Marco Silva got his substitutes just right on Sunday evening as goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun secured a late 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.
The Toffees were made to work for their victory and Silva introduced the duo late in the game against a stubborn Eagles team, who had spurned the opportunity to go ahead as Luka Milivojevic missed a penalty in the second-half. They had an instant impact as Calvert-Lewin powered home a header with only three minutes of regular time remaining. The advantage was doubled only a matter of second as Tosun finished well when one-on-one with Wayne Hennessey.
Limited chances for both sides
The first half was a scrappy affair throughout, with chances at a premium early on. Seamus Coleman was the man to have the first shot in anger after ten minutes. He was teed up by Bernard but put his effort high over the bar.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, who scored a stunning goal against Leicester last time out, then had the next opportunity of the game as he played a clever one-two with the defender. He aimed for Wayne Henessey’s near post but could not beat the Welsh stopper as he pawed the ball away.
James Tomkins was guilty of spurning one of Palace’s best opportunities of the first-half as he latched onto Andros Townsend’s cross at the far post, only to nod the ball wide of Jordan Pickford’s net.
Palace gain momentum before half-time
With the first-half drawing to a close, Roy Hodgson’s men started to get a firm foothold of the game and should have scored on two occasions in quick succession. Luka Milivojević aimed for the bottom corner from a free-kick but Pickford reacted well to tip the ball around the post.
From the resultant corner, Cheikhou Kouyate managed to get his head to the ball but his effort clipped the ball and bounced away from the goal-line to the relief of Marco Silva and his troops.
The hosts had one final opportunity before the break and it was Sigurdsson again. The Icelandic international turned on the edge of the area and sent a low effort curling wide of the post.
Pickford prolific at penalties yet again
The match resumed at much a similar theme to the first-half, with both teams really scrapping to earn an advantage. That was until Wilfried Zaha was tripped in the box by Coleman, with the referee immediately pointing to the spot. Midfielder Milivojevic stepped up and went straight down the middle, only to see the ball lifted over the bar by Pickford’s legs.
Hennessey did very much the same at the other end of the pitch as Theo Walcott was fed one-on-one. Aiming to roll the ball underneath the goalkeeper, he too could only find the stopper’s legs and the ball spun away from goal.
Changes pay off for Silva
Time continued to tick down and Everton were really struggling to break down the Eagles’ stubborn resistance. Silva attempted to secure a late win by introducing Lookman and Calvert-Lewin, and both were involved in the Toffees’ opener. Lookman found space on the edge of the box and tossed a teasing ball into the box. Calvert-Lewin had managed to wriggle free of his marker and expertly guided the ball beyond Hennessey.
The hosts managed to get another only minutes later as fellow substitute Cenk Tosun sprung the offside trap as the ball was launched upfield. Bearing down on the Palace goal, the Turkish striker stayed cool to roll the ball underneath the goalkeeper and secure the three points for the hosts.
Marco Silva would not have dreamt that his substitutes would have quite the impact that they did at Goodison Park. The trio all gave the Toffees fresh impetus against a stubborn Crystal Palace side. The goals were both of great quality but the hosts might feel slightly unfortunate that Milivojevic missed his penalty that could have given the visitors the lead.
Elsewhere, Palace and Hodgson will be bitterly disappointed with the result. On the whole, the Eagles were defensively excellent but two lapses in concentration cost them at the vital time.
Everton: Pickford (7); Digne (7), Keane (6), Zouma (7); Coleman (7); Gueye (6), Gomes (6) (Calvert-Lewin (7), 82′); Walcott (6) (Lookman (7), 82′), Sigurdsson (7), Bernard (6) (Tosun (7), 66′); Richarlison (6).
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6); van Aanholt (6), Tomkins (5), Sakho (6), Wan-Bissaka (7); Milivojevic (6), Kouyate (6), McArthur (5) (Wickham (N/A), 89′); Schlupp (5), Townsend (5), Zaha (6).
Goals: Calvert-Lewin (87′), Tosun (89′)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Yellow Cards: Gueye (29′), Milivojevic (51′), Coleman (80′)
Red Cards: N/A
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