Crystal Palace 0 - 0 Everton

With family and friends residing in London, I travelled down to the capital on Friday evening and went out for a few beers around the Blackhorse Road tap rooms. Waking up in London on match day felt mighty convenient. After some breakfast with my sister, I was on my way towards London Bridge were I was meeting Chris, Michael and Stewart at the Old Thameside Inn, before moving on to The Rake where Leslie joined us, and then The Wheatsheaf.

I had to pick up our tickets from the ticket office near the Arthur Wait stand, and conscious of making sure we were there in good time, Leslie and I left the others a little early and grabbed a pint inside the ground while word filtered around that Fulham had beaten Leeds United 2-1. 

We got to our seats and found ourselves on literally the very front row by the corner flag as the players went through their last minute preparations directly in front of us before kick off. Mason Holgate was, perhaps surprisingly, selected at right back, though the news of Dominic Calvert-Lewin beginning the game was pleasing to all.

It was a bit chaotic down there with all sorts of goading between the two sets of supporters, and visibility was tough as we looked along the line... can you claim a refund for obstructed view due to people being too tall to the left of you?

Crystal Palace got straight down our right side from kick off and got a dangerous ball into the penalty area which was thankfully cleared. We eventually settled and had what felt like a good 10 minutes or so. Any opportunities were largely from distance with Dwight McNeil and Dominic Calvert-Lewin both having untroubling efforts on goal from distance. 

Though whatever we were doing well, we seemed to stop doing as Crystal Palace gained some initiative in the game and Jordan Ayew passed up a great headed opportunity. We were struggling to keep the Eagles at bay, though showed enough resilience to keep them out and eventually managed to get back on the front foot again, Alex Iwobi forcing a good save from Sam Johnstone with an excellent volley. It was tense if not spectacular, and we were happy enough to be in the game at the break.

Article continues below video content

The kids' half-time penalty shoot-out was nice and good-natured. A young Evertonian scored his penalty past the Eagle mascot and ran to the corner flag near us and gave it the old Tim Cahill celebration. It was nice to see Neal Maupay make a fuss of the young lad, high five him and give him his training top. And then in response, the young Crystal Palace supporter scored her penalty and ran over to us Evertonians with her finger over her lips in a "Shush" motion, which drew a good round of applause.

That was about as entertaining as it got in truth in what was a second half desperately short on quality. Dominic Calvert-Lewin almost scored though dragged his effort slightly wide of the post. Eberechi Eze did have the ball in the net though it was flagged offside, and he was also denied by Jordan Pickford who tipped his effort around the post, though that was largely it in a tame encounter.

Everton were resilient and dug in well with defending set-pieces and showed all the character they didn't show last weekend against Fulham, not least once Mason Holgate was given his marching orders with a second yellow card. He can have no complaints with the referee, though he can maybe complain about his goalkeeper, who's hospital pass put him in trouble.

But that was about that. Not a bad point on the face of it, especially having gone down to 10 men, and it may end up being a vital one. Though with Leicester City beating Wolverhampton Wanderers we now occupy a relegation spot. It looks like we, players and supporters are going to have to rouse ourselves for one more magical night at Goodison Park underneath the lights. Have we got the bottle?

After the match, I made it back to Euston Station in plenty of time for the 18:43 home, and caught up with Chris, Michael and Stewart on the train. And then I just caught my bus back and was home before 10pm. 

A good day out. Aside from the football.

Player ratings

Jordan Pickford: He gave Mason Holgate a bit of a hospital pass for the red card, but was otherwise very good and commanded his box expertly. 7

Vitalii Mykolenko: He had a good game defensively, really good I thought actually, though not a lot going forward. 6

James Tarkowski and Michael Keane: They were both very good and handled Jordan Ayew and then Jean-Phillippe Mateta very well. Hopefully that's last Saturday's horror show out of the system. 7

Mason Holgate: He was all at sea in the first half and finished the half with a caution. He was much better in the second half and was a bit let down by Jordan Pickford with the pass that allowed Jordan Ayew in. I wouldn't say Mason had to take Ayew down, but I can see why he did.  With so little game time, it was always going to be tough putting Mason in on that flank, and in the first half particularly, it really showed. 5

Idrissa Gueye: He nearly put us in trouble by losing possession late on, but I thought he had an okay game. 6

James Garner: I really like the look of James, he's a very gifted player and is more of a scrapper than I realised. He could have a say on the rest of the season yet. My Man of the Match. 7

Dwight McNeil: Another great shift from Dwight. 7

Demarai Gray: Decent in flashes though inconsistent. 6

Alex Iwobi: Also very good in moments and worked hard, though needs more consistency. 6

Dominic Calvert-Lewin: He didn't have a lot to work with though offers much more of a presence obviously. Great to have him back. 6

Ben Godfrey (for Mason Holgate): Brought on to cover for the red carded Mason Holgate, and he coped well as Crystal Palace went for the kill. 6

Neal Maupay (for Dominic Calvert-Lewin): Didn't have a lot to work with in the short time he had on the field so difficult to judge. 

Reader Comments (44)

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Martin Mason
1 Posted 23/04/2023 at 09:11:43
Paul, I was in that corner too and the problem wasn't people standing but people standing on seats especially those wonderful people who unfurled the black banner and denied everybody access. The game was actually very good from the Everton point of view and not a bad performance from a woefully poor Everton squad Tarkowski and Pickford excepted. There is no silver bullet for Everton, we are simply a very poor side; the return of Doucoure and Onana may just allow us to stay up. Garner works tidily within his own space but contributes little to the flow of the game, Iwobi's problem is that while he is undoubtedly fit he has little pace off the mark to pass or get away from his man. He is one of the many who must be discarded if we are to survive.
Ian Edwards
2 Posted 23/04/2023 at 09:41:22
Another game has slipped by. Another game without a win.

We were playing a team with a very average home record (5-5-5). It was one of the most winnable games left.

We are now in the Bottom 3. Anyone that says it wasn't 2 points dropped needs to give their head a shake.

Christopher Timmins
3 Posted 23/04/2023 at 10:24:05
Ian, the talent pool is such that any point won at this stage is a bonus.

We need Seamus back in the fold for the run-in, Dyche has obviously come to the view that Patterson is useless, we will have Doucouré for Newcastle; I suspect Gray will drop out and Iwobi will move wide right. I also expect Garner to retain his position.

The points haul from the past two games has been disappointing and I agree with you, Palace was a game that we should have been hoping to pick up a win.

I am hoping that 34/35 points might be enough as I find it hard to see where we will pick up more than 7 points in our remaining 6 games.

Any addition to the tally on Thursday will be a bonus!

Martin Mason
4 Posted 23/04/2023 at 12:22:33
No Ian, the reality is that we gained one point and lost nothing. Anybody who finds an alternative needs to give their head a shake. Not gaining 2 points isn't losing 2 points.
Michael Barrett
5 Posted 23/04/2023 at 12:28:45
I honestly think we wont win another game, we have seen this coming for years everyone has, if your honest with yourself. The sad thing is that we've had every manager out there and they have all failed with lots of spending, we wont see that kind of money spent on the the squad again I don't think, we have had our chance and blew it.
Jerome Shields
6 Posted 23/04/2023 at 12:40:38
Jerome Shields
7 Posted 23/04/2023 at 12:40:45
I thought Holgate was at fault in both instances.In the first he pushed and prolonged his obstruction of the player.In the second it was walking with his back to goal, not concentrating who the preplanned ball he was to recieve.
Barry Hesketh
8 Posted 23/04/2023 at 12:47:14
Jerome @7
I wonder if United's Shaw, TAA over the park or Trippier of Newcastle would have received two yellow cards for similar incidents - I very much doubt it. Also this totting up move that the referees do such as when booking Dominic Calvert-Lewin, is annoying, the player has either made a yellow card challenge or he hasn't.

Paul Traill
10 Posted 23/04/2023 at 13:15:36
Barry #8

Having now watched it back, I agree. I don't think the first foul was a yellow card at all. And thinking about it with the second one, had that been one of them aforementioned players already on a yellow card they'd have been given the benefit of the doubt. James Milner against Manchester City last season and Trent Alexander-Arnold on Anthony Gordon last season are two which spring to mind.

That said, once on a yellow you're asking for trouble diving in like that, but you make a good point.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 23/04/2023 at 13:32:25
Martin (1and4) When you stick to football you know your stuff, glad you made it to the game and I hope you see some more of the team this season.

Dyche has had no part in buying any of these players for Everton but knows Tarkowski, McNeil and Keane from their Burnley days and is getting the best out of McNeil, Tarkowski has proved to be a good signing and was outstanding yesterday, Keane worries me more than Holgate, I thought the two yellows were harsh considering they were pretty mild to some of the tackles that were going in yesterday, and last week with a very small striker Pickford kicked nearly every ball right down the field to this striker and it came back just as quickly to him, yesterday with Dominic on the field he throws one ball out to Iwobi in his own half with an opponent close to him and loses the ball immediately putting Palace on a break, then he tries the short pass to Holgate who is again closely marked and is given a yellow trying to retrieve the ball after that pass, he constantly screams and shouts at his defence maybe Jordan should shut up now and again and screw his nut and think what he is doing himself, No complaints about his actual goalkeeping ability yesterday I have to say.

John Raftery
12 Posted 23/04/2023 at 14:00:28
Thanks for the report, Paul. There are no good places to view the game in the Arthur Wait Stand. It hasn’t changed since I first went to Selhurst in 1972.

I agree the first booking was really soft and was influenced by the home crowd. For the second yellow the moment Pickford attempted the long pass wide to Holgate we were in trouble. It went straight to Ayew who had a yard or more start on Holgate. Again it was a case of the home crowd playing its part in influencing the referee’s decision. Incidentally it was the first red card given by John Brooks in fourteen Premier League matches this season

Without Seamus we have a huge problem at right back. Patterson has looked promising, but no more than that, when he goes forward and is wayward defensively. Godfrey is all over the place. He lacks discipline in his positioning and makes poor decisions. We have spent over £30m on these two players.

Jerome Shields
13 Posted 23/04/2023 at 16:43:39
Barry and Paul #8 & #10,

They would have been professional enough not prolonged the obstruction with the referee looking at them and they would have been facing the goalkeeper to be ready for what he was about to do. In both cases, Holgate was not thinking of what he was doing. Which is something he has often done.

Rob Halligan
14 Posted 23/04/2023 at 17:09:40
Martin #4… you're right. We didn't start the game with three points, we in effect started it with one, and we had that point at the end, so one point gained, not two points lost.

We were about 6 inches away from gaining 2 points and, had Palace equalised late on, then it would have been 2 points lost. Alternatively, had Palace scored a late winner, then it would have been 1 point lost. You can't lose what you never had, and we never had 3 points yesterday. Am I being pedantic? Of course I am.

That point will be priceless come the end of the season when we're all dancing and singing again on the pitch and in the pubs around the stadium when we 'celebrate' (not the word I want to use, by the way) survival again.

Derek Cowell
15 Posted 23/04/2023 at 17:35:28
Does anyone really think this team will beat Newcastle on Thursday? They are on fire.

There's a lot of hope but not much reality.

Denis Richardson
16 Posted 23/04/2023 at 17:47:29
Fact is the Bottom 5 are averaging less than a point a game so,with half a dozen games left, likely 33/34 points will be enough.

I still think we'll win our last game so need minimum 3 points from the next 5. Win on Thursday would obviously be huge. Did it a year ago and The Barcodes thrashing Spurs today only helps us as they've all but guaranteed their Champions League place.

Bottom 5 collectively have managed just 2 league wins in the last 25 games. Shockingly bad and unfortunately we're part of the statistics.

Onto Thursday. No idea what result I want from Leeds Utd vs Leicester City, but irrelevant if we can't pick up points. ourselves.

Will Mabon
17 Posted 23/04/2023 at 17:50:02
Not much, Derek - but always some.

Newcastle have had periods of being very ordinary, even if not so right now. They aren't easily beaten but have drawn a lot of games, 11; something to go at.

Have to do our best, and that's it.

Martin Mason
18 Posted 23/04/2023 at 17:57:08
Derek, no sensible supporter believes that we can beat Newcastle on Thursday because they are a much better team but we hope and we support, a concept that many can't understand.

Why do you need to ask? Another statement of the obvious in that we aren't likely to win?

Denis Richardson
19 Posted 23/04/2023 at 18:02:22
Derek, did anyone believe we'd beat Arsenal back in February?

Anything can happen, 11 v 11 after all and playing at St James isn't the same as playing at Goodison.

Lyndon Lloyd
20 Posted 23/04/2023 at 18:03:12
No one really thought they could beat Arsenal at home and they did. Football can be a funny game and the reason why anything can happen is why they actually play the games.

We can beat Newcastle. Of course we can. The players need to believe it, though.

Rob Halligan
21 Posted 23/04/2023 at 18:06:56
Sunday 5 March: Liverpool 7-0 Manchester Utd
Saturday 12 March: Bournemouth 1-0 Liverpool.

What happens in one game one week is totally irrelevant to what will or may happen the next.

Andy Meighan
22 Posted 23/04/2023 at 18:16:14
Let's be honest here. Newcastle didn't have to do much to beat Spurs, they imploded.

We get Doucouré, Onana and Coleman back, we could beat them. I think we'll win.

Brent Stephens
23 Posted 23/04/2023 at 18:18:52
Nothing is less predictable than football. Remember those results against Burnley?

October 1896: Burnley beat Everton 2-1
The following month, November 1896: Everton beat Burnley 6-0

Dave Abrahams will no doubt remember the scorers.

Rob Halligan
24 Posted 23/04/2023 at 18:24:10
Brent, how about 1968………Everton beat West Brom 6-2, a few weeks before the FA Cup Final between the same two teams. West Brom won the final 1-0.
Danny Baily
25 Posted 23/04/2023 at 18:27:44
We'll need to do everything right on Thursday. And hope for a big slice of luck. But you never know.
Will Mabon
26 Posted 23/04/2023 at 18:35:36
Rob, that one is on the unmentionable list.
Brent Stephens
27 Posted 23/04/2023 at 18:38:01
Rob, don't remind me.

I waas at the '66 final – magic. Then at the '68 final – so poor. Astle the villain at the time ('68); sadly the first British footballer known to have died as a result of all those headers.

Brian Denton
28 Posted 23/04/2023 at 18:50:10
Rob, that 6-2 game was at West Brom too. I remember I was Bally in our kids' game on the field on the Saturday evening.
Tom Bowers
29 Posted 23/04/2023 at 19:02:59
Nice to recall good memories in these miserable times. We beat the baggies twice that season and I had an uneasy feeling before that cup final especially when it went to extra time.

Fortunately most of that team stayed and they won the title two years later.

Scary the way the Barcodes took Spurs apart and whilst appreciating how good they are this season no two games are ever alike and we all sincerely hope that Thursday will be totally different from today.

Everton know what is required and every point will be precious. Any three teams from six can go down but suffice it to say we have to beat Leicester and Bournemouth and maybe pick up a point or two from the other games.

It is a sad position that the hierarchy at Goodison have put us in and the quicker this nightmare season is over the better.

The return of one or two players may just have come at the right time.

I feared the selection of Holgate before yesterday's game and so it proved.
He along with a few others should be let go when the time comes.

Nicolas Piñon
30 Posted 23/04/2023 at 19:49:26
Everything is pretty tied up at the bottom so anything can happen really. More than ever.
Above all I believe the most importante thing is our players don’t make stupid decisions and get sent off in these games. Example? Doucourse against Spurs. I mean the important players, not the Holgate type.
If we keep a fit 11 and without red cards for the resting games I’m quite optimistic. If not, God only knows…
Derek Cowell
31 Posted 23/04/2023 at 20:12:43
Re Holgate. I watched today's FA Cup semi final on TV and early on a Utd defender (Shaw?) took out Mitoma on the edge of the box with the same challenge as Holgate's first yellow card yesterday. A free kick was awarded but no card. Refereeing is so inconsistent.
Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 23/04/2023 at 20:58:06
Brent (23), Re that Everton win against Burnley in November 1896 I missed that game, I had a bad dose of the flu!!
Barry Hesketh
33 Posted 23/04/2023 at 21:09:34
Dave @32
I hope you remember a few of the goals in the link below, some I had forgotten, but it was at least nice
to see players scoring for a change, many of them scored by players still in the current squad.

First Everton Goals

Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 23/04/2023 at 21:14:40
I think we can beat Newcastle, and I’m absolutely convinced we are going to beat Manchester City!
John McFarlane Snr
35 Posted 23/04/2023 at 21:27:07
Hi all, it amazes me that anyone who has experienced football matches for at least 'one season', doesn't know that 'anything can happen' in a game of football.They don't seem to understand that every game is unique, in as much as it hasn't been played before, and it will never be played again.

A classic example is the fact that Wigan Athletic who were destined to suffer relegation from the Premier League, beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final. It suggests to me that predicting results is futile, and it's the reason that I attend games with an open mind.

Regarding those who have forecast relegation for Everton [some predicting it as early as Christmas] may well be correct, but I will only accept it if the points gained fall short of the points required [eg] 4 points needed with one 1 game to play.

Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 23/04/2023 at 21:27:21
Barry (33) Yes lovely to see those goals again and looking back at them at the time I thought I’d see a lot more from them but quite a few had disappointing careers with the club, Rodriguez’s goal versus WBA was nearly as good as McNeil’s versus Brentford!!
Paul Hewitt
37 Posted 23/04/2023 at 21:27:45
I'm absolutely convinced I'm going to win the lottery.
Neil Copeland
38 Posted 23/04/2023 at 21:29:15
Paul #37, can we go halves on the ticket please?
Neil Copeland
39 Posted 23/04/2023 at 21:34:32
Who knows what is going to happen, all we can do is keep giving the fantastic support.

One of the best bits of the Palace game was Pickford clearly telling a Palace fan (who must have been goading him) to fuck off and then turning to the Evertonians with a clenched fist and huge smile. Even the home support saw the funny side of it.

Dave Abrahams
40 Posted 23/04/2023 at 21:37:13
Tony (34) You must have read my mind, I put a £10 double on us to beat Newcastle and Brighton today, honest!!
Tom Bowers
41 Posted 23/04/2023 at 21:45:52
There have been many of the current squad who have proved to be a waste of transfer fees and wages either through inconsistency or prolonged injury.

This has hampered the offence more than anything and is the reason we have struggled so badly this season and to be honest a few seasons before this.

Yes, experienced managers have also made some bad choices but overall Everton lack speed and commitment where it matters.

When I see some of the Fulham, Brighton, Brentford games I see so much more determination especially in the middle of the park than the midfield of Everton.

Of all the teams in the Prem. Everton are the worst in moving the ball out of defence and are easily pressed into mistakes.

That was evident from early on and has never improved.

To say there needs to be a complete overhaul is an understatement whether they survive the drop or not.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 24/04/2023 at 01:33:13
Great as always Paul.

I don't bet on football Dave, certainly not on Everton, but we can and will get a result on Thursday.

Neil, see you at the next one. Saturday was a great day out.

George Stuart
43 Posted 24/04/2023 at 02:43:01
Glad to see we will be taking on Newcastle in somewhat of a slump.
They having scored only one goal in their last 45 minutes of play.
Ernie Baywood
44 Posted 24/04/2023 at 04:01:24
I've just gone and done one of those predictor things and I have us staying up ahead of Leicester and Forest. And doing it with just 33 points. 5 more points from 6 games.

I think I had us drawing at Leicester though so it's obviously got no margin for error.

I had Leeds only gaining another 2 points.

All useless of course. There will be a couple of freak outcomes that blow every prediction out of the water. But the teams around us aren't looking too pretty either. Every little bit of fight that we can muster might just make the difference.

Bob Parrington
45 Posted 25/04/2023 at 03:17:08
Paul, I agree with you about James Garner. I felt he looked quite assured, eager to be involved, worked hard, tackled well and made some smart passes.

For Newcastle: Perhaps we should use 4-4-2 with the midfield 4 being Doucouré, Garner, Gana and Onana. Up front McNeil (Gray? Iwobi?) and Calvert-Lewin.

Back line - Patterson, Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko. plus Pickford of course.Assuming Seamus will not be fit.

Bench - Begovic, Coady, Godfrey, Davies, Maupay, Simms, (Gray, Iwobi),

(I'm assuming Yerry Mina is still not available - if he is, replace Maupay with him.)


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