Premier League - Improved Palace hold Everton to draw

Premier League, Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace 0, Everton 0

Premier League - Improved Palace hold Everton to draw

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Crystal Palce v Everton - Steven Pienaar and Kagisho Digkacoi (PA Photos)

Crystal Palace picked up a vital point at home to Everton in a goalless but far from chanceless draw. 

After the delayed kick-off at Selhurst Park due to heavy local traffic., Everton totally dominated possession creating six shots on goal. Shots mostly created by the pace of Leighton Baines charging down the left hand side and delivering the ball towards Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and James McCarthy.  They could have taken the lead in the 27th minute when McCarthy shot powerfully but missed just wide.

Although Everton had most of the possession in the first half, Palace should have taken the lead in the 34th minute after a superb  cross by Dean Thomas somehow found the wrong side  of Kagisho Dikgacoi’s head and went away from goal rather than in to it.  He was in a perfect position up high and on his own to fire it into the top corner but inexplicably got himself  the wrong side of the ball. 

Just before half-time, it looked as though Everton might get their rewards after Leon Osman shot powerfully with his right foot shot only to find the hands of leaping Julian Speroni. 

It was very much more of the same in the second half. Everton dominated the possession but failed to create as many chances as they would have expected and what chances they did have were solidly cleared by a Palace defence who grew in confidence as the match progressed. 

Palace’s  third clear chance of the match came in the 73rd minute when Jerome Thomas’s powerful right-footed shot from just outside was blocked by Phil Jagielka. 

Everton will feel they didn’t create enough opportunities or seize those that they did create but Palace, far from being the whipping boys, looked like a side who could create chances.  Yannick Bolasie in particular looked aggressive and full of intent for large portions  of the match. Everton were not at their best, perhaps showing a touch of complacency

Palace remain bottom of the table but level on point s and goal difference with Sunderland.  Survival remains still a long way off but this was a much better performance than seen in recent weeks.  

Key Moments

34' Fantastic cross in from Jerome Thomas finds Kagisho Dikgachoi who's up high and perfectly poised for a goal but somehow it finds the wrong side of his head and goes away from goal

38' Marouane Chamakh's header from the centre of the box misses to the right

43' Leon Osman's right footed shot is very powerful but saved in the top left corner

48' Steven Pienaar header from the left of the box is sent wide to the left - James McCarthy sent a beautifully weighted ball into to him but another chance goes begging for Everton

67' Yannick Bolasie shoots from a difficult angle and from 30 yards out - saved by Howard in the middle of the goal

90' Gerard Deulofeu has a right footed shot on goal from long range - just misses to the right

Key Stats

Going into the match there had not been a draw between these two sides in nine top flight meetings.

Palace have kept a clean sheet for the first time in 13 matches - since playing Newcastle at St James's Park ion 2005

Everton dominated with a whopping 73% of possession but only generated the same number of on target shots as Palace (2)

Talking Point

Is there any hope for Palace? They remain a long, long way off survival but there were some real glimmers of hope in today's peformance. Pre-match talk was that their defence would be overrun by Lukaku and McCarthy coming at the them and in previous matches that would have caused them to panic. Jedinak, Delaney and Bolasie remained determined and organised today and the team created 3 clear goal scoring chances. Goodness only knows how Dikgachoi missed his sitter - it was on his head already. Chamakh looked more like scoring today than he has in a few matches and whilst clearly Everton were in possession of the ball for the vast majority of the match, Palace can take heart from the fact that even with so little possession they created chances and broke well. There may yet be hope for Palace but boy do they need to appoint a manager soon.

Man of the match

Palace's Yannick Bolaise showed impressive athleticism today, bombing round the pitch, cleaning up at one end and then making some powerful charges down the right and centre.

Player ratings

Palace: Speroni 7; Ward 6; Moxey 7; Jedinak 7; Gabbidon 6; Delaney 6; Dikgacoi 7; Bannan 6; Chamakh 7; Bolasie 7; Thomas 7; subs O'keefe 6; Puncheon 5; Jerome 6

Everton: Howard 7; Coleman 7, Baines 6; Barry 6; Jagielka 6; Distin 6; Mirallas 7; McCarthy 7; Lukaku 6; Osman 5; Pienaar 7; subs: Barkley 5; Deulofen 6;


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