It may have been late, and probably 2 points more than we deserved, but a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace has given Everton a 3rd win in succession for the first time in Marco Silva’s Premier League career.
With an unfavourable run of away fixtures on the horizon – starting with Manchester United this weekend; a win has furthered our confidence and it is now becoming more evident that the team is responding to Silva’s tactics. Injuries are also becoming less of concern with everyone barring James McCarthy eligible to make the squad.
Before the game, it was widely thought to be a predictable game of Everton dominating possession, trying to break through Crystal Palace and trying to tame Crystal Palace on the counter-attack. The reality, however, was much different with Crystal Palace taking the game to the home side and causing more problems than expected. Their aggressive approach faded in the second half and Everton grew into the game more – Walcott placing his shot at Hennessy’s feet the most notable of our chances in the early exchanges whereas Coleman bringing down Zaha gave Palace a glorious opportunity to take the lead. Luka Milivojevic took control of the Penalty as he has done on many previous occasions and shot low and central – much to the delight of Jordan Pickford and the Goodison faithful.
Before the game I spoke with Five Year Plan – a fanzine for Crystal Palace (http://comeonyoublues.com/behind-enemy-lines-crystal-palace-h/) to get their views on the match. I have since had a conversation to see how they saw the game:
1) What was your overall assessment of the match?
Fairly even contest between two hard to break down teams, settled by one team having decent options off the bench and the other not.
2)Who was your man of the match?
For Palace, probably James Tomkins. Overall, probably Seamus Coleman.
3) Who impressed you for Crystal Palace and why?
As above, Tomkins, who made one excellent Bobby Moore-esqu challenge on Richarlison in the first half in the box. Kouayte also looked decent I thought, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka continued to prove he could well be one of Palace’s best ever academy products.
4) Who impressed you for Everton and why?
Coleman looked good on his return and Jordan Pickford is having a brilliant year, helped again by a decent (if somewhat fortunate) penalty save.
5) A penalty in the 60th minute gave Palace a golden opportunity to take the lead. Was it a penalty? And how did that affect Palace for the final 30 minutes?
Yes, it was a penalty. I think the miss affected Everton more in that is brought the fans, and the team, to life.
6) Before the game, we spoke about how you thought Crystal Palace will look to sit back and frustrate, it seemed you took a more forward approach and in the first half, looking the more comfortable. Was that the best approach to make?
If we’d have won the match I’d have said yes. We are lacking some bite in the final third but to be honest, this was our best performance all over the pitch in some weeks.
7) With goals in the 87th and 89th minute and goals being scored by 2 substitutions (1 assist also). Was this game won from the bench and the lack of subs by Roy Hodgson?
100%. Hodgson does not have the options Silva does. A half-fit Connor Wickham is not going to affect the game in the way Lookman and Calvert-Lewin can.
8) Aaron Wan-Bissaka impressed yesterday; how long will it be until he’s a genuine contender for the RB slot for England?
He’s a bit unfortunate in that right-back seems to be the one position England are currently stacked in but if he continues at his current rate he will surely be pressing for a place soon.
9) Is Roy Hodgson the man to carry you forward from here? Or was it another rescue mission?
Yes, 100%. Things will be fine. We’ll end up 12th and everyone will forget this poor start.
10) Who disappointed you for Crystal Palace and why?
Hennessey for the first goal possibly, Luka for the penalty miss, but honestly both were ok during the game. No-one was particularly bad.
11) Who disappointed you for Everton and why?
Bernard didn’t have the impact I expected (much to my delight of course)
12) was it a fair result?
No. We should have probably taken a point.
Thanks for reading! any feedback is greatly appreciated