Everton 1 - 0 Crystal Palace

Goodison Park under the lights tonight as Everton and Crystal Palace face off again for a place in the 4th round of the FA Cup.

Having drawn the original tie at Selhurst Park 12 days ago, the Blues get the chance to despatch of the Eagles and earn a home tie against Luton Town on the weekend of 27 January, after they beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in their replay last night.

Seamus Coleman, Jordan Pickford and Abdoulaye Doucouré are rested, with Virginia, Patterson and Gomes starting. Idrissa Gana Gueye is away at the African Cup of Nations.

The visitors got the replay underway. and Everton eventually got forward with Gomes having a chance to shoot from some way out – straight at Johnstone. A Palace free-kick came to nothing.

Calvert-Lewin did well to contest for the ball and won a throw-in but Everton could not retain possession. Tarkowski was called for a foul on Schlupp down Everton's left. Next to be called for a foul was Calvert-Lewin.

Everton looked to build with some decent passing but Andre Gomes tried a too clever turn and lost the ball. Harrison and Calvert-Lewin connected on the right but could not get in on goal. 

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Patterson found Calvert-Lewin with a ball over the top who rather mishit his shot at the Palace goal. Everton kept pressing after the corner but Palce are able to break and Lerma shoots high over Virginia's goal. 

Harrison did well to hook up with Gomes but the ball in to Calvert-Lewin didn't come off. At the other end, a poor ball from Gomes allowed Eze to threaten. Palace had some of the play now but Mitchell's shot was poor. 

Harrison darted into the area and appeared to have his heels clipped but the referee was having none of it and the VAR didn't seem to be too bothered.  

Edouard got past Garner and Eze fired in but Virginia produced a good save. Palace put together a better move and Schlupp lashed one just beyond goal as the visitors started to assert themselves.  

Harrison switched the play back but Palace were quick to reform their defensive shape with both sides continuing to stall eachother. But Palace broke again and Hughes shot at Virginia. Some slopiness in midfield almost cost the Blues as they struggled to string a few passes together. When they do get the ball Garner overhits his free-kick.

Gomes got free and Lerma launched himself to stop the Everton midfielder, giving Everton a dangerous free-kick.  Andre Gomes hit a superb curling strike past the wall in off the post to give Everton the lead. 

Palace came roaring back, Eze and Mitchell getting into the Everton area and Mitchell forcing a fine save from Virginia, Palace wasting the corner with a wild shot onto the roof of the Gwladys Street stand. 

Calvert-Lewin got the ball back from Gehuhi in the Palace area but could not produce a shot. A lot better piece of passing and movement threatened from Everton but broke down and they went in one goal to the good. 

James Garner restarted the game and Everton pushed up, thanks to a free-kick, curled in by Gomes, but Everton wasted it and Harrison saw yellow for kicking the ball away in frustration.

Garner went down grasping his thigh but got back up gingerly without treatment. Edouard pushed Branthwaite for a soft free-kick, taken by Gomes but it came to nothing. McNeil's nice ball forward was easily picked off.   

A wayward cross in from Cline almost caught out Virginia. Branthwaite needed to defend well to thwart Palace. Eze got into the area but was stalled.  Palace continued to push Everton back in search of the equalizer, testing Everton's alertness and desire. 

Harrison broke the press but Gomes couldn't benefit. Mykolenko defended another Eze incursion deftly. Calvert-Lewin chested down a long ball but McNeil's shot was wayward. At the other end, Lerma had a pretty good chance but his shooting was poor as well. 

Eze was thankfully withdrawn, much to the chagrin of the small cluster of traveling fans who chanted to Roy Hodgson: "You don't know what you're doing!" 

Everton seemed to benefit from the Palace subs, and had some better possession until Ahamada stole the ball off McNeil after a hospital pass from Mykolenko and Edouard drove in to test Virginia, who saved well. 

Gomes released Harrison down the right but he failed to play in Calvert-Lewin before the ball was stolen off him. Onana then played in  Calvert-Lewin but his shot screwed wide of the Palace goal. Dobbin then replaced Gomes. 

Everton put together a better attack through Onana, McNeil and Dobbin and won a couple of corners. And a chance came to Dobbin whose header was deflected for another corner. Branthwaite put a bit too much on his effort that went over the bar. 

Calvert-Lewin was booked for something after confronting Andersen and before he was replaced by Beto for the last 5 minutes of normal time.

Dobbin had a chance to run forward but he shot from a difficult angle and missed the target. 

As 6 minutes of added time were shown, Palace came closest to scoring, with a  cross to the back post, Schlupp has a free header but the Everton goalkeeper makes himself big to block the attempt which looked certain to be a goal. 

Then another Palace onslaught and Branthwaite has to intercept.  Dobbin broke but he was driven away from the goal despite a numerical advantage of Blue shirts. 

More nervous defending had to be endured as the minutes ticked away, Everton being really tested. McNeil was sand-bagged but Mateta was offside. 

Everton: Virginia [Y:87'], Patterson, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Onana, Garner, Gomes (76' Dobbin), Harrison [Y:48'], McNeil, Calvert-Lewin [Y:85'] (86' Beto).

Subs not Used: Pickford, Lonergan, Keane, Danjuma, Chermiti, Godfrey, Hunt.

Crystal Palace: Johnst one, Clyne (64' Ahamada), Andersen [Y:85'], Guehi, Mitchell (64' Riedewald), Richards, Lerma [Y:40'] (71' Ozoh), Eze (64' Matheus Franca), Hughes, Schlupp, Edouard (71' Mateta).

Subs not Used: Tomkins, Ebiowei, Henderson, Adaramola.

Referee: Tony Harrington.

Attendance: 37,896

Reader Comments (111)

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Paul Kossoff
1 Posted 17/01/2024 at 19:01:39
Dyche, please don't set up defensively at home. Have a go at them, be positive, play an attacking line-up.

But, you have to drop Calvert-Lewin, and start with Danjuma at centre or Beto. He's had his chance and has to get the kick up the backside to let him know we have more than one striker now.

ps: Hopefully Dom gets a few to prove me wrong. Coyb. 👮👮👮

David West
2 Posted 17/01/2024 at 19:10:53
Oh there's a football team attached to this circus business, is there??

I nearly forgot!!!

Joe McMahon
3 Posted 17/01/2024 at 19:11:38
Paul @1, fully agree!
Paul Kossoff
4 Posted 17/01/2024 at 19:31:49
Joe, he's had more than one chance, any other team and he's dropped.
Neil Lawson
5 Posted 17/01/2024 at 19:40:01
Alternatively, he finds his mojo tonight. Here's hoping.
Christy Ring
6 Posted 17/01/2024 at 19:40:46
I like the line-up with Gomes in a three-man midfield, and Dom is still our better No 9 in my opinion, needs a goal for confidence.
Phil Smith
7 Posted 17/01/2024 at 19:40:47
Calvert-Lewin should not be starting this game, end of. He's useless at the moment and needs dropping.

McNeil should also have been rested and Danjuma should also have started imo. Hopefully both of these players will only be given 60 minutes.

Paul Kossoff
9 Posted 17/01/2024 at 19:54:31
Commentators on BBC asking is Calvert-Lewin playing under different rules as he should have been yellow-carded for a bad tackle.
Ben King
10 Posted 17/01/2024 at 19:56:10
Paul #9

What rules?

Yellow cards don't get carried from game to game.

Are you suggesting that, if he gets a yellow tonight, then he's sent off????

What do you mean?

Paul Kossoff
11 Posted 17/01/2024 at 20:00:15
Ben, the commentators, not me, the commentators asked, is Calvert-Lewin playing under different rules after his rescinded red card?

I never said it, the commentators did.

Paul Kossoff
12 Posted 17/01/2024 at 20:09:30
Ref too scared to give anything, or told not to.
Paul Kossoff
13 Posted 17/01/2024 at 20:09:30
No free kick, nothing blatant trip on Harrison.
Paul Kossoff
14 Posted 17/01/2024 at 20:13:33
Palace should have scored – good save though.
Ian Bennett
15 Posted 17/01/2024 at 20:18:28
The red card remains on his record despite being coshed.

If he gets sent off for violent conduct, he gets an extended ban – despite being cleared.

That's what I've read.

Ben King
16 Posted 17/01/2024 at 20:22:35
The red card should be expunged entirely. Any other outcome makes no sense.

But then this is Everton and the authorities, so….

Paul Kossoff
17 Posted 17/01/2024 at 20:26:45
Palace really having a go at us…

Free kick to us. GOOOOOOOOOAAL!!!

Paul Kossoff
18 Posted 17/01/2024 at 20:28:43
Brilliant save from Virginia.
Si Cooper
19 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:07:03
I think it's codswallop that Calvert-Lewin isn't giving it his all every time he plays so I'll trust the manager to decide whether he needs dropping to give him a kick up the backside, or not.

You can rightly question whether he could do better with his chances in general, but dropping him won't cure him of his deficiencies.

You also have to consider what his all-round effort enables others to potentially feed on, which is where I think he's still ahead of Beto and Chermiti.


Paul Kossoff
20 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:11:14
Brilliant save from Virginia.
Ben King
21 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:12:44
Si #19,

Spot on.

Paul Kossoff
22 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:16:43
Si, "dropping him won't cure him of his deficiencies."

Well, if he has deficiencies, he shouldn't be the first choice every game, should he? His, as you said, deficiencies could cost us eventually, possibly a good striker coach would benefit him even at 26.

Paul Kossoff
23 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:23:54
Gomes off, Dobbin on, strange with 15 minutes to go putting on a winger.
Paul Kossoff
24 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:34:44
Unbelievable save from Virginia.
Paul Kossoff
26 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:36:17
Miss from Dobin.
Si Cooper
27 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:37:27
“Commentators on BBC saying is Calvert-Lewin playing under different rules as he should have been yellow carded for a bad tackle.”

Which BBC commentators? Radio 5? If they are simply pointing out that players who have had terrible decisions against them acknowledged will tend to get the opposite treatment for a while afterwards then they are simply pointing out something that most of us were already aware of.

Watching the games at the weekend, he wasn't the only one who has benefitted from the referees getting a flea in their ear for making out innocuous challenges were actually endangering player safety.

Paul Kossoff
28 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:40:04
Neil Tyrrell
29 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:44:06
Listened to TalkSport commentary on YouTube, they were very complimentary towards Virginia, sounds like he had another good game. Look forward to hearing from those who were there. Great that we got through.

When's the last time we scored a free kick? Digne about 4 years ago? And when's the last time there was no TV coverage anywhere? A rare day. Expecting a unicorn sighting later…

Jerome Shields
30 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:44:11
Great result, exactly what was needed.
Andy Meighan
33 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:47:00
What's Beto got to do to get a start? That would have been right up his street, that game tonight.

Calvert-Lewin doesn't look interested to me and certainly doesn't look like scoring yet he's still getting a free pass off most of our fans.

Be honest – he's a very very ordinary player.

Christy Ring
34 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:47:05
Gomes's class won it.

I thought Dom played well.

Ben King
35 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:47:55
Great to win!

Great to get a clean sheet!!

Have we found our goal-scoring midfielder?!??

David Cooper
36 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:49:15
Who cares how drab the game was! We won and at home against Luton. You …
Robert Tressell
37 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:52:45
Just a small handful of comments for a win in the cup and a superb winning goal.

Dyche deserves a lot of credit for keeping morale up in a period where the club is getting repeatedly kicked in the nuts.

Also for getting performances out of Gomes (who looked finished for us) and Virginia (who failed on loan at some Dutch minnows).

Well done, Dyche and players, for continuing to stick two fingers up and work their arses off.

Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:53:35
Glad we got through although I never saw anything of the game.
Danny Baily
39 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:56:10
Sounded awful.
Neil Lawson
40 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:01:28
It's a win. Not much else really matters in the grand scheme of things. The extra real positive appears to be the performance of Virginia.

Won't the Premier League just love it if we get to Wembley? Won't we just love it! What an opportunity to have our voices heard and our protests seen, whatever the state of play is at the time. COYB.

Si Cooper
41 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:01:47
Paul (22),

The point I went on to make (perhaps too subtly) was that all of our striking options have deficiencies and the manager might be deciding who plays based more on the overall contribution, with the likes of Doucouré and McNeil getting more chances playing off Calvert-Lewin than the alternatives.

Do you honestly think any of Beto, Danjuma or Chermiti guarantee us goals?

Colin Glassar
42 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:03:54
Agreed, Robert @37.

Plus, Luton owe us one for that jammy win.

Don Alexander
43 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:12:25
To me, Calvert-Lewin has many of the same qualities as a centre-forward that Kenwright's recent boardroom stooge had when he had the honour of donning that shirt.

He occupies mega-attention from defences on account of his ability to do what those defences least want a centre-forward to do if he's not scoring.

The difference is that he who I won't name had Heath, Gray, Lineker, Clarke, Sheedy and Steven as accomplished goalscorers all around him, whereas Calvert-Lewin has next to no-one to look to score.

Anyway, a pleasing result and well done indeed to Virginia.

Bill Gienapp
44 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:17:52
Lol - that's three straight clean sheets and each one was described as a "drab and dismal" affair by the ToffeeWeb headline.

Look, I get it – it's not the most scintillating football, but there's some real steel to this side. I also think it's pretty cool that Dyche trusted Virginia in both ties, and he didn't allow a goal in either one.

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:18:36
On such a cold night, you normally wouldn't expect a cup tie to be so flat, but we rode our luck, had our keeper make a couple of very good saves, and a very poor game was won by a moment of genuine class.

The most important thing is getting through into the next round, and the second most important thing is that the players will get a much-needed little rest, and this will hopefully help our very small squad recuperate.

Bobby Mallon
46 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:18:45
It shows me now that, if we wanted to sell Pickford, we could and would have a decent keeper to take his place.

I'm not saying sell Pickford — just making an observation.

David Vaughan
47 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:21:59
Could this be Dyche déjà vu? After four defeats on the bounce, we've stopped the rot with a solid clean sheet (Villa, 0-0).

Now grind out a fistful of 1-0 wins and, in the flash of a Premier League hat-trick, we've suddenly won four in a row and on the same winning streak that recently got us climbing the table and through in the cup. Against all the odds. Onwards.

Dire game but proud of them tonight. UTFTs!

Shane Corcoran
48 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:25:27
Can the club afford to take the squad away to the sun now that there's a break?

Dyche needs to do something to get the juices flowing again.

Colin Glassar
49 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:27:37
They’d have to with easyJet, Shane, and hope the weather in the Isle of Man is decent.
Tom Bowers
50 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:27:52
Gomes is a decent player and a really bad injury put him behind the eight ball. He is past his best arguably but experience is the key when needed.

With Doucoure out and Danjuma in the wings, there is still some reliability within the squad which will be needed to keep out of the lower echelons of the league. Luton will be the team to get past next but more importantly keep them below us in the league.

Palace are no slouches and they seem to respond well to the elder statesman Hodgson but they have relied a lot on Eze this season.

Everton did well to get past this lot after finishing the first game with ten men.

Dave Cashen
51 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:31:20
I'm looking forward to seeing Virginia's saves.

I must confess. I still haven't seen him play, but he got great praise from radio commentators and he's keeping clean sheets, despite coming in "cold".

Get in, son!

Jay Harris
52 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:43:24
I can't really comment as those media darlings decided to have a blackout for our game — probably anticipated a much-deserved protest.

Listening to the commentary and one or two matchgoing fans, we were pretty flat today but Virginia looked good and the defence was strong yet again.

Bill Fairfield
53 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:43:58
You would think Clavert-Lewin was missing a ton of chances every game. He's only feeding off scraps.

Anyway, well done to the team. Wasn't much of a game, but we're through.

Peter Mills
54 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:48:32
It wasn't a great game, and the atmosphere was pretty flat.

Calvert-Lewin had a decent game, he is integral to our style of play, although we obviously could do with our centre-forward scoring goals. The usual suspects of Mykolenko, Branthwaite and Tarkowski did their thing.

Gomes scored a cracker (I confess I didn't want him anywhere near the free kick) but he is very slow. Onana came in and out of the game, as usual.

McNeil and Harrison could do with a couple of weeks off, they look tired, but they won't get them.

Man of the Match for me was Virginia, who did everything a goalie should do, and a few things, particularly at the end, that only very good ‘keepers do.

David McMullen
55 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:55:02
I watched it on the radio.

Another match to forget.

The result is all that matters.

Christine Foster
56 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:56:29
I couldn't watch the game this morning, no feeds anywhere I could find, so listened on TalkSport. It didn't sound a drab game but it seemed Virginia played well – MotM according to TalkSport. A few little observations from the little I have seen of him:

1. Unlike Pickford, he holds onto shots more than palming away all the time, I like that.

2. If everything does go to pot this season and we sell Pickford to raise cash, then he isn't a bad prospect to have.

3. Playing in the cups gives him a massive boost in front of big crowds, it will be interesting if we progress further to play any Top 6 side to see how he copes.

Overall, a win is a win; in the context of the past few days, I'll take it without criticism being offered to anyone.

Danny O’Neill
57 Posted 17/01/2024 at 23:00:08
Not pretty but I'm going to sleep all the way home on the coach with a smile on my my face.

I'll comment tomorrow.

Mal van Schaick
58 Posted 17/01/2024 at 23:02:57
Great win and into the next round to answer those who are trying to destroy our great club.

Nine days off should refresh some players before the Luton game and, if we can get a good lead on 60 minutes against them, we take players off early in readiness for the Fulham game a few days later.

Phil Lewis
59 Posted 17/01/2024 at 23:08:05
Delighted for Virginia. Hopefully a real alternative should Pickford's form drop. If need be, a ready-made replacement in the event of a Pickford departure.

Gomes shows his class once more. Give him more match time please, Mr Dyche, if only for 30 minutes off the bench. His vision can win matches, particularly stalemates such as this.

John Malone
60 Posted 17/01/2024 at 23:20:46
Glad to get the win even if we rode our luck a bit at times; good display from Virginia kept us in it!

Have to say, though, how poor are our wingers at creating chances? Jack Harrison is so poor – he always does too much on the ball, never plays the simple pass or releases it when it's on!

McNeil didn't wake up until the last 20 minutes – no wonder Dom can't score, the lad is up there on his own with no quality deliveries to attack.

Not a great display but at least the squad will have a well-earned week off in the sun now; time to recover and go again for the final push to get the points to keep us in this league!

Ken Rushton
62 Posted 17/01/2024 at 23:53:43
Learn a bit from our loveable cousins — don't be so downbeat when you have just won an important cup tie and kept three clean sheets on the run.

Yes, some of it is mediocre but a small squad, many jaded but unable to benefit from much in the way of rotation, are working their socks off. Remember what the word 'support' actually means…

Paul Kossoff
63 Posted 17/01/2024 at 23:57:10
Si @41,

No, but you have to change things around sometimes just to shake players up, and let them know we have other options.

Steve Hogan
64 Posted 17/01/2024 at 00:06:45
I went the game tonight. Two very average teams, although Palace had the more exciting options up front.

All Everton's better players now occupy defensive positions. Branthwaite will be an England regular at some point, the kid has the lot: great reader of the game for one so young, and for my money, has a bit more than John Stones did at the same age, whilst playing in a much poorer team.

Sadly, Calvert-Lewin will continue to struggle for goals in a team not really capable of presenting him with more than a couple of chances per game. He played most of the game chasing the 'hoofball' tactic Dyche seems to favour.

The midfield, minus Doucouré, very rarely offers any goal threat, and therein lies the problem: a side defunct of goals.

It's going to be a long hard road until the end of the season.

Graham Mockford
65 Posted 17/01/2024 at 00:07:38
Similair story. Another hardworking defensively inspired performance.

But, as I've said on a number of occasions, we seriously lack creative quality. It is what it is given the squad Dyche has got. It will probably be enough to keep us up but, in the end, this style of football gets you found out.

On the plus side, Virginia looks a decent back-up and I think Dobbin offers something different off the bench.

First visit to Goodison for a while — and I don't think anyone will miss Row QQ in the Main Stand when we move!

Christine Foster
66 Posted 17/01/2024 at 00:12:14
Okay, Calvert-Lewin... once again, I think we are not playing to his strengths and his game is suffering for it, as are our results.

Going back to when we had Digne on one side and Coleman on the other, we had early crosses straight into the 6-yard box. That's disappeared and we are not playing that game anymore. Instead, it's hoofball, run the channels, or raid from the half-way line.

Calvert-Lewin, when he is on form, is because he is a first-time finisher, get on the end of an early cross before a defender at pace running into the box.

We aren't playing that way. Neither Harrison, Danjuma, McNeil nor Patterson are playing first-time balls into the box. Instead, we are relying on using them as raiders, and Calvert-Lewin is often left waiting in the box (I seem to remember this is why Ancelotti got so much out of Calvert-Lewin).

We are missing that attacking fullback or out-and-out winger to provide balls first-time into the box. Calvert-Lewin is solely being used as a target man for hoofball... it isn't his game.

We either change our game… or change the target man. Mr Dyche?

Colin Malone
67 Posted 18/01/2024 at 00:16:52
We had Garner, Gomes and Onana in midfield. But not once did we go through the middle.

This football is shite, fucking horrible. We cannot keep possession of the ball.

Jamie Sweet
68 Posted 18/01/2024 at 01:26:55
Happily take drab 1-0 victories all the way to Wembley!

In '95 we had three 1-0's (Derby Co, Bristol City, Newcastle Utd) preceding that joyous Spurs Semi-Final.

And then of course the "drab" 1-0 in the final.

Dale Self
69 Posted 18/01/2024 at 01:28:43
Finding a way past Palace with Doucouré out is big. Nine days for McNeil to heal and we may get back on track.

This was a huge lift for Gomes. We are close to a chance to risk some rotation and we have our best eleven back.

Larry O'Hara
70 Posted 18/01/2024 at 01:59:07
Went to the match: we were a bit lucky actually.

Three standout performances:

Virginia – calm, assured, some good saves.

Branthwaite – at times, this lad's play is so languid, he cocks it up. He is not Beckenbauer…

Gomes – very clever, ahead of most of his team mates. Superb goal; our best player (Virginia came close).

But, sadly, aside from a couple of good raking passes Onana was awful:

— loses the ball 3 times out of 5;

— no physical presence;

— kept falling over;

— adept at giving backward or hospital passes.

Oh dear… may have been a crap match but we're through!!!

Kieran Kinsella
71 Posted 18/01/2024 at 02:30:34
Not trying to have a pop here but there were a couple of posters on here — reasonable chaps I generally agree with — who after the first game we were saying we should've fielded a B team and the proof in the pudding was Calvert-Lewin's suspension and McNeil's serious injury.

I posted my disagreement at the time, and thankfully, since neither of those things stood the test of time. I hope those two old (well one is older than me, the other about my age) negative Nellies enjoyed the win tonight and realize this is a positive result we needed to give us a lift that will help our league form.

Looking at you, Kim and Brian Williams.

I understand the pragmatic fear, lads, but the sky isn't always falling. UTFT

Jack Convery
72 Posted 18/01/2024 at 02:42:56
No one remembers the crap games on the way to winning a trophy.

When we won The European Cup Winners Cup in 1985, we played the Irish team University College Dublin at home after a nil-nil at their place. We won one-nil at Goodison and were truly awful, so much so that when they went close more than once in the last 15 minutes, we were shitting ourselves – the fans I mean. One goal from them and we were out on the away goals rule. However, a few rounds later we were running around Rotterdam with the trophy.

We won tonight, we weren't very good but we play Luton and that's the point of knock-out football. Get through. If you play well – great. If not, just get through.

Hodgson said after the first game, it was the type of game where it would take one magic moment from an individual to decide it. Step forward, André Gomes.

Phil Lewis
73 Posted 18/01/2024 at 03:36:57
Jack @72,

You brought memories back with the University College Dublin game. I took my son and my nephew to Dublin for the first leg. We got the overnight ferry and were knackered by the time we landed.

I found a boarding house just off O'Connell St for us to get our heads down for a few hours before the evening kick-off. The kids were petrified as the proprietor was like Norman Bates out of 'Psycho', the place was full of dust and the walls adorned with stuffed birds and animals' heads.

The game itself was uneventful. The highlight being the local Garda trying to stop little traveller kids from bunking in. He'd grab hold of one and then try to grab another only to lose the first one, providing much-needed humour for the travelling Evertonians.

We all thought the second leg would be a formality at Goodison, but you're quite right, Jack, the spirited Irish part-timers put up a great fight — only for us to go on and lift the Cup in Rotterdam after we witnessed one of Goodison's greatest nights in the semi--final victory over Bayern Munich.

I couldn't make the final but my son, who was 15 at the time, went to Holland with friends. I'd taken him to the game from when he was 7 years old all through the bleak years and I'm eternally grateful that he witnessed our glory years, as he passed away suddenly aged 19 in 1990. I've bought a stone for the new stadium pathway for him which reads 'Rotterdam '85, I was there!

Phil Lewis Jnr.

I can't wait to see it.

Kieran Kinsella
74 Posted 18/01/2024 at 03:43:09
Fuck me, just read through the pitiful number of comments. Some sensible posts from Robert, Neil, Colin etc but, other than Paul Kossof's running commentary, not a lot else besides a handful bitching and complaining about Calvert-Lewin and the nature of the game.

Have some respect for our opponents. Palace aren't great but they are a decent team and one that have become accustomed to finishing above us. They also have a very astute manager.

We won. We kept a clean sheet. Instead of moaning, focus on the positives. We aren't conceding, We ended our losing streak with a few nil nils and now a win.

Football isn't always pretty. Who cares? Winning is all that matters. The Joe Royle team didn't win any style awards but they carved out hard-fought wins and won the FA Cup.

Because they got the job done, they go down in the history books over and above flashier Colin Harvey, Martinez or Moyes teams. And you can't argue with that.

They brought home the bacon. Let's focus on outcomes relative to resources instead of superficial “style” points.

Derek Knox
75 Posted 18/01/2024 at 04:40:57
A bitter cold night saw a hard-fought encounter against a resolute but spoiling Palace. The equally subdued atmosphere from the Goodison Faithful told its own story. Just glad it never went to extra time.

Still, we are through, move on to the next round. Good to meet up with Danny, Brian W, Stephen Vincent and Neil C in the Harlech beforehand.

Paul Ferry
76 Posted 18/01/2024 at 05:09:46
Phil (Lewis)@ 73:

That's a lovely and moving post mate. I'm so sorry that you lost your son so horribly early.

I was at Rotterdam and I hope Phil Junior was one of the countless Blues I didn't know who I sang, danced, and laughed with and hugged. I can't wait to see the stone.

Robert Tressell
77 Posted 18/01/2024 at 08:05:13
I think it is fascinating that, of all the variety of managers we've had, it is Dyche who is getting performances from Gomes that simply haven't looked possible since his loan spell.

It may be as simple as clarity of role in a very well-structured side, fitness levels and individual plus team morale.

I wonder what Dyche could have achieved with a side containing Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Digne etc etc a few years ago, had we appointed him instead of Ancelotti?

Christy Ring
78 Posted 18/01/2024 at 08:09:04
Regarding our goal threat, whatever about McNeil crossing the quick ball for Calvert-Lewin, on the other wing Harrison has to cut in on his left peg, so the crosses are few and far between.
Ajay Gopal
79 Posted 18/01/2024 at 08:34:12
Phil Lewis (73), very poignant post. So sorry for your loss. I am sure Junior is doing his best from up there to push the team over the line this season.

I am absolutely delighted that we won, however horrible a watch it might have been. We have been drawing or winning inspite of our front 4 of Calvert-Lewin, Doucoure, McNeil and Harrison not quite being at the races for the past couple of months for various reasons – injuries, drop in form, etc. I am sure that, when they are all fit and firing, we will win more matches.

In the meantime, the re-emergence of André Gomes (good couple of goals in the last few weeks) and forgotten man Joao Virginia, is good news for Evertonians during this rather bleak period of off-field developments.

All credit to Sean Dyche for working with individual players and turning their confidence around. Mykolenko, Doucouré, Garner, McNeil, and Branthwaite have all emerged as reliable performers this season. If he can add the likes of Patterson, Godfrey, Dobbin, Harrison, Gomes, Virginia, Beto, and Chermiti to that list, then he would have built a pretty decent squad.

That would be nothing short of miraculous given the constraints under which he and Thelwell are operating.

Alan McGuffog
80 Posted 18/01/2024 at 08:39:32
Virginia seems a decent keeper.

But given our financial situation, should we have to let Pickford go, I've read that our cousins are willing to let Kelleher (?) leave. A very good custodian.

Peter Mills
81 Posted 18/01/2024 at 08:49:48
It's quite amusing reading this thread - the people who are being (gently) chastised for commenting on the lack of entertainment are those of us who got to Goodison along the icy pavements then sat through a dull match on a freezing night! I can't say I was exactly buzzing when I got home, but was happy enough to be in the next round.

The biggest cheer of the night, apart from for the goal, was for Virginia's point-blank save at the end — 50% of the roar was for his keeping us in the Cup, 50% for his saving us from sitting through extra time!

David Bromwell
82 Posted 18/01/2024 at 08:55:12
Well, obviously not a great game, and our little group of 4 were all dreading the prospect of extra time. But we won. With a great goal from Gomes and a fine performance from Virginia.

Gomes was a surprise as I haven't previously seen him play so far forward. He always seemed to favour a position just in front of the back four, where his natural slowness meant he would be caught in possession. But last night, further forward, he looked much more effective, and his passing much better than many of his team mates.

Virginia too is very much a surprise package. I remember him in his early days at the club when he looked really promising but then he had a number of not very satisfactory loans and I thought his chance had gone. But, as in his last game, he was very good last night and produced a Man of the Match performance.

It's all a bit boring but well done to all concerned; against the odds, we are doing okay. Hopefully our wingers will find some form, and there are opportunities from the bench for others to shine.

Pete Neilson
83 Posted 18/01/2024 at 08:56:41
Besides the goal, probably the highlight was listening to Roy Hodgson on the radio on the way back from the match.

Apparently our goal was lucky as it came from a free kick; it would be impossIble for the reporter to understand why he took Eze off… and top of the list – the last thing he wanted was another replay. Marvellous stuff.

Sam Hoare
84 Posted 18/01/2024 at 08:58:07
Many times this season, we have been somewhat unlucky, creating more or better chances than our opponents but losing out due to bad finishing or good goalkeeping. Last night, we were on the opposite end of that dynamic.

It was not a good performance and we were a little fortunate to scrape through. But we're in the next round with a winnable game at home. That's all that really matters.

The team looks a touch jaded, no surprise perhaps given how little rotation they've seen and how much running Dyche expects. Plus matters off the pitch. But there's 10 days now to recover and re-energise.

Doucouré will be a huge loss and is maybe the hardest player to replace in the team. Getting Gueye back will help and I wonder if we might see Garner being pushed forwards? I'm not yet convinced that I want to see Gomes starting every week!

Christopher Timmins
85 Posted 18/01/2024 at 09:09:23
Apart from the Wolverhampton game, we have shown over the past three months that we are definitely a Top 10 team without the ball.

Having sold Richarlison and Gordon over the past year and a half, it's only natural that we lack quality up front.

Brent Stephens
86 Posted 18/01/2024 at 09:15:12
Delighted with Virginia’s performance. It opens the door further to possible bids for Pickford?
Paul Cherrington
87 Posted 18/01/2024 at 09:21:44
Although not the greatest performance, I thought we did okay and most importantly found a way to win. 3 unbeaten now and back on a nice run with time for the group to recharge before we go again.

With the players we have, I think André Gomes is the natural replacement for Doucouré at Number 10 right now. Good on the ball, good passer and creative – plus it doesn't matter so much if he gets caught in possession up the pitch, which was always his main failing before, when played deeper.

I can't remember the last time we scored direct from a free-kick either, so that is always handy to have on the pitch.

Maybe, as with Doucouré previously, Gomes has been played out of position in the past by successive managers and looked worse than he is?

i liked the look of the young lad Virginia in goal again too. Some very good saves and he seems to have decent size, presence and good positioning. He seems to bring a real calmness to defending our box too.

Brian Harrison
88 Posted 18/01/2024 at 09:58:52
A bloody awful game, with few chances, and probably the best chances fell to Palace, who thankfully didn't take them.

The crowd inside Goodison were a lot quieter than normal; now whether it was because it was so cold or what we were watching was nothing to get excited about, I am not sure. I think the continual long-ball ploy is starting to wear a bit thin, and we seem not to have a midfield that can take control of a game.

While I am not Calvert-Lewin's biggest fan, I think the role Dyche is asking him to play is a thankless one. The ball is played long to him and he has nobody within 5 yards of him so, even if he wins the ball, he has to wait for others to get round him and, by that time, the opposition have reorganised themselves.

I rate our back 4, especially with Coleman there as one of the best in the Premier League, so why Dyche has to have 2 sitting defensive midfield players, I don't understand.

How he kept Harrison on for the whole game, I don't know, he either lost the ball when in possession or produced a sloppy pass to the opposition. I have yet to see him go past a player as he always prefers to cut inside on his favoured left foot and his delivery from out wide is poor.

Yes, some will argue he works very hard defensively for the team but I want one of my front 3 to create and score – and I know he has scored 2 but that's nowhere near good enough – and I can't think he has too many assists.

I thought Dobbin was lively when he came on and deserves a run, especially seeing Doucouré is going to be missing for a few weeks. I have said for a while, without Doucouré in the side, this set-up doesn't work.

Dyche played Gomes in that role and, for me, running isn't one of Gomes's strengths – he's far more suited to be spraying passes from midfield. He produced the one moment of class with a sublime free kick.

Probably our best player was Virginia who continues to impress and kept us in the game with 2 exceptional saves.

Branthwaite, another classy performance. I would expect him to be in the next full England squad. Tarkowski and Mykolenko also had good games, as did Patterson.

I think, with the news that Doucoure will be missing for a few weeks, we need to change our style to accommodate, as there is nobody in the squad who can play that role for the club.

Derek Knox
89 Posted 18/01/2024 at 10:04:51
Robert, a very pertinent point regarding choice of manager, just think of the many ill-suited appointments we have had, salaries, personnel in as a result of them, also (mostly over-priced) players brought in.

All the compensations, to the aforementioned, players released etc, again at a loss. Kenwright's Board of nodding dogs, their salaries (?) and their subsequent compensations. No wonder we are in the financial brown stuff.

Quite a few on here advocated getting Dyche then when he was doing a good job at Burnley on a shoestring budget. "No," came the majority of replies, "not good enough" (?) etc.

Personally, I think he is the right choice for us, I just wish he wouldn't leave substitutions too late!

Barry Rathbone
90 Posted 18/01/2024 at 10:56:46
Always happy to win despite it sounding a like a poo game… but a bit concerned — I forgot we had a game last night. 😲
Andy Crooks
91 Posted 18/01/2024 at 11:06:52
Phil, wonderful moving post @73.
Anthony Dove
92 Posted 18/01/2024 at 11:10:25
Graham @65.

For reasons which are irrelevant, I ended up in
Row QQ for the Man City game. It's a disgrace as you can't see anything apart from the roof and the same applies to the
row in front.

I bought the tickets from a ticketmaster type site and paid silly money. Everyone around me had done the same so I suspect the Club are selling these type of seats in bulk to the ticket sites. Disgraceful.

As for last night, the cup's all about winning, but I do worry
about the rest of the season if we can't bring in any fresh blood this transfer window.

Dave Abrahams
93 Posted 18/01/2024 at 11:46:16
Peter (81),

Those icy pavements were the reason I chose not to go to the game even though Tony offered to take me to the match and pick me up afterwards. I'd have still had to walk from my drop off and pick places.

I'd been out in the afternoon and even with my walking stick I realised how dangerous those pavements were, it's took a long time but I'm now officially an old man, well until the bleedin' ice disappears!

Phil (73), A very sad and moving post, I hope your son is happy where he is, RIP.

Derek Knox
94 Posted 18/01/2024 at 12:03:55
Dave A, take consolation from me, you didn't miss much to be honest, from what I believe it wasn't even shown anywhere either. I suspect most in the ground were just hoping let's win and we can all go home.

There wasn't a lot of vocal support either, not because of the cold, but the abject game it was, they came to spoil and almost succeeded. The ball was in the air more than it was on the grass, plus they were over-physical, with a few in the ref's ear trying to get something, or our lads booked.

Kudos to the players they didn't get intimidated, and we won by a solitary goal. Surprised by Gomes the last few times he has played, they must have injected him with something ! Just hope it was legal !

A special mention to Jao Virginia, he played a blinder, in goal, not that it was under constant threat, but when it was, he pulled off some Pickfordesque saves and deservedly got Man of the Match.

Dave Abrahams
95 Posted 18/01/2024 at 12:23:12
Derek (94),

Yes, I got the impression from reading the commentary on the club's website that good moments were at a minimum during the game.

I got a bit of enjoyment from the Live Forum – nothing about football, to be honest, and was just happy that we won.

I made a late decision not to go, didn't even have time to give my ticket away. We've got ‘til next Monday to get our tickets for the Luton cup tie and sit in our own seat. The bastards have doubled the price for this game!!

Raymond Fox
96 Posted 18/01/2024 at 12:40:31
Very impressed with Virginia, at last a goalie who wants to catch the ball! If he could play like that every week he is destined to be a top player.

Okay, we have not seen much of him, at least I haven't, but he made every type of save on the night.

Nice to see Gomes have a good game also.

That's another team we have nilled.

Brian Wilkinson
97 Posted 18/01/2024 at 13:02:48
Not the best of games but we are through. The atmosphere last night is probably one of the worst I have ever seen, which was probably a reflection on the game itself.

Three points I observed not just last night but on a whole as well.

First point is, no matter how much money gets thrown at us, we simply have to try to resist selling Branthwaite.

Second point: if we get a decent offer and can use the money for a replacement, I would sacrifice Onana and try and bring in someone like Conor Gallagher, who is available for a similar price.

Third point: we have an excellent goalkeeper in Virginia. He came in from the cold and had two good games in the cup.

His technique has also improved over the last few years; he knows when to come off his line and rarely punches a ball now.

He reminds me of a young Southall, quick off his line, commands his area well and will either pull off a save and either palm the ball over the bar or out for a corner.

The main point being he will not push the ball back into the danger area for a tap-in, I'm very impressed with Virginia.

Chris Leyland
98 Posted 18/01/2024 at 13:22:32

It is inevitable that Branthwaite will be sold. He cost £1M and will fetch £70M-plus. The positive impact on the financials will be too much to stop this.

We've been a selling club since Alan Ball was allowed to join Arsenal. Think Ferguson, Barmby, Jeffers, Rooney, Arteta, Rodwell, Stones, Lescott, Fellaini, Barkley, Lukaku, Gueye, Richarlison and Gordon. This will only get worse!

Conor Gallagher won't be joining Everton. Why on earth would he?

Bill Gall
99 Posted 18/01/2024 at 13:28:24
I don't believe that Everton will sell any of their major players this window. We have a threadbare squad and to sell a regular first-team player, we don't have very good backup.

I think if the club were to sell Either Branthwaite or Onana, Dyche would question whether it is worth staying after what he has done for the club in these tumultuous times.

I am reading some comments on here that, because Virginia had such a good game, we could sell Pickford. The problem with that is he is a backup to Pickford but we do not have a decent backup for Virginia.

I can't comment on last night's game as could not get any coverage. It sounds like it was a poor performance, but I suppose it was better a poor performance in that fixture rather than a league game, but 3 points would have been nice.

Danny O’Neill
100 Posted 18/01/2024 at 13:41:33
It was a dour game, Bill. Very scrappy from both sides.

Virginia continues to impress, not just last night, and is only 24.

Brian Wilkinson
101 Posted 18/01/2024 at 13:42:43
Bill, I certainly would not sell Pickford, we need two solid keepers. Virginia can do a job and unless we bring Sam Tickle from Wigan. We'd have no backup if we did sell Pickford.

There are other players we could let go before Pickford.

Stephen Vincent
102 Posted 18/01/2024 at 14:06:04
Dave #95,

Still only £20 though, so not the end of the world. I just hope that the entertainment is better than last night's meagre offering. And you were well advised to avoid the icy streets of L4, treacherous in places.

I am correct in thinking that football is still classed as entertainment, aren't I? The best part of last night for me was enjoying the company of some excellent fellow ToffeeWebers in the Harlech beforehand.

Peter Mills
103 Posted 18/01/2024 at 14:06:17
Phil #73, that's a very moving post.

I had a poignant moment this morning, at Goodison sorting out a ticket for a forthcoming match. The coffin of Lily Barnes, the Goodison tour guide who passed away in December, and the accompanying cortège, was leaving the ground. It was good to see so many of the staff paying their respects. Condolences again to Lily's family.

Dave #93, I guessed the ice might have put you off. I was not moving with very much grace myself. I had been walking in the Lancashire hills all day in some tricky conditions and was a bit sore. Grandson Charlie was virtually skipping up to Goodison, trying to hit as many icy patches as he could!

As my usual match-going pal was unable to attend last night, I found myself sitting next to a stranger. He, Kristian, turned out to be a Spurs fan from Norway, a really nice guy. He travels far and wide working on ships' engines, and has a task at Cammell Lairds for a couple of weeks. Wherever he goes, he takes in as many matches at all levels as he can. He certainly knew his football.

It was his first visit to Goodison, he loved the stadium, he was very complimentary about Everton and wished us well as one of the great, historic clubs. He hoped his £20 payment for his ticket would help our parlous financial situation!

Richard Nelson
104 Posted 18/01/2024 at 14:59:52
Last night's back line could have some promise, Palace are quick and slick... love the way Branthwaite leans into his man when making his challenge!
Brian Wilkinson
105 Posted 18/01/2024 at 15:01:20
Peter, I doubt Kristian will be back for seconds after that showing last night.

Lovely story though.

Danny O’Neill
106 Posted 18/01/2024 at 15:10:56
Nice story, Peter.

God bless Lily.

Richard, Jarrad was so close and tight he was virtually wrestling their forward.

John Pendleton
107 Posted 18/01/2024 at 17:08:53
Got home just after 1 am, so my MotM was Virginia for personally avoiding it being 2 am. His celebration at the final whistle was well-deserved, his contribution to our progress can not be underestimated.

Up til that point, it was Doucouré stand-in Gomes with decent footwork and quick-thinking setting up attacks. Losing the ball in a more forward position seems to have kept the boo boys at bay, long may it continue.

Honorary mentions to Branthwaite (whose calmness on the ball would win MotM most weeks) and the lone figure of Calvert-Lewin (who did exactly what was asked of him, win long-ball headers surrounded by three or four defenders).

Although a win to progress, a great goal and a clean-sheet for £20 far outweigh the icy conditions and atmosphere. I've had so many unforgettable visits to Goodison since the '80s, I'd hate this experience to be my last.

Met at the end with two Dutch guys whose matchday had started 6 am in Belgium(??) and they were returning to Amsterdam at 5 am this morning. What a game to pick. Well done gentlemen, whoever you are. Top support.

Brian Wilkinson
108 Posted 18/01/2024 at 17:29:19
Hard to remember the last time it was that quiet at Goodison.

I was there that cold night we played Coventry and only around 14,000, but even that had more noise, mostly boos. But for a cup or league game, I cannot recall it being that quiet for 90 minutes.

I know the entertainment adds a bit to getting the crowd up, but even a half-full Lower Bullens were making more noise. Strange atmosphere for a game under the Goodison lights.

Phil Lewis
109 Posted 18/01/2024 at 18:06:39
Thanks for all comments regarding my boy. Very much appreciated. I'm sure he'll be cheering us on all the way to Wembley this year.

Incidentally, every time we've met Luton in the FA Cup we've ended up at Wembley: '33, '85, '86.

Perhaps history will repeat itself.

Robert Tressell
110 Posted 18/01/2024 at 18:17:19
Dyche took both Nick Pope and Tom Heaton from nowhere and turned them both into England internationals. Really remarkable what he's done with Virginia who has looked very impressive.

Dyche genuinely improves players. The only one not kicking on is Onana.

Dave Abrahams
111 Posted 18/01/2024 at 18:23:15
Peter (103),

It's always nice to meet strangers at Goodison and have a good chat to them. I've met a few, at least three were students at Liverpool University and became Bluenoses while studying and stayed that way even when they moved back home.

Funny reading about Charlie skipping up the Goodison Road. How we loved the snow when we were kids; now most of us, getting on, dread the thought of it.

I changed my mind about three times before I decided to give it a miss. My wife doesn't help, telling me “You're supposed to walk slow with that walking stick – not prancing about like Charlie Chaplin!”

“Shurrup,” I think to myself.

Dale Self
112 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:16:16
Phil Lewis,

TW gets to that higher level of human existence with contributions like that. I was drifting off on some smalltime stuff when I read that. Thank you.

Danny O’Neill
113 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:25:43
Peter and Dave,

On that topic, one of my very best friends through the Army who I've know for many years had no interest in football.

He was from Warwick and you could say that unfortunately I influenced him as he is now a dedicated Evertonian. As are his two children. His daughter was at Cambridge United and was captain of the female U18s at Tottenham but is off to do a football sponsored College / University scheme in the States.

He loves Everton. My fault!

Jay Harris
114 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:30:27
Just watched the game on the club website and, in typical Everton fashion, it showed we were playing BHA (Brighton I assume) rather than Crystal Palace.

My observations were that our passing and composure is generally very poor but there is no questioning the commitment.

Virginia as reported played very well and made some critical saves but I still feel his distribution needs quite a bit of work.

Defense looks very solid even with Patterson in.

I thought we generally looked better than I expected from the reports and commentary during the match with only McNeil and Harrison looking a bit limp.

John Raftery
115 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:50:09
I thought Virginia’s distribution was excellent. If anything it was better than Pickford’s.
Peter Mills
116 Posted 18/01/2024 at 22:40:24
Brian #105,

I did make that suggestion to Kristian, but he graciously replied that he had seen far worse!

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