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Venue: Goodison Park
Premier League
Monday 19 February 2024; 8:00pm
1 1
C Palace
Onana 84'
Half Time: 0 - 0 
J. Ayew 66'
Attendance: 38,164
Fixture 25
Referee: Paul Tierney

Match Reports
2023-24 Reports Index
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  Gueye (Onana 66')
  Young (Harrison 66')
  Doucoure (Beto 72')
  Subs not used
  Alli (injured)
  Coleman (injured)
  Danjuma (injured)
  Gomes (injured)
  Holgate (loan)
  Maupay (loan)

  Lerma booked
  Wharton (Ozoh 88')
  J. Ayew booked
  Edouard (Ahamada 72')
  Subs not used

Match Stats

Shots on target

Premier League Scores
Brentford 1-4 Liverpool
Burnley 0-5 Arsenal
Fulham 1-2 Aston Villa
Man City 1-1 Chelsea
Newcastle 2-2 Bournemouth
Nott'm Forest 2-0 West Ham
Tottenham 1-2 Wolves
Luton 1-2 Man United
Sheffield Utd 0-5 Brighton
Everton 1-1 C Palace

1 Liverpool 57
2 Arsenal 55
3 Manchester City 53
4 Aston Villa 49
5 Tottenham Hotspur 47
6 Manchester United 44
7 Brighton & Hove Albion 38
8 Newcastle United 37
9 West Ham United 36
10 Chelsea 35
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 35
12 Fulham 29
13 Bournemouth 28
14 Brentford 25
15 Crystal Palace 25
16 Nottingham Forest 24
17 Everton* 20
18 Luton Town 20
19 Burnley 13
20 Sheffield United 13

Match Report

Everton salvaged a point from an important relegation "six-pointer" when Amadou Onana powered home an 84th-minute equaliser that cancelled out Jordan Ayew's impressive effort scored 18 minutes earlier.

Onana had been withheld by Sean Dyche from what was an alarmingly defensive starting XI but was introduced along with Jack Harrison in a double change that at least injected some life into what had been a turgid performance from the Toffees to that point.

Injury-ravaged and playing without a full-time manager following Roy Hodgson's decision to step down as head coach due to his recent illness, Crystal Palace took the lead within seconds of Dyche's substitutions but, having unwittingly set Ayew up for his goal, Onana eventually made the breakthrough from a corner just when it looked as though Everton were going to go down to another miserable home defeat.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin had two great chances to end his long scoring drought and Abdoulaye Doucouré somehow failed to turn a loose ball into an open net but, overall, it was a concerning evening for the Goodison faithful on many counts.

With Onana assumed to be fit and Doucouré finally back from injury, much was expected from the supporters of Dyche's team but they were served up 45 minutes of abject fare by both sides in a first half that was desperately short on quality.

With Seamus Coleman absent from the squad, Dyche had persisted with Ashley Young as a makeshift but ultimately ineffective right-winger and retained Ben Godfrey at right-back but the set-up yielded a procession of long balls pumped forward in the direction of Calvert-Lewin and precious little by way of joined-up football.

Indeed, for all their problems, Palace looked the more likely to make the breakthrough in the early going as James Tarkowski was forced to stretch to divert Tyreek Mitchell's low cross to prevent it reaching Jean-Philippe Mateta in the six-yard box and Odsonne Edouard might have done better than shoot straight at Jordan Pickford.

Prior to that, Idrissa Gueye had had a shot from distance charged down but Doucouré had the first genuine sight of goal for the hosts when he cracked a volley off Joel Ward's miscued clearance a yard or so wide with quarter of an hour gone.

In the 23rd minute, a lovely touch by Doucouré freed Dwight McNeil to cross from the left but Calvert-Lewin was off target with a decent headed chance before the pendulum swung back in the visitors' favour for the remainder of the half.

A wide-open Daniel Muñoz elected not to shoot and teed Edouard up instead but the striker slashed a poor effort into the Gwladys Street End before Chris Richards twice went close from corners.

His first header deflected off Tarkowski's thigh and from the second dead-ball delivery, the defender connected at the far post but Young hacked it off the goal-line to deny the Eagles their first set-piece goal of the season.

Everton's display in the first 45 minutes cried out for changes at the break but Dyche persisted with his one-dimensional and toothless starting XI for a further 20 minutes into the second period.

A rare, decent move 10 minutes after the restart saw Calvert-Lewin charge down the left touchline and the ball was eventually worked to James Garner but, just as he'd done with a direct free-kick opportunity just before the interval, he spooned over.

At the other end, Pickford came haring off his line to charge Mitchell down and put the ball out for a throw and Edouard despatched an over-head kick attempt into the Park End but things looked like might finally go Everton's way shortly afterwards.

A Garner free-kick from the right was cleared only as far as Vitalii Mykolenko whose goal-bound volley was stopped by Ward on the hour mark. Four minutes later, Godfrey counter-attacked with purpose, McNeil's cross was diverted behind and, from the resulting corner, Tarkowski prompted Sam Johnstone into a parrying save, Gueye rattled the loose ball across goal to Doucouré at the back post where it seemed to sit up perfectly for the Frenchman to stab home  but he failed to get decent purchase on it and it was smuggled away.

Two minutes after that, Goodison was stunned into silence when Ayew broke the deadlock. Mateta did well to hold off the attentions of Jarrad Branthwaite long enough to prompt Onana into prodding the ball to into Ayew's path and the Ghanaian took one touch before smashing a crisp shot across Pickford and inside the far post.

It was a frighteningly rare moment of quality in a match contested by two poor teams but, combined with changes from Dyche, it at least spurred the Blues into greater action from the perspective of their attack which was altered further 18 minutes from the end when Beto replaced Doucouré.

Another good McNeil delivery from the left picked out Calvert-Lewin but, again, he planted his header wide and a really good chance opened up for Garner soon afterwards but he bounced his shot too close to the keeper who pushed the effort away with both gloves.

The ensuing corner brought the leveller for Everton, however. McNeil swung it in left-footed from the right and Onana rose above a forest of bodies at the back stick to head home emphatically.

Sadly, it did not prove to be the catalyst for a late winner, even after the fourth official's board went up to signal six extra minutes, almost all of which ebbed away as Palace forced a series of throw-ins in Everton's half to wind down the clock.

Tarkowski had the best chance when he unexpectedly met an 87th-minute free-kick and couldn't keep his header down while Beto steered a Mykolenko cross just wide with a stooping header in stoppage time.

Without a win or even a goal scored from open play in the Premier League since 16 December, these are increasingly concerning times for Evertonians as they await the verdict from the independent hearing into the club's appeal against the 10-point deduction handed down to them in November.

This evening's draw may have lifted the Blues out of the bottom three on goal difference but anyone who has watched Luton Town in recent weeks and compared them with Dyche's aimless and toothless outfit would not be betting on Everton to finish above the Hatters this season, despite the fact that Everton have a favourable run of home games still ahead of them.

More worrying is that all the dropped points since the 2-0 win at Burnley in December mean that a refusal by the League to hand any of those deducted points back and any futher sanction would spell almost certain relegation.

Dyche has consistently maintained that he and his players can't be distracted by the number of points that may be added or taken away from Everton and that they need to keep their focus on what they can control  – matters on the pitch.

But Everton's performances have been steadily regressing since the turn of the year, with an ever-apparent lack of cohesion and purpose in their play, not helped by an ultra-safe approach from the manager that favours experience and extra defensive options on the field over youth and dynamism, even against a struggling opponent like Crystal Palace.

This evening against Palace was Sunday League level in its one-dimensionality at times and Evertonians are entitled to expect more than sheer effort, running and an emphasis on ramming the ball home from set-pieces. They're also entitled to expect more for their hard-earned money than three home Premier League wins all season. Dyche and his staff have to do much better; the club's survival may yet depend on it.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

Everton are back at Goodison Park under the lights for the televised Monday night game where they will take on new rivals in the bid to beat the drop in the form of Crystal Palace.

The Eagles arrive on the back of losing their venerable old manager, Roy Hodgson, who has just stepped down. Oliver Glsner has been appointed as his replacement but assistants Ray Lewington and Paddy McCarthy have been given the responsibility of managing the side this evening.

On the field, Crystal Palace forwards Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze are ruled out along with Cheick Doucouré, a significant miss in central midfield, while Marc Guehi is also sidelined and Will Hughes is a big doubt.

While Everton welcome back Abdoulaye Doucoure, whose ability to effect goals has been sorely missed in the 10 games where he was absent. Harrison makes way, joining Onana on the bench.

Another massive crowd was inside Goodison Park to see the visitors kick off, with some long balls to give the goalkeepers a feel of the ball. Palace tried to mount the first attack, the second phase winning a corner off a vital Trakowski intervention, but that was cleared.  

McNeil crossed in from deep and Calvert-Lewin almost got the ball back to Doucoure but they were crowded out. Mykolenko then found Calvert-Lewin with a good pass that saw him moving away from goal to keep possession. A deep ball from Tarkowski won Everton corner, Garner delivering it well enough but to a Palace head, followed by Edourad on the next ball in. 

A Palace free-kick had to be defended, Doucoure intercepting but McNeil had stood on Munoz's foot. A Branthwaite slip allowed Palace to play in Edouard who shot low at Pickford's feet. An Everton free-kick was easily dealt with and Everton's defence looked a little too open again on the counter but Mateta was offside.

A Pickford hoof was just too long for Calvert-Lewin. Another found McNeil and came back to Dououre but he could only shoot wide. Doucore should have found Young but his key outball pass was intercepted, but the eventual Palace foray was easily contained. However, Branthwaite's hoof from deep went straight through to Johnstone. 

Everton tried some more cultured football before the long outball to try and find Mykolenko also failed. Another deep forward ball was meant for McNeil but came off Anderson to Johnstone. If this was the game plan, it wasn't working yet. 

Another hoof ball aimed at Calvert-Lewin was easily managed by Andersen. McNeil got an early nall and delivered a peach of a cross, the kind of service  that Calvert-Lewin, who was in exactly the right position for once, would surely bury… but no, it cannoned off his head and behind. 

AN Everton free-kick saw a smart change of strategy, with a low ground ball to Calvert-Lewin drawing a poor foul by Lerma, just outside the Palace penalty area. Garner spooned it poorly high over the wall, the strikers, and the bar. 

Doucoure tried a very clever flick forward that caught Calvert-Lewin completely by surprise and what might have been a brilliant chance... wasn't.  But Mykolenko then put in a great cross with 3 Everton players under it, Young fluffing his lines this time. 

Palace came forward, Gana giving away a foul wide left that was delivered in well, with three more phases before Pickford could clear until Warton was fouled by Young. Everton looked to build on the ground with no way forward, and Pickford's hoof saw Young foul Mitchell trying to win the advance ball. 

Palace put in by far their most dangerous move but Lerma scooped the cutback well off target. Another deep free-kick by Pickford was dealt with again, Everton winning back possession but seriously unable to get forward by keeping the ball down.  

Two close encounters in midfield were waived on by Paul Tierney, leading to a set of Palace corners, the second cleared brilliantly by Young on the line. Calvert-Lewin won the cleared ball but could not get it to Mcneil. However, the tempo was upped significantly as Palace surged forward but could not fashion a chance despite a couple of attempts. 

Calvert-Lewin wanted a free-kick but he was backing into his marker as the game became more open in the minutes before half-time. Pickford shanked a tight clearance into touch. A freekick in the added minute summed up the half — overhit and wasted. 

And the game restarted as if it had never stopped, the kick-off back to Pickford, hoofed upfield and defended away. Young was judged to have fouled Mitchell but a Palace foul was seen in the Everton area. Young then fouled Andersen. 

Calvert-Lewin got on the end of another Pickford hoof but there was no-one else with him to head it to. McNeil tried to do something different when he collected a hoofed ball and came back to gain space but put too much on his forward pass. There was zero indication that the second half would be any better than the poor first half. 

Passing football almost broke out before Young was played a hospital pass. It really was abysmal fayre overall and the Goodison crowd were not at all happy. 

Calvert-Lewin had a run at the wing and Garner took a shot that was deflected behind. A poor mistake by Tarkowski et Mitchell in but Pickford was able to tackle him well. 

Everton were now getting stalled in midfield and Palace were able to get forward and win a corner that almost fell for them. Godfrey showed some good work to win the ball back in midfield but Everton still could not get the ball into the Palace area, good forward possession getting driven back. 

A free-kick was another chance for something from Garner and Mykolenko's second ball volley was tremendous but blocked away. The hour-mark... what about a sub or two, Sean?

Garner was robbed but did really well to recover, feeding Godfrey who ran the length of the field but McNeil could only win a corner. A fantastic Tarkowski header was somehow saved and teh follow-up bounced agonisingly by the far post, Doucoure unable to get any power on his shot that bobbled up with McNeil trying a diving header on the line before the ball was cleared. 

Dyche made the changes but immediately Jordan Ayew got the ball down and Mateta made no mistake with a tremendous strike to stun every Evertonian watching this unfold.  

Everton tried to respond, but there was no sign they were going to get anything from the difficult Palace defence. A deep Harrison cross dealt with well by Johnstone as Beto replaced Doucoure. Everton tried to penetrate with intricate passing that ultimately failed.  Crosses in were consistently repelled. 

Another Pickford hoof was taken in the air by Johnstone who fell awkwardly. Palace went forward to win a corner that needed defending, McNeil getting forward but not before the Palace defence had locked in place. 

EVeretom ponderously tried to build again, McNefinally getting in a decent cross to Calvert-Lewin but he was behind the defender, and still got his head to it, only to direct it the wrong side of the post. 

Everton got forward again, only to be frustrated until it fell to garner, who his his shot into the ground and it was well saved by Johnstone. But from the corner, Onana at the back of the pack looked like a rugby player in a line-out, towering over everyone to head down and into the Palace goal. Brilliant! 

Could Everton get forward again and actually win this? Now it seemed possible, Ahmad fouling McNeil, whose free-kick was headed over by Tarkowski with Onana better positioned behind him. 

Place rang more changes to break Everton's tempo. Onan tried to drive Beto and Calvert-Lewin forward but they were thwarted. Ayew tried to cause trouble at the other end as we entered he last minute of normal time with 6 minutes added on. 

Harrison delivered a fantastic cross out of nothing, over Calvert-Lewin and cleared before it reached Beto. Another Palace foul and another Everton free-kick but this one was taken short. Everton piled on the pressure but could not fashion a chance and were almost exposed on a Branthwaite back-pass. 

Lerma cynically blocked out Harrison and Palace worked their way forward to eat up more time in the corner, in front of their fans, before Paul Tierney finally blew for time. 

Everton: Pickford, Godfrey, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gana (66' Onana), Garner, Young (66' Harrison), Doucoure (72' Beto), McNeil, Calvert-Lewin.

Subs: Virginia, Lonergan, Patterson, Keane, Chermiti, Dobbin. 

Crystal Palace: Johnstone, Munoz, Ward, Andersen, Richards, Mitchell, Lerma  [Y:90+4'], Wharton, Ayew [Y:89'], Mateta, Edouard (72' Ahamada).

Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, Franca, Clyne, Riedewald, Ozoh, Umeh, Raymond.


Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton are back at Goodison Park under the lights for the televised Monday night game where they will take on new rivals in the bid to beat the drop in the form of Crystal Palace.

The Eagles have been edging closer to the quagmire at the bottom of the Premier League as injuries to key players have taken their toll and Roy Hodgson has struggled to grind out the points in recent weeks to keep the South London club in mid-table.

On the flip side, Sean Dyche has been able to welcome back some important personnel after injury, with club captain, Seamus Coleman, and the versatile Ashley Young having returned recently and Amadou Onana fit again following a knee problem.

Most importantly, the Abdoulaye Doucouré is back in the fold and working towards sufficient fitness that would enable him to start for the first time since the goalless draw with Aston Villa last month.

Doucouré has been a huge miss in midfield for all but one of a number of games and Dyche said during his press conference yesterday that the club’s medical staff Frenchman will assess him fully over the last couple of training sessions before a final assessment is made over whether he can start.

André Gomes and Arnaut Danjuma have been ruled out with calf and ankle injuries respectively. Gomes has resumed light training but Dyche expressed caution over the Portuguese who has been blighted by the soft-tissue complaint for a few months now.

Danjuma damaged ligaments late in the 0-0 draw at Fulham at the end of January and is a little further away in terms of a return.

The almost full complement poses a good selection headache for Dyche for once, though, in that he finally has central midfield options to consider. Does he give a well-earned break to one of James Garner and Jack Harrison or, if Doucouré is only risked off the bench, does he push the former forward behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin?

Palace travel with a number of issues, not least the health of manager Roy Hodgson who is in hospital in stable condition after falling ill during a training session on Thursday.

It’s possible that the Eagles’ chairman Steve Parish would have sacked him ahead of his team’s trip to Goodison Park had Hodgson not been stricken with illness as there were well-placed reports last week that Oliver Glasner has verbally agreed to replace the 76-year-old.

Ray Lewington is expected to take charge of team affairs in the meantime but he will have to do without those important pieces of the Palace side when it comes to picking a team capable of winning on the road for the first time since early November.

Talented forwards Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze are ruled out along with Cheick Doucouré, a significant miss in central midfield, while Marc Guehi is also expected to be sidelined and Will Hughes is a big doubt.

These two sides have already met three times this season, of course, with Everton having beaten Palace twice, once in the reverse fixture on 11 November and once in the FA Cup replay at Goodison last month.

With Onana back after his substitute’s appearance at the Etihad Stadium last week and Doucouré likely to play some part, the Toffees will feel more confident that they can get back to winning ways having not picked up three points in a League game since beating Burnley over two months ago.

Kick-off: 8pm, Monday 19 February, 2024
Referee: Paul Tierney
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Last Time: Everton - Crystal Palace

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gueye, Onana, Garner, McNeil, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

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