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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
06:49 17th July 2013

After seven defeats in a row, Palace managed to stop the rot with a goalless draw against Everton at Selhurst Park to give whoever is appointed manager a platform to build on ahead of a crucial run of fixtures.

In a game as inspiring as the weather it took place in, the Eagles carved out the better of the opportunities throughout the 90 minutes and had a couple of wonderful chances to find the net but a dogged defensive display ensured their first clean sheet of the campaign.

After a 15 minute delay to kick-off due to traffic problems in the area, the first half began sluggishly with the first sight of goal coming after 11 minutes. A neat one-touch passing move involving Steven Pienaar, Leighton Baines and Leon Osman gave the long-serving midfielder the chance to shoot at goal but his effort curled past the post.

Palace's opening opportunity was a skewed shot by Yannick Bolasie dragged wide of the mark as the visitors had the better of the opening 20 minutes and Julian Speroni had to get down quickly to divert an effort from Kevin Mirallas away which zipped off the slick surface due to the driving rain.

With conditions as bad as they chances had been few and far between but Keith Millen's men upped the tempo and began to look dangerous. Kagisho Dikgacoi had a great chance to net his first of the season when Marouane Chamakh whipped a cross into the South African's direction but he got his header all wrong and failed to test Tim Howard.

That gave the home side confidence to look the most threatening as the half came to a close, but only after two glorious opportunities fell their way. Firstly Jerome Thomas took aim from 25 yards and saw his bending attempt deflect off Seamus Coleman, and looked to be nestling into the top corner but Howard used his giant reach to tip the ball over.

Following that Chamakh replicated Dikgacoi's chance when Barry Bannan swung over a dangerous cross and with three Eagles queuing up inside the area to nod towards goal the Moroccan striker rose highest but misdirected with his forehead.

After the resumption in the second half the golden chances kept coming as Thomas broke clear of the Toffees defence and found himself one-on-one with Howard. Opting to chip the ball over the keeper he easily cleared the American glovesman but saw the ball just drop the wrong side of the post.

Roberto Martinez's side had been very subdued for about an hour but rattled the woodwork with 13 minutes remaining when a Baines corner was headed goalwards by Phil Jagielka but it bounced off the crossbar, and his defensive partner Sylvain Distin somehow headed the rebound wide from a few yards out.

The half ebbed away with very little goalmouth action but towards the end of the game there were a few nervy moments for Palace. Baines had the opportunity to bend home another of his superb free-kicks from his preferred range but could only hit the wall.

Minutes later Gerard Deulofeu drove in another dead ball but again couldn't find a way past a superb Eagles defence who fully deserved their clean sheet.

Palace: Speroni, Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey, Jedinak, Dikgacoi (O'Keefe 46), Bannan, Thomas (Puncheon 84), Bolasie, Chamakh (Jerome 63). Subs: Price, Mariappa, Kebe, Gayle.

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas (Deulofeu 55), Osman (Barkley 55), Pienaar, Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Heitinga, Stones, Naismith, Jelavic.