squad.

That raises the possibility that the striker could start successive matches up front alongside Richarlison.

What changes Lampard makes to the shape of his side remain to be seen but there is a feeling that 3-5-2 formation that he has used since the win over Chelsea is ripe for a reshuffle, particularly if he can restore the three-man midfield that has also given him success at Goodison since he came on board at the end of January.

Palace travel to Merseyside on the day of the game now rather than risk having their sleep disrupted by fireworks set off by Everton fans outside their hotel and they will kick off sitting in 13th place, albeit still in with a chance of finishing in the top half.

Playing confidently under Patrick Vieira's stewardship, they are capable of winning away from home as they proved at Wolves in early March Southampton last month while they also held Aston Villa to a 1-1 draw last time out.

The Eagles will be without Nathan Ferguson and talented winger Michael Olise, as well as defender James Tomkins and midfielder James McArthur.

For Everton, the situation could be very simple — win and all the concerns over relegation evaporate and the club can start to work towards ensuring that this situation is never repeated again, least of all next season.

A draw would leave things very much open to fate and the performances of Leeds and Burnley, even if the Clarets lose away to Aston Villa in a match that kicks off 15 minutes later than this one.

Goodison Park will provide one more raucous atmosphere under the lights in an attempt to roar the players over the line on what promises to be an emotional occasion whatever happens.

Kick-off: 7:45pm, Thursday 19 May, 2022
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Mike Dean
Last Time: Everton 1 - 1 Crystal Palace

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Mykolenko, Allan, Doucouré, Iwobi, Gordon, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

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