Palace's perfect start to the 2020/21 season ended against Everton this afternoon, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richardson securing a 1-2 win for the Toffees.
- A minute’s silence was held prior to kick-off today, as the club paid their respects to local police officer Sergeant Matt Ratana.
- Furthermore, the club also remembered Maisy Elisabeth Susan Mayne, who tragically lost her life last month, aged 8.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin taps in to give Everton the lead on 10 minutes. 0-1.
- Cheikhou Kouyaté heads home Andros Townsend’s corner on 26 minutes. 1-1.
- Referee Kevin Friends awards the Toffees a penalty after a video review of a Joel Ward handball. Richarlison scores. 1-2
- HT: 1-2
- Kouyaté and Calvert-Lewin both go close to their second goals of the game.
- FT: 1-2
Eberechi Eze and Wilfried Zaha down the left, Andros Townsend and Jordan Ayew down the right. Therefore, it was no surprise that Palace started today’s battle of two teams with 100% records with a lot of zip to their play.
Captain again, Zaha went closest to making the early dominance count, with a fine cross from Ayew testing Yerry Mina’s defensive capaiblites to prevent the in-form Palace No.11 nipping in front of him. The Toffees defender doing just enough to cause a ricochet off Zaha that, although goal-bound, was comfortable for Jordan Pickford.
On 10 minutes, Everton made the Eagles rue not making more of their purposeful start, with Carlo Ancelotti's side taking the lead with their first venture into the final third –Calvert-Lewin turning home Séamus Coleman’s low, driven cross.
Ancelotti’s team controlled the game after taking the lead, with Palace unable to hold possession for a sustained period. Therefore, a set-piece was looking the most likely way for Roy Hodgson’s side to force themselves back level.
And it arrived via Andros Townsend and Cheikhou Kouyatè. Firstly, Townsend showed excellent experience to win a free-kick when he was boxed in by André Gomes in his own defensive third. From that, the Eagles went up the other end and won a corner.
Townsend, naturally, stepped up and picked up his second assist of the season, finding Kouyaté perfectly, with the makeshift centre-back thumping home with a perfect demonstration of how to ‘head home.’
Palace’s Starman’s impressive start to the ‘20/21 season continued a couple of minutes later, this time in his own box. A threatening Richarlison attack down Palace’s right-hand side saw the attacker turn James McArthur and Joel Ward. However, this saw the Brazil international turn into the retreating Townsend, who timed his tackle to perfection.
Everton would end the first-half in the lead, though, after referee Kevin Friend was advised to go over for a video monitor review for a potential handball by Joel Ward. Controversially, Ward was penalised and Richarlison stepped up from 12-yards to dispatch past Vicente Guaita.
The second-half started off slow, but it was eventually Ancelotti’s side who registered the first decent chance. Calvert-Lewin broke through the crowd at a corner to meet Lucas Digne’s cross, however, the striker’s run was impended by his teammate, Mina, plus the decision to go with the outside of his boot meant a clear-cut chance was missed.
Palace’s almost levelled up the game again on 65 minutes, and in very similar fashion to their first goal. This time, Townsend was on free-kick duty, with Kouyaté again getting the better of his marker at the back post, but this time the header, from a more acute angle, couldn’t squeeze in between Pickford and post.
On 74 minutes, Eze’s full debut came to an end, with Michy Batshuayi introduced and Wilfried Zaha moving out to his more familiar left-wing position.
The Eagles were also able to introduce Jaïro Riedewald and Christian Benteke in the final minutes of the game, as they pushed for an equaliser in a second-half that they shaded.
Unfortunately, it wasn't to be for Hodgson's side, and the perfect start to the '20/21 campaign ended this afternoon, albeit due to another marginal VAR decision.
Palace: Guaita, Ward, Kouyaté, Sakho, Mitchell, Townsend, McCarthy, McArthur (Riedewald, 87), Eze (Batshuyai, 74), Ayew (Benteke, 82), Zaha.
Subs not used: Hennessey, Milivojević, Meyer, Kelly.
Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne, Doucouré, Allan, Gomes (Sigurdsson, 75), Rodríguez (Iwobi, 85), Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison (Davies, 90).
Subs not used: Kenny, Bernard, Kean, Lössl.