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April 16, 2014
• Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 39333
S. Naismith 61'
K. Mirallas 86'
J. Puncheon 23'
S. Dann 49'
C. Jerome 73'
That's about all the excitement I can handle for one day! I'm Alex Moretto and I thank you all for joining me for what was a thrilling match at Goodison Park. Good bye.
FULL-TIME: EVERTON 2-3 CRYSTAL PALACE. The hosts have their Champions League hopes pulled from beneath them for the time being, as they fail to replicate Arsenal's success from yesterday and remain in fifth place with this defeat. Palace on the other hand reach the magical 40 point plateau and continue writing their fairy tale under Tony Pulis.
90' + 6'
That may just do it! A long throw into the box bounces around before it's headed behind by Stones for a goal kick. Speroni boots it up the pitch and Andre Marriner blows the full-time whistle! Palace move to 40 points and write the final chapter in their heroic charge to safety!
90' + 5'
WHAT A MISS FROM MIRALLAS! OH HOW EVERTON NEEDED THAT! The ball is played over the top for the Belgian who has a free shot at goal from six yards out, but completely whiffs on the bouncing ball! He tries to recover, but goes down looking for a penalty. Nothing given, and rightfully so.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Jason Puncheon
90' + 3'
Palace wasting plenty of time as they are in no rush to take this one. Andre Marriner isn't urging them on either, but Puncheon seems to have said something that the referee was hardly fond of as he's shown a yellow card.
90' + 2'
Patience being shown by Everton here on the ball, who don't want to rush their play with six minutes still to play. They pass it around inside the Palace half, but there's yellow shirts everywhere! It's given away and Bolasie streaks forward, headed for the flag where he wins a corner.
Everton hoping for a copious amount of added time to make up for all the time Palace have wasted in this second half, and they will get a minimum of six minutes as they search for an equalizer. It's a massive six minutes for both teams to achieve their Premier League ambitions!
Romelu Lukaku is whistled for a foul, and Damien Delaney pretends not to hear the whistle and boots the ball out of play. It was quite obvious as to what his intent was, and the Everton players are screaming for him to be given a second yellow. Andre Marriner points to his ears as if to say he can't hear anything either, and Delaney gets away with one there.
Goal Kevin Mirallas
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAL!! MIRALLAS GIVES EVERTON HOME! Ross Barkley's pass is directed into the path of Mirallas, who sidesteps Speroni and taps into an empty net. Game on at Goodison!
Naismith is whistled for a foul deep in the attacking third, which will allow Palace to relieve a bit of the pressure that has been directed towards their goal for the last ten minutes or so.
AGAIN EVERTON COME CLOSE! Leon Osman takes a quick free kick, passing it to Mirallas along the right. The Belgian passes it to to Baines just outside the six yard box, but he has his shot blocked by Delaney! Valiant defending from Palace!
SENTATIONAL FROM BARKLEY! The youngster is so poised and full of confidence. He gets the ball at the top of the box with plenty of work to do. He shifts gears and charges into the box, finding space and looking to pick out the far corner, but Speroni just gets a touch on it! Vital save there to keep Palace two goals up!
DISAPPOINTING FROM LUKAKU! The Belgian takes a perfect pass and charges into the box. He can't decide whether to shoot or cross, and by the time he tries to cross it in, Dann is across to block it and clear the danger. You'd expect more there from the striker.
STAT ATTACK: Everton have scored over a third of their goals this season in the 75th minute or later.
It's the most recent goalscorer who gives way now for Crystal Palace, for midfielder Stuart O'Keefe. Tony Pulis eager to bring on some fresh legs to help try and see off the wave of Everton pressure that is to come.
Assist Jason Puncheon
Goal Cameron Jerome
WHOA! GOOOOOOOOOOAAAL! Palace restore their two goal cushion! Absolute mayhem at Goodison Park! Sensational work from Jason Puncheon to keep the ball and dribble past two defenders at the top of the box before picking out Cameron Jerome, who passes a shot into the far corner. It's come completely against the run of play!
SO CLOSE! Everton get three touches of the ball inside the box, as it rattles around like a piece of silver in a pinball machine. It finally falls to Osman who strikes it with some serious venom. Speroni just gets a finger to it to tip it onto the bar and behind for a corner.
Everton with 66 percent possession in the second half, and they're finally converting it into some solid scoring chances. They absolutely must find a second to keep pace with Arsenal in their quest for fourth place.
WHAT A BALL FROM BAINES! The left-back lofts a pass across the box to Mirallas at the far post, but he can't direct his volley on target. Sensational stuff from Baines who is really coming to life as this one approaches the final 20 minutes.
Yellow Card Leighton Baines
Yellow card issued now to Baines after he clashes with Mariappa. There was no intent to injure, but the right back is down and bloodied. Plenty of jeers are being tossed his way as he's attended to by the training staff, but I'm really not sure why as there is a lot of blood coming from his nose.
The fans at Goodison are back on their feet! They're cheering on their Blues in full force here as they search for an equalizer. Every touch, every tackle and every whistle is met with a thunderous roar from the fans.
Assist Leighton Baines
Goal Steven Naismith
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAL! Finally a breakthrough for Everton, and it's the substitute, and Toffee's fan favourite Steven Naismith who scores it! Mirallas sends a wonderful cross in from the right, towards the far post. It's met by Baines who heads it back across goal into the path of Naismith who taps home into an empty net.
McCarthy and Osman on, Barry and McGeady off. It's another interesting switch from Martinez, who has all but taken away the flanks. We should see Everton go with a much more direct approach, or Mirallas will drift over to the left.
Still it's Palace doing an excellent job in defence, giving Everton absolutely nothing to work with! They can't find a way through at the moment, and haven't been able to all match.
Free kick for Everton now, as Lukaku misplays a pass, but recovers before it goes out of play. He's taken down near the corner flag by Delaney and wins a good chance for his team. Baines delivers, and it's met by Lukaku but headed well wide at the near post.
STAT ATTACK: Everton have won seven consecutive Premier League home matches, and have suffered just ONE defeat in their past 27 league fixtures at Goodison Park.
MCGEADY! Everton playing with a strong sense of urgency now. The Irish man cuts towards the centre of the pitch and lets fly from 25 yards out, narrowly missing at the far post. Everton desperately searching for a breakthrough.
Assist Y. Bolasie
Goal Scott Dann
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAL! It's a massive goal for Crystal Palace who double their lead! Scott Dann, the Scouse lad who left Merseyside, is back with a goal to deliver a big blow to Everton's Champions League hopes. He gets his head to a corner and makes no mistake, bouncing it off the ground and into the roof of the net.
Great stuff from Cameron Jerome, who refuses to give up on an errant pass when Everton did. He gets to the ball and plays it off Coleman to win a throw near the corner flag. That determination has been the difference between the two clubs thus far.
Crystal Palace kick-off and we're underway in the second half. One substitution to report, and it is a puzzling one, as Gerard Deulofeu comes off for Steven Naismith. That should provide more of a presence inside the box, but the Spaniard looked to be one of the more creative players for Everton in the first half.
The saving grace for Everton? They've scored 73 percent of their goals this season in the second halves of their matches.
STAT ATTACK: Only Chelsea, Everton and Manchester United have conceded fewer goals away from home this season than Crystal Palace (21).
HALF-TIME: EVERTON 0-1 CRYSTAL PALACE. The visitors have looked more than up to the challenge here today. Their sheer determination to win every ball has posed quite a few problems for the Toffees, who can't seem to match that same intensity thus far. Roberto Martinez has his work cut out for him as they hope to snag a massive three points.
45' + 1'
And that's the last of the action as Andre Marriner blows his half-time whistle with Crystal Palace leading at the break!
Great pressure from Everton as we enter added time. A free kick from Leighton Baines is just cleared, but the Toffees win it back. McGeady gets it along the left and wins a corner as his cross is cleared. Again it comes back to the Irish winger along the left, and he tries to loft one in for a second time. It's a dangerous ball that has Speroni worried, but he can relax as the ball lands on the top of his goal.
Yellow Card Damien Delaney
BOLASIE! Well the Congo DR man certainly isn't afraid to have a go! He finds a little space along the left and fires from distance. It's struck with a ton of power, but just sails over the goal as a furious Tim Howard gives his teammates a earful.
Three Palace players standing over the ball, but it's Jedinak who takes. He opts to cross it in, but Distin is able to clear under little to no pressure.
Things have really opened up here as we approach half-time! Baines takes down Jerome who was making a nice run, and the Glaziers have themselves a free kick from just under 30 yards out.
WHAT A SAVE! It's a brilliant run from the young Ross Barkley who gets into the box, all the way to the touch-line before cutting it back for Lukaku. The Belgian's shot it a good one, but Speroni gets a foot on it to deny him at the near post. Much better from Everton.
Poor final ball from Deulofeu. Joe Ledley gives the ball straight away in midfield, and Everton break in numbers on the counter. Lukaku lays it off for Deulofeu who has McGeady screaming for it at the top of the box. The Spaniard instead tries to beat the defender, but can't get his cross through as Everton have to settle for another corner.
HORRIBLE MISS FROM JEROME! Out of nothing, really, Bolasie wins a long ball and has a go from long range. He has Howard beaten at the near post, but is denied by the woodwork! Jerome on the follow up has Howard down at the side of his goal, but puts the rebound wide! Really should have been a second for Palace.
MIRALLAS! Great strength shown from the Belgian who takes a wayward pass, brings it down and shields off Dann. He turns the defender well, but fires over the bar from a tight angle.
Admirable stuff from Crystal Palace in defence. Everton are starting to take the game over in midfield, but they can hardly even break into the attacking third at the moment. And when they do, they've done very little with it.
Plenty of space for Baines as Everton win the ball in midfield. The left-back streaks down the flank and spots Lukaku in space. He passes it across, but the Belgian, unaware of this, vacates the area to make a run into the box and the miscommunication allows Palace to get back in possession.
Crystal Palace have defended quite comfortably through the opening stages of this match. Everton can't find a way through at the moment, but they certainly have to! Deulofeu and Mirallas look lively in midfield, but have yet to be able to pick out a final pass. Lukaku has little space to work with inside the area, swarmed by yellow shirts every time he gets the ball.
It's a goal that Everton really couldn't afford to concede. Roberto Martinez looks on, coaching his team, knowing there's a considerable amount of work to be done if they are to turn this around!
Assist Marouane Chamakh
Goal Jason Puncheon
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAL! Crystal Palace continue to defy the odds as they open the scoring at Goodison Park! And who else but Jason Puncheon?! Bolasie makes a brilliant run down the right. His cross is punched away by Howard, but only as far as Chamakh, who lays it off for Puncheon to slot inside the far post with his left foot.
STAT ATTACK: Everton have won seven consecutive Premier League matches. They haven’t won eight in a row since May 1985. The last time they failed to record a victory was in a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on February 22.
Everton have certainly enjoyed the bulk of possession early on, but they haven't managed to convert it into a good scoring chance yet, as they continue to search for their first shot on target.
GREAT DEFENDING! Deulofeu makes a nice run down the right and crosses in for Lukaku. It's touched back into the path of McGeady who has a clear shooting chance, but he can't get to the ball ahead of Mariappa who boots it out of the danger area.
Lovely movement from Palace, as Bolasie sends a clever little back heel into the path of Ward. The left-back has room to run, but sends a poor cross into the area that Puncheon can't keep from running out of play.
APPEALS FOR A PENALTY! Ross Barkley uses his quick feet to shield off a few Palace defenders before being taken down by Joe Ledley. There was an argument to be made for a foul, but it looked as though the contact occurred just outside the box.
INJURIES ALL OVER THE PLACE! Tim Howard races out of his goal to collect a ball ahead of Cameron Jerome, and Everton subsequently put the ball out of play with Jason Puncheon down injured. He's been red hot for Palace, who can not afford to have him injured.
As is to be expected from a Tony Pulis side, Palace are making Everton earn every inch of space. McGeady makes a nice run to elude two defenders, but his cross in for Lukaku is a few feet in front of the Belgian who looks to have injured himself trying to lunge for the ball. That is a worrying site for Roberto Martinez.
STAT ATTACK: Crystal Palace have won three straight matches for the first time this season, and have not conceded during that span.
Everton doing a nice job of keeping possession despite the high pressing of Crystal Palace. Mirallas is drifting to the flanks to provide the defenders with an outlet pass, and looks lively on the ball. It's important to note, nothing will come easy against a Palace team who have conceded very few goals since the arrival of Tony Pulis.
Great start from the hosts! Another corner won by the Toffees through Gerard Deulofeu and Aiden McGeeady. The cross is dealt with and Palace break on a counter. Jason Puncheon sends a nice ball through to Cameron Jerome, but the striker is called for the offside.
First chance falls to Everton who win a quick corner. Barry eludes his marker and meets the cross, but directs his header over the bar.
Back to football we go! Everton kick-off with ambitions of fourth place. The home side, moving right to left, are wearing their classic royal blue home kits, with Crystal Palace sporting all yellow.
Everton have really put together a lovely and respectful ceremony to honour the Hillsborough victims, many of whom have family in the stands today. Managers, players and fans clap in unison as the kids hold a long row of Liverpool and Everton scarves tied together to show the unity and support the two teams share.
The 'Call to Arms' blasts through the stadium loudspeakers as the players take the pitch to a thunderous applause from the Goodison faithful. There will be a moment of silence before kick-off to honour the 96 victims of the tragic Hillsborough incident a short 25 years ago.
STAT ATTACK: Crystal Palace's last visit to Goodison Park came nearly a decade ago, in April 2005, with Everton winning 4-0 thanks to goals from Mikel Arteta, James Vaughan and a Tim Cahill brace.
Yannick Bolasie passed a late fitness test and is in the starting XI, but the same can not be said about Kagisho Dikgacoi who will be forced to miss out on the match with a knock.
Steven Pienaar is still injured, allowing Aiden McGeady to start on the left, while Phil Jagielka hasn't quite recovered from his hamstring ailment, meaning John Stones pairs yet again with Sylvain Distin in the centre of defence.
CRYSTAL PALACE SUBS: Parr, McCarthy, Ince, O'Keefe, Gayle, Murray, Hennessey.
CRYSTAL PALACE XI (4-4-1-1): Speroni; Mariappa, Delaney, Dann, Ward; Puncheon, Ledley, Jedinak, Bolasie; Chamakh; Jerome.
EVERTON SUBS: Robles, Hibbert, Naismith, McCarthy, Osman, Garbutt, Alcaraz.
EVERTON XI (4-2-3-1): Howard; Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines; Barkley, Barry; Deulofeu, Mirallas, McGeady; Lukaku.
The teams have been announced, so let us have ourselves a look at today's starting line-ups:
"You can't get carried away because things can turn around so quickly." - Tony Pulis. They may not be mathematically safe, but Crystal Palace are sitting pretty with five games to play. Seven points and six teams separate them from the relegation zone thanks to three consecutive victories and a red hot Jason Puncheon who seems to have found his form. Three points today would give them 40, often considered the magic number to stay in the Premier League.
Arsenal's victory yesterday puts the pressure back on Everton to pick up a win this evening. The Toffees would jump back into fourth place with just a single point from tonight's match, but of course anything but three points would be considered a loss for Roberto Martinez, who knows points are at a premium with games against Manchester United, Manchester City and Southampton still to come. Roberto Martinez has asked the Goodison Park faithful to play their part down the stretch, so we should expect a thunderous atmosphere in Merseyside here tonight!
Good afternoon Premiership fans around the world, and welcome to today's match between Everton and Crystal Palace at the Goodison Park, as the Toffees look to reclaim fourth place from Arsenal. I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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