Once again, Palace suffered late heartache again as Seamus Coleman notched the only goal of the game three minutes from time to deny the Eagles a point.
Sam Allardyce’s side had come the closest during the game to opening the scoring with Christian Benteke hitting the bar early on and Joel Robles making a marvellous save to deny Scott Dann, but the Toffees full-back stole in to fire in a late winner to break Eagles hearts in controversial fashion with Jeffrey Schlupp prone in the opposition box with cramp.
Having scored twice in midweek against Bolton Wanderers, Benteke came so close to netting another just eight minutes in when a cross from the left by James McArthur was perfect for the Belgian’s head, but the ball cracked off the crossbar and bounced unkindly for the oncoming Palace attackers.
After surviving that scare, the visitors then enjoyed a good spell as firstly Ross Barkley saw a fizzing left-footed drive deflect wide, and a minute later Wayne Hennessey was called into action when Kevin Mirallas pulled the ball down and volleyed fiercely on the turn but the Welshman managed to get two hands behind it and push it to safety, before he then tipped over a Barkley curler.
The England midfielder then finally put the ball in the net on 34 minutes when Gareth Barry nodded the ball into Romelu Lukaku whose first-time shot struck the bottom of a post and bounced out to an unmarked Barkley, but fortunately for the Eagles he was in an offside position and after he tapped home the rebound it was chalked off.
Minutes later Hennessey had to display some great reactions once again when he managed to push away a top corner-destined effort from Ramiro Funes Mori who had shown great composure in the area to fake a shot before actually pulling the trigger, but the Welshman wasn’t to be beaten throughout the first 45 minutes as the sides went into the break goalless.
Barkley continued to be the biggest threat when play resumed and he dragged a shot just wide from a tight angle after a brilliant raking pass by Tom Davies set him free, and after Hennessey got down well to prevent a Coleman attempt from breaking the deadlock, Barkley then pulled another shot wide of the opposite post.
The chances kept falling to Ronald Koeman’s side and Lukaku nearly continued his fine goalscoring form against the Eagles but headed just over, and then Hennessey was forced to dirty his gloves again from Barkley as he tried from distance, but after waiting patiently for another sight of goal the Eagles got one with a quarter-of-an-hour to go when Jason Puncheon fired into the Holmesdale from the edge of the box.
However only a fine save from Joel Robles prevented the hosts from getting the lead when McArthur drew a free-kick and Puncheon whipped it onto the head of Dann, but the Toffees stopper produced the save of the game to claw the ball away from the goalline with an outstretched hand and frustrate Allardyce’s side.
And that proved vital as with three minutes to go, the Eagles’ resistance finally broke. With Schlupp down injured from a lengthy amount of time, play was allowed to continue and Everton capitalised. With the left channel exposed, Davies played the ball into Coleman who blasted the ball past a helpless Hennessey to snatch the win for the visitors and steal a potentially vital point out of Palace’s grasp.
Palace: Hennessey, Tomkins, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Cabaye (Ledley 72), Puncheon, McArthur, Schlupp (Townsend 88), Remy (Lee 61), C. Benteke. Subs not used: Speroni, Kelly, Flamini, Kaikai.
Everton: Robles, Holgate, Funes Mori, Williams, Coleman, Davies, Barry (Schneiderlin 59), Barkley (Jagielka 90), Mirallas (Lookman 72), Lukaku. Subs not used: Stekelenberg, Oviedo, McCarthy, Valencia.