Everton earns a point as Amadou Onana’s header prevents Crystal Palace from scoring.

Estimated read time 5 min read

Unfortunately, the way Oliver Glasner took on the role of Crystal Palace manager was not ideal. However, his first encounter with Roy Hodgson’s former team at Goodison Park provided some encouragement. Palace performed well enough to deserve at least a draw against a struggling Everton side. Everton is currently appealing a 10-point deduction and will need all the support they can get to avoid facing another relegation challenge.

Sean Dyche thought that the new Crystal Palace manager’s presence motivated the away team. They were in the lead thanks to an excellent goal from Jordan Ayew and were close to getting their first win at Goodison Park in almost a decade. However, Everton’s substitute Amadou Onana saved them with a late goal, resulting in a draw. This moved Everton out of the relegation zone, but only on goal difference compared to Luton, who have played one less game. Despite this, their performance seems to be declining.

Dyche’s team continues to heavily rely on set pieces for scoring goals. Onana’s goal from a corner was their 10th of the season, but they have not won a Premier League game in eight matches. In their recent home game against Palace, who have also been facing managerial issues and have lost 11 of their last 18 matches, Everton put on a poor performance. Dyche’s attempt to spin it positively was a cause for concern. When asked if this was a missed opportunity, Dyche responded, “Oh no.” However, he did mention that the point earned lifted them out of the relegation zone. They are now waiting for the verdict on their 10-point deduction, but Dyche has not heard any updates yet.

Palace dominated the game, with their new manager, Glasner, seated next to the chairman, Steve Parish, in the Goodison directors’ box. Glasner had been announced as Hodgson’s replacement just before the start of the match. Lewington and McCarthy, who were part of Hodgson’s coaching staff, took over as planned when he became ill on Friday. Palace made a change to their formation, switching to a three-man central defense and utilizing Muñoz and Mitchell as wing-backs to put pressure on Everton.

Glasner’s first impressions of English football were deeply unattractive. The two recent FA Cup ties between the teams had lowered expectations for their fourth meeting of the season and the first half certainly lived down to them. It consisted mainly of Everton launching one long ball after another in the general direction of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Palace centre-halves Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen and Chris Richards absorbing them with ease. There was no plan B from Dyche’s team.

The Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish speaks with his new manager, Oliver Glasner, ahead of kick-off at EvertonView image in fullscreen

The former coach of Eintracht Frankfurt was impressed by the defensive prowess and organization of the visitors. Despite having more opportunities in the first half, Crystal Palace failed to capitalize due to their poor finishing and a goal line clearance by Everton. Odsonne Édouard shot directly at Jordan Pickford and Jefferson Lerma missed a great chance after being set up by Muñoz. Jean-Philippe Mateta came close with a header from Adam Wharton’s corner, but Ashley Young managed to clear it off the line.

Before the match, Everton was hopeful for the return of their top scorer Abdoulaye Doucouré, who had only played once since the team’s last league victory on December 16th due to a hamstring injury. However, Doucouré did not have much impact and was not very noticeable. He did assist teammate Dwight McNeil in Everton’s best opportunity before halftime, but ultimately, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header from McNeil’s cross went wide. This marked the 19th consecutive game without a goal for Calvert-Lewin, who seemed to be lacking confidence as a striker.

To be fair to the Everton striker, he was left alone and unable to make a significant difference. Calvert-Lewin was not only responsible for winning the initial ball, but also the second. The game was uneventful, and Everton’s struggles with keeping possession and constantly passing backwards tested the patience of Goodison’s fans. The addition of only one minute of extra time at the end of the first half was a small relief.

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Jordan Ayew’s shot beats Jordan Pickford to give Crystal Palace the lead

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Jarrad Branthwaite had a difficult game against the strong Mateta. He was fortunate to avoid punishment when it appeared that he had tripped the forward as he entered the penalty area. Mateta easily evaded James Tarkowski and set up Mitchell for a goal-scoring opportunity after shrugging off the Everton captain. Pickford reacted quickly and came out of his goal to stop the wing-back’s attempt to chip the ball.

The events that occurred during the game seemed to be influenced by two contrasting moments that took place within two minutes of the second half. Although Everton had a chance to score through Doucouré, they ended up falling behind due to Ayew’s precise shot. The goalkeeper for Crystal Palace, Sam Johnstone, played a crucial role in both situations. He made an exceptional save to prevent Tarkowski from scoring off a corner taken by McNeil. The ball then landed at the feet of Idrissa Gueye, who took a shot towards the goal, only for it to deflect off a teammate and into the path of Doucouré. Despite being left unmarked at the back post, Doucouré missed a golden opportunity to score from just four yards out. Johnstone managed to save the ball right in front of the goal line, ensuring his team’s safety.

Shortly after, the goalkeeper for Palace kicked the ball far into Everton’s area where Édouard passed it to Mateta. The French striker fought off Branthwaite and passed it to Ayew, who scored a powerful goal from outside the box. Everton was facing a disastrous loss as Calvert-Lewin missed another good opportunity from a cross by McNeil and Johnstone saved a shot by James Garner. But then, from a corner kick taken by McNeil, Onana jumped above the Palace goalkeeper and scored an important equalizer from a short distance.

Source: theguardian.com

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