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Everton put three past Palace

Since his debut in January 2012, Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored 17 goals from outside the box, more than any other current Premier League player

Everton profited from their quick-fire start to the second half to beat Crystal Palace and earn just a second win in nine league games.

The Toffees edged a competitive first 45 minutes but nearly went behind in added time when Christian Benteke headed the best chance of the half wide.

After the break, however, the home side added end-product to their endeavour, with Gylfi Sigurdsson firing home via a deflection within a minute of the restart and Oumar Niasse heading in a Cuco Martina cross.

It changed the mood at Goodison Park and Everton’s confidence level grew as they dictated terms, culminating in Tom Davies turning in his third goal for the club from six yards.

Everton boss Sam Allardyce will still come away with some concerns after he lost two of his back four during the game, Seamus Coleman and Eliaquim Mangala going off injured.

But even facing a rejigged back four, Palace could not land a significant blow when it mattered, with both Benteke and debutant Alexander Sorloth going close with headers at 2-0.

Luka Milivojevic converted a late penalty when Ashley Williams handled in the area but Palace deserved little more and now sit 14th, two points above the relegation zone.

Fine response to ‘pathetic’ defeat

Oumar Niasse headed Everton's second low into the corner from a Cuco Martina cross<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Allardyce called his side “pathetic” after last week’s 5-1 defeat at Arsenal, a loss which had some fans calling for him to be sacked after less than three months at the club.

This display against his former club though showed the sort of desire more likely to strengthen his position.

Allardyce’s impact at half-time was clear. He was seen demanding that his side get the ball forward more quickly shortly before the interval and their opening goal arrived when goalkeeper Jordan Pickford sent a long ball upfield after the break.

Niasse fought for the scraps – as Everton did all day – allowing Sigurdsson to drill home. The midfielder has 17 goals from outside the box since he arrived in the league in 2012 – more than any other player.

Rooney played in a deep midfield role and in a composed display he touched the ball more times in his own half (27) than he did in the Palace half (26)<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Sigurdsson played alongside Theo Walcott and Davies in supporting Niasse in a 4-2-3-1 formation as Wayne Rooney sat in a deep role alongside Idrissa Gueye.

Rooney’s intelligence in the role was evident throughout as he used the ball smartly, while Walcott’s pace is undiminished and he saw more of the ball than any home player, with 64 touches.

The loss of Mangala and Coleman aside, this was a wholly positive day at the end of a tricky week. Every player in a blue shirt contributed admirably and the Toffees are up to ninth.

Lack of adventure from Palace

This was the first fixture in which two former England managers had faced one another in the Premier League since 2004<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

This was the first Premier League fixture to pit two former England managers against one another since the late Bobby Robson’s Newcastle took on Kevin Keegan’s Manchester City in 2004.

And while it was Palace boss Roy Hodgson who arrived with momentum – just two defeats in 15 league games – his side never looked keen on taking risks.

Sorloth – signed for £9m from Danish side FC Midtjylland – was used up front but when Palace lost the ball he was asked to track back down the left flank, creating a 4-5-1 formation when out of possession.

Sorloth applied himself to the task and made more tackles than anyone in the away side. But his role meant Benteke was isolated and the Belgian’s two headed misses – one with the game goalless and one when 2-0 down – were crucial.

BBC Radio 5 live pundit Pat Nevin described the second effort as a “very bad miss” but it was hard to see Palace taking anything from the game.

They bettered the shot count with 16 efforts on goal but many were from range and there was simply not enough adventure about the away side against opponents who came into the fixture under scrutiny from their own recent failings.

A two-point cushion on the bottom three looks a slim margin as the Eagles’ next five games see them face Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea, Huddersfield and Liverpool.

Man of the match – Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney kept Everton ticking in midfield. His intelligent use of the ball complemented the work ethic of Idrissa Gueye. Both men played 46 passes - an Everton high - with Rooney completing 85%. Theo Walcott and Gylfi Sigurdsson both also impressed but Rooney steered the home side and helped them keep control when they had the lead.<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Big day for Niasse – key stats

Tom Davies' goal was his first for Everton in 307 days<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>
  • No team have won more penalties than Crystal Palace this season (seven), with Luka Milivojevic scoring more goals from the spot than any other player in this campaign (five).
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson has been involved in seven goals in his past six Premier League starts against Crystal Palace – he has scored three and assisted four goals.
  • Tom Davies scored his first goal for Everton since 9 April 2017 against Leicester, 307 days ago.
  • Oumar Niasse has both scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for the first time in his career.

‘We are getting it right’ – Manager quotes

Everton manager Sam Allardyce: “I was apprehensive today after being done 5-1 away from home but the players have responded magnificently. We have shown what we can do and hopefully we can improve for the rest of the season.

“We have to look at our own record and that is where the mainstay of our season lies. In the eight home games I have been here, we have picked up 17 points and conceded just four goals. We are getting it right, entertaining the fans and getting the result. The unfortunate away form is causing us the problems.”

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: “The first half we were good value, certainly for 0-0, and we were confident we could keep going but the early goal in the second half puts you on the back foot.

“We played some reasonable football but it was difficult to get back after 2-0. It was a sterling effort from the players and the way they went about their business. We have to accept we were beaten.”

What’s next?

Both sides have a week off because they are out of the FA Cup so Everton travel to Watford next on 24 February in a 17:30 GMT kick-off. Crystal Palace host Tottenham on Monday 26 February in a 20:00 kick-off.

Line-ups

Everton

  • 1Pickford
  • 23ColemanSubstituted forKennyat 45′minutes
  • 4Keane
  • 13MangalaSubstituted forWilliamsat 45′minutes
  • 15Martina
  • 17GueyeSubstituted forSchneiderlinat 80′minutes
  • 10Rooney
  • 11WalcottBooked at 68mins
  • 26Davies
  • 18Sigurdsson
  • 19Niasse

Substitutes

  • 2Schneiderlin
  • 5Williams
  • 7Bolasie
  • 14Tosun
  • 29Calvert-Lewin
  • 33Robles
  • 43Kenny

Crystal Palace

  • 13Hennessey
  • 2Ward
  • 24Fosu-Mensah
  • 5Tomkins
  • 3van AanholtBooked at 54mins
  • 10Townsend
  • 7Cabaye
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 18McArthur
  • 17Benteke
  • 9Sørloth

Substitutes

  • 14Lee Chung-yong
  • 23Souaré
  • 27Delaney
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 30Henry
  • 31Rakip
  • 44Riedewald
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
39,139

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home11
Away16
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away7
Fouls
Home14
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Everton 3, Crystal Palace 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Everton 3, Crystal Palace 1.

Tom Davies (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace).

Hand ball by Tom Davies (Everton).

Foul by Tom Davies (Everton).

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Alexander Sørloth (Crystal Palace).

Theo Walcott (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joel Ward (Crystal Palace).

Foul by Oumar Niasse (Everton).

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by James Tomkins.

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace).

Goal!

Goal! Everton 3, Crystal Palace 1. Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty conceded by Ashley Williams (Everton) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexander Sørloth with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Tomkins with a headed pass.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Jordan Pickford.

Attempt saved. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Joel Ward.

Foul by Wayne Rooney (Everton).

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Morgan Schneiderlin replaces Idrissa Gueye.

Foul by Oumar Niasse (Everton).

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Idrissa Gueye (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Foul by Jonjoe Kenny (Everton).

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.

Foul by Wayne Rooney (Everton).

Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Everton 3, Crystal Palace 0. Tom Davies (Everton) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner.

Attempt saved. Oumar Niasse (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jonjoe Kenny.

Idrissa Gueye (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Jonjoe Kenny.

Attempt blocked. Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

goal

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