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Match Reports

Report: Everton 2-3 Crystal Palace

21 September 2014

In a repeat of last season’s victory at Goodison, Palace beat Everton 3-2 to collect the first win of Neil Warnock’s second stint at the club, and their maiden victory of the Premier League season.

In a enthralling encounter the Eagles had found themselves a goal down early on when Romelu Lukaku netted after eight minutes but Mile Jedinak equalised from the penalty spot, and second half strikes from Fraizer Campbell and Yannick Bolasie put Palace in command after the break, although there was a nervy ending in store when Leighton Baines slotted home a penalty on 82 minutes.

The Toffees had the majority of the ball in the opening exchanges, and six minutes in they used it to good effect by carving out the game’s first opportunity when Leon Osman’s through-ball found Christian Atsu, who rounded Julian Speroni but could only find the side-netting from a tight angle.

However two minutes later they took the lead. James McCarthy found Osman who once again looked to slip the ball in behind the Eagles defence, and this time he found Lukaku who used his pace and power to go one-on-one with Speroni and the Belgian coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Osman was at the heart of all Roberto Martinez’s side’s good play during the opening 25 minutes and he went close when Gareth Barry lofted the ball into the path of Atsu who held the ball up and found the long-serving midfielder who shot straight at Speroni

But half an hour in Palace were gifted a way back into the game. Bolasie won a header and the ball landed inbetween Tim Howard, John Stones and James McArthur, and a lack of communication between the Everton pair saw the goalkeeper trip the Eagles midfielder and concede a penalty. Jedinak stepped up and sent Howard the wrong way as he put the ball into the top corner.

And four minutes before the break they nearly took the lead when Joe Ledley picked up a loose pass from Atsu and passed to Bolasie who cut inside from the left and blasted towards goal. His shot took a big deflection off Stones and looped over Howard but struck the crossbar as the sides went into half-time level.

But the momentum had turned and eight minutes into the second half the Eagles found themselves in front. Martin Kelly pushed on down the right and sent a high cross into the area which Howard and Campbell contested in the air but the ball stuck the Palace attacker and despite Phil Jagielka’s best efforts the striker celebrated his first Palace goal.

Minutes later it was nearly level once again when Atsu ghosted into the area and cut the ball back from the byline, and Lukaku’s goalbound shot was blocked by Scott Dann with the rebound falling to Barry who blazed it over from eight yards out.

That miss proved costly as the visitors extended their lead on 68 minutes. Jason Puncheon robbed Osman on the edge of his own area and brought the ball inside before putting it on a plate for Bolasie to run onto and the winger slid the ball past Howard to score his first ever Premier League goal.

Speroni did well to thwart Osman again with 16 minutes to go when he shot through a crowd of players but the Palace custodian did well to track it and beat the ball away, however he would be beaten eight minutes later when Dann blocked the run of James McCarthy and gave away a penalty. Baines sent Speroni the wrong way to set up a grandstand finish.

Aiming for an equaliser Baines found Phil Jagielka on the edge of the box but he fired wide of the mark, Lukaku missed the target under pressure from Damien Delaney and then Kevin Mirallas somehow failed to beat Speroni from three yards out.

Palace nearly sealed it in injury time when substitute Adlene Guedioura burst though on goal but shot just wide of the far post, but it didn’t matter as the visitors saw out six additional minutes to pick up their first win of the season.

Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Distin (Gibson 84), Stones (Mirallas 64), Barry, McCarthy, Osman, Atsu (Naismith 64), Eto'o, Lukaku. Subs not used: Robles, McGeady, Besic, Alcaraz.

Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Puncheon, McArthur (Guedioura 84), Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie (Fryers 86), Campbell (Doyle 86). Subs not used: Hennessey, Mariappa, Zaha, Gayle.

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