A fine free-kick from Romelu Lukaku and a superlative header from Christian Benteke earned Everton and Palace a point each at Goodison Park
That’s all from me. It’s been a joy. Here’s your proper actual match report. Bye!
A couple of Crystal Palace players have spoken to Sky. Firstly Christian Benteke:
I think it’s a fair result tonight. I think it was a great performance from the lads. We really fought hard, we came back in the game, and one points is good. It’s never easy to play against Everton, especially when they’re at home, but we showed great team spirit.
I thought I pulled out of it. It’s a bit harsh to be honest. Obviously we made a hash of it in the wall, the lads should have jumped but didn’t. Probably my decision. It was one of those ones that was borderline whether we should jump or not. We spoke about it and it was my call. Obviously the wrong one.
The referee said James McArthur was down the line with the goalkeeper. I’m not sure if he was or not. It’s a bit soft if I’m honest.
In this month Crystal Palace have won more points (10) than they did in January, February, March, April and August put together (9).
That was really quite a lot of fun. Everton go third, Palace stay seventh.
90+5 mins: And that’s yer lot!
90+4 mins: One booking for the road from the referee, after Cleverley tripped Zaha with a quite extraordinarily cynical ankle-nip.
90+3 mins: Andros Townsend goes off and Lee Chung-yong replaces him.
90+1 mins: Into stoppage time we roll. There’s going to be four minutes of it, inevitably.
88 mins: Ward has the ball in defence, and Bolasie flies in to challenge him. One foot wins the ball, the other leg takes out Ward most emphatically, and Bolasie gets booked.
86 mins: Gueye and Bolasie combine beautifully on the right flank before the former finds Coleman scampering into all sorts of space. That, however, is very much the highlight of the move, which ends with a cross that Funes Mori controls so hopelessly 20 yards out that the ball goes out of play.
83 mins: In a throwback to their goal, Kelly crosses to Benteke. This time though the striker decides to nod the ball back to Townsend rather than send it towards goal. Wrong call.
82 mins: My new friend Banker, who appears to have some kind of refereeing affiliation, emails about that disallowed Palace goal: “Oh lord Simon, the disallowed goal was two of the hardest situations combined for the assistant to deal with. Firstly, the player at the back stick was in an offside position when the ball was played but did not become active. I don’t think the assistant has flagged for that. Then McArthur runs close to the ball in front of the goal. Is he ‘clearly attempting to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an opponent’? I don’t think the assistant can decide that. We can only hope that the officials have talked over the intercom and that Moss has used his better angle to interpret the situation. This just highlights the impossible job officials have with some offside situations.” Doesn’t it just.
81 mins: Chance for Everton! Lukaku’s first-time touch to Coleman is lovely, and the full-back bursts into the area before shooting high with Delaney gearing up for another manic challenge.
81 mins: Another substitution – Oviedo is off, and Funes Mori is on.
80 mins: Kelly jumps with an arm around the neck of Lukaku, who wins the ball, thinks about the situation, waits a few seconds and then decides really he should probably have dived that time when he felt a defender touch him. He dives anyway, just for old time’s sake, and wins a free kick from a misty-eyed official.
78 mins: And Palace make their first change, bringing Cabaye on for McArthur.
78 mins: Gueye and Townsend touch shoulders on the left flank. The winger goes over, and Gueye gets booked.
77 mins: The night’s first substitution, with only 13 minutes to play, sees Barkley replaced by Mirallas.
76 mins: Chance for Palace! A corner from the right is headed out to Ward, who heads back into the area, where the defence has pushed up and Tomkins has run clear. His header on goal is weak and easily saved – he had time to control it and read the paper before shooting if he’d fancied.
75 mins: Palace are absolutely peppering the area with crosses, but Everton are marking Benteke well and repeatedly scrambling clear. It’s not exactly comfortable though.
72 mins: Barry commits another foul, a push out on the right wing, and Palace have another dangerous set piece. The ball looks to be going to Benteke but is half-cleared, sent back in, looks to be going to Benteke again, is half-cleared again, and then Stekelenburg intervenes to punch to ball out of play, and flatten Ledley in the process.
69 mins: He does shoot, but into the wall.
68 mins: Moments later Townsend goes down over Barry’s proffered leg and the referee gets his card out again. It looks like Townsend will have a shot from the free kick.
67 mins: Townsend becomes Palace’s latest yellow card recipient, for attempting to foul Barkley. Imagine what would have happened if he’d actually fouled him.
66 mins: Oooh! Everton win a corner, which is glanced goalwards by Barry, wide of the near post. It was probably going wide anyway, but Jason Puncheon on the far post made sure.
65 mins: Come on, it’s not that bad.
@Simon_Burnton Only been watching since halftime. Is Martinez back in charge?
63 mins: The ball is absolutely flying around Goodison Park. It’s not quite end to end, but it is approximately 18-yard line to 18-yard line.
62 mins: Here’s the critical moment in full, as the ball is played in to the Everton box:
60 mins: Moments later Gueye chips the ball into the box, and Bolasie’s overhead kick looks very nice, but sends the ball wide.
59 mins: Lukaku has the ball pretty much where Bolasie did a few minutes ago – perhaps his angle is a little more unfavourable – but he does shoot. It’s blocked.
58 mins: Replays suggests that was a poor decision – Delaney was level with Ashley Williams, and standing right next to him just to make the linesman’s decision a little easier.
57 mins: Palace have a goal disallowed! The corner is cleared, crossed back in, and headed home by Delaney, but the linesman is flagging.
56 mins: Andros Townsend has had a very quiet evening – Zaha has been much more influential – but he has just won a corner, which is something.
53 mins: Benteke has also been booked, possibly for being unhappy that a handball Palace were claiming went unspotted by the officials. If so, it’s Palace’s third booking for dissent tonight. I’m all for cracking down on dissent, but really there hasn’t been very much of it, and this is getting a bit silly.
52 mins: What a chance for Eveton! Bolasie’s excellent chest control sends him running down the inside left channel into the penalty area. He might have shot from a reasonably acute angle, but instead he checked back and lays the ball across goal to Gueye, who shot into Kelly.
Palace send in another early cross – Kelly with it this time – and Benteke outjumps Coleman at the far post and sends the ball back across goal and perfectly inside the far post. That’s a sensational header.
48 mins: “Thought you might like to know that our announcer, Peter Drury, referred to the celebratory hug between Lukaku and Koeman after the goal as a ‘low counties cuddle’,” writes JR. I do like to know that.
46 mins: Peeeep! We’re back under way. Goodison, here’s what you missed.
The players come back out, with Sweet Caroline ringing out over the Tannoy. I’m disappointed it’s not Friday’s Child by Will Young, or Friday Night by the Kids from Fame.
“Hmm Simon. I disagree,” insists Banker. “As much as it pains me to blow the whistle of one of my own. From my view Mr Moss was clearly a late replacement and has left his running shoes and indirect salute in the dressing room. A dressing down awaits.” One thing we can probably agree on is that it was a fine strike from Lukaku, one of those free kicks that looks so ludicrously easy it’s a wonder there aren’t 10 a game.
Oh, actually they’re wrong. Clearly the referee thought Delaney was kicking or attempting to kick Jagielka, rather than simply engaging in dangerous play:
A direct free kick is awarded if a player commits any of the following offences against an opponent in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:
“Jags handled the ball just before his face was narrowly missed but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t clearly a foul against him,” writes Banker. “The real problem is that Moss should have awarded an indirect free kick for playing in a dangerous manner. Where is Clatts when you need him eh?”
On a similar theme:
@Simon_Burnton not to let Delaney off the hook for almost booting Jagielka's head into Row Z, but isn't high boot/dangerous play an IFK?
An indirect free kick is awarded if a player:
As Sky cut to ads, we hear the opening bars of the Cure’s Friday I’m in Love echo around Goodison Park. Disappointingly literal disk jockeying there.
45+2 mins: Barkley doesn’t shoot. Instead he produces a horribly weak kind-of-cross, which is dismissively thumped clear. And that’s it for half one!
45+1 mins: It will end with another free-kick shooting chance for Everton, after Ledley provokes Bolasie into falling over. This time Tomkins talks his way into the book.
45 mins: Suddenly the half is nearly over. There will be one minute of first-half stoppage time, as always.
42 mins: A fine passage of play from Everton ends with Barkley passing to Coleman, surging into the area. For a moment, it looks certain to lead to a great chance, but the pass was a bit close to him for a first-time shot, and his first touch took him too wide.
39 mins: “Do you think the Bosnian guy was looking for offers? I’m thinking of how that might pave the way to paid supporters/supporter sponsorship heading towards a ‘career fan’ sort of employment status,” writes JJ. “Still working on the economic model …”
Yup, good luck with that.
37 mins: Though Delaney really needs to stop going into challenges like a rabid maniac.
36 mins: Jagielka’s handball came fractionally before he was nearly decapitated, so really that should have been a free kick to Palace.
From 20 yards, Lukaku sends the ball over the wall and in at the near post with his left foot!
34 mins: Now Delaney competes against Jagielka for a high ball. Jagielka wins the ball (with his hands, to be fair); Delaney kicks Jagielka (actually he just misses, to be honest). Anyway, it’s a free kick.
33 mins: Palace win a corner, from which Stekelenburg steps off his line and brushes McArthur. The referee decides this is free kick worthy. If such contact routinely led to free kicks there would be hundreds every game, and never any time for anything else.
31 mins: Delaney and Bolasie compete for a high ball. Bolasie heads the ball; Delaney heads Bolasie. The physios are on.
29 mins: Still an enjoyably manic game, though it is tiptoeing towards needs-a-goal status. “I can’t help but wonder, of all the club letters penned to the Bosnian kid, did Cambridge’s have the best style and grammar?” asks Peter Oh. A fine question. Here’s their response, which is a little underwhelming, to be honest.
Thank you very much for your email. Cambridge United is a very special club for a variety of different reasons on and off the pitch! I have attached a link which reveals all here.
I hope this helps in the search for your new club. If you have any further questions just let me know.
27 mins: Lukaku falls over McArthur’s challenge, 25 yards out, and when the referee blows his whistle Puncheon is booked for quibbling. Nothing immediately comes from the free kick.
25 mins: Everton try to break, but Palace’s defenders sprint harder and in greater numbers than the attackers, and it all peters out a bit, ending with Oviedo overhitting a cross out of play.
22 mins: Palace are having a period of domination, peppering the Everton area with early crosses, and it doesn’t really matter how wayward they are if the defence aimlessly boots the ball straight back at them whenever they get it.
19 mins: This is manic stuff, thoroughly entertaining even if it will at some point reach needs-a-goal status. Ledley gets in a muddle in the middle, gives the ball to Barkley, who passes to Lukaku, whose low drive flies straight at Mandanda.
16 mins: A booking! Oviedo gets it, for stopping Zaha’s run with a blatant arm-round-the-neck-and-heave.
14 mins: Oviedo bursts forward, is found by Cleverley’s chip over the visiting defence and is ludicrously taken out by Delaney in the penalty area. It was as clear a penalty as you’ll ever see, but luckily for Palace the linesman was waving his flag.
14 mins: Bolasie started on the left and is now on the right, from where he just sent in another fine cross. When he doesn’t have the ball, though, he’s still standing around wincing a bit.
12 mins: The night’s first shot comes from the boot of Barkley, who runs from the centre circle until, about 30 yards out, he thumps it high and wide.
11 mins: The home side have had 75% of possession in the first 10 minutes.
10 mins: … which looked to be heading perfectly for Williams to volley, but for some reason he decided to let it fly between his legs. If he thought he had a team-mate poised behind him, he was wrong.
9 mins: Perhaps he’s OK after all, because his next involvement is on the left wing, and his excellent cross looks destined for Lukaku’s forehead, but he barely touches the ball, and it comes off Delaney for a corner.
8 mins: Bolasie wins the ball from Zaha but seems to have hurt his back in doing so, and is doing a lot of standing around wincing.
7 mins: Coleman gets the ball again, and wins a corner again, Zaha back defending. Barkley takes it, and Williams heads it straight into Jagielka’s back.
5 mins: Coleman stands in all sorts of space for an age while Everton keep the ball in a congested midfield. Eventually Barkley finds him, and he beats Kelly but the ball is turned behind. This corner also comes to nought.
4 mins: For all the wingers on the field the best cross of the early exchanges comes from Joel Ward, which is headed behind by Williams. The corner is headed clear.
1 min: With 30 seconds on the clock Bolasie has already attempted a cross and a shot, both of which hit a nearby defender.
1 min: Peeeeep! Everton get the game under way.
If there was a countdown clock running, it would have a very small number on it.
The teams are out of the tunnel.
The teams are in the tunnel. Exciting times.
Alan Pardew on tonight’s game:
It’s interesting for me to see if they’re as brave as I think they’re going to be. The problem we had last year is we didn’t grind enough results out, and we made a lot of changes over the summer to make sure that got rectified. So I don’t want to see a defeat to our name today.
You may have read about this guy, who wrote to all 92 English league clubs asking why he should support them, received 10 replies and picked Everton’s as the best. The clubs that wrote back to him were: Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Everton, Chelsea, Manchester United, Southampton, Stoke, Ipswich, Cambridge United and Barnet. Tonight’s his first game at Goodison Park.
Ronald Koeman, who’s an excellent talker and seems to intriguingly combine friendliness and toughness, has been talking about Ross Barkley again:
In several moments of the game he’s losing balls that he cannot lose. And he needs to work and he needs to press. I don’t discourage the talent of the player, but he’s no more a talent because it’s his fourth, fifth season in the Premier League – he’s a first team player and you need to show that.
Townsend won. Zaha is miffed.
Currently on Sky, Andros Townsend and Wilf Zaha are playing each other in an extended advert for Fifa 17.
“If we are going to achieve what we want to achieve this season, we need to win the game on Friday,” says Romelu Lukaku. Strong words.
One person who isn’t in the Palace side, though, is Yohan Cabaye, who has started only two league games this season, the last of them on 20 August (the two games he started are also the only games Palace have lost).
PARDEW: Leaving Yo out of the side shows the strength of the team because he hasn't been playing badly. #CPFC
So Wilfried Zaha is fit and starts, alongside Andros Townsend and Jason Puncheon, in a totally offensive (in a positive footballing sense) Palace side.
The team sheets are in, and these are the names upon them:
Everton: Stekelenburg, Coleman, Jagielka, Ashley Williams, Oviedo, Cleverley, Barry, Gana, Bolasie, Lukaku, Barkley. Subs: Robles, Mirallas, Lennon, Valencia, Funes Mori, Davies, Holgate.
Crystal Palace: Mandanda, Ward, Tomkins, Delaney, Kelly, McArthur, Ledley, Townsend, Puncheon, Zaha, Christian Benteke. Subs: Flamini, Cabaye, Campbell, Hennessey, Lee, Fryers, Wickham.
Referee: Jon Moss.
Win and they’ll be second in the table. Draw and they’ll be third. Lose and they could be overtaken by Crystal Palace. This is the equation facing Everton this evening. Entertainment should be guaranteed, given the presence of wingy wingers in both teams – Wilfried Zaha is apparently fit to play for Palace, Andros Townsend is in full flow, while Yannick Bolasie faces his former chums – and prolific burly Belgian hitmen for all of them to feed: Romelu Lukaku has scored three goals in his last four games against Palace, while Christian Benteke has scored four goals in his last five games against Everton.
Townsend is one of the few Palace players who Bolasie doesn’t know particularly well, though they aren’t complete strangers. “We played against each other in the Newcastle-Palace game last season,” Townsend has revealed, “and had a bit of banter because I think I ran back and dispossessed him.” Good times, good times.
Here’s something that Jacob Steinberg thinks you should look out for tonight:
Briefly tipped as unlikely title contenders, Everton have had a deflating couple of weeks since beating Middlesbrough on 10 September, following up their exit from the EFL Cup at the hands of Norwich City by losing at Bournemouthlast weekend. Ronald Koeman was deeply unimpressed with his team’s performance in the 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth and, for now, Everton’s task is to show their new manager that they can live up to expectations on a consistent basis. Players such as Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley have so much more to offer and Koeman will demand a response when Crystal Palace, energised by Christian Benteke’s goals, come to town on Friday night.