Full Time: Crystal Palace 2-2 Everton
Crystal Palace continued to make errors as they were held to a frustrating draw against Everton in what was a highly chaotic match. Roy Hodgson’s men were lucky enough to take a quick lead, thanks to a goal from James McArthur but Leighton Baines equalised within 5 minutes of the opening goal. Wilfred Zaha continued his impressive form for Palace by scoring Palace’s second goal right before half-time but it was simply not their day as Everton equalised once more as Oumar Niasse managed to score a goal just before the stroke of half-time.
The Eagles did have a chance to make it 3 but Christian Benteke wasted a strong chance to rescue Palace from the bottom of the Premier League table. For the 20th-placed side, their concerns appear to have no intentions of coming to an end. They may have picked up a point but they risk falling too far behind to stage an attempt at getting out of the dreaded relegation zone.
Benteke’s return was meant to boost their chances but even he could not do much to improve their dire situation. The Belgian is their only recognised senior striker at the moment but the presence of Zaha and Andros Townsend helped them exploit Everton’s weaknesses at the back, especially in the final third. However, it is truly unfortunate that Palace failed to maintain a strong back line to prevent the visitors from getting ahead twice.
The biggest turning point of the match was undoubtedly when Niasse ran in and appeared to dive after making minimal contact with Scott Dann. That saw referee Anthony Taylor award a penalty, and that led to Leighton Baines scoring that fateful goal as Julian Speroni failed to keep it out.
From then on, it was a battle of power between the two sides. Palace restored their lead later and the goal came from Wilfred Zaha even as all eyes were on Ruben Loftus-Cheek after his stunning England debut a few days before.
At the end of the day, the fact remains that Palace were easily the better team on a lot of fronts. Barring the controversial penalty and a mistake from Scott Dann for the second equaliser, Everton did not show any signs of dominance. This could have sealed a crucial 3 points for Palace in their bid to get out of relegation woes. However, this result will leave them at the same place and 5 points away from safety. It does seem like a chance wasted for the Eagles since they showed strength after a long time and should have won this game.
Feel like two points dropped today but at least we didn't lose, great team performance #CrystalPalace
— Simon Hamilton (@SupaH27) November 18, 2017
Gutted at that point. We needed more. Luckily there are a lot of poor teams in the prem. we have to start winning – it's that simple. Or we're down. #cpfc
— CrystalPalace Canada (@CPFCCanada) November 18, 2017
Without doubt THE worst refereeing performance ever seen at Selhurst park.abysmal #cpfc
— Chris Waters (@Clapham_Grand) November 18, 2017
✅We dominated last 4 matches
✅Benteke is back
✅Toughest games of season already played
✅Winnable fixtures ahead
— Fïve Year Plan (@FYPFanzine) November 18, 2017
Everton took an age to re-emerge and now are taking their time making two subs. Palace fans slow clapping and jeering. Pure panto.
— Jim Daly (@jimdalycomedy) November 18, 2017