Idrissa Gueye scored a late winner for Everton as they eventually came out on top of an entertaining contest with Crystal Palace, with their 3-2 victory lifting them up to 14th and a point off the top half.
The sub combined with fellow goalscorer Abdoulaye Doucoure in the 86th minute to put Everton in front for a third time – and there was no way back then for a Palace side who had twice come up with equalisers.
Few would have predicted such a thriller between two sides which have had their issues in front of goal this season but both had hit the net inside four minutes.
It took Vitalii Mykolenko just 54 seconds to score his second goal in two games, heading in Jack Harrison’s inviting cross from close range. But Palace were swiftly back on level terms when the standout Eberechi Eze won a penalty and coolly converted from the spot. A fine way to celebrate his new long-term contract.
He thought he’d earned another penalty midway through the half but was instead booked for simulation, with a VAR check ruling the decision shouldn’t be overturned with potential contact from Jarrad Branthwaite – who had given away the first spot-kick – hard to judge. Everton’s players felt he should have been shown a second yellow for clipping James Garner just before the break.
The visitors made another fast start at the beginning of the second half, with Doucoure quickest to react when Mykolenko’s volley came back off a post. But Palace piled on the pressure and eventually broke through again when Odsonne Edouard converted after Jefferson Lerma looped a header into the box.
With fit-again Michael Olise subbed on in the second half for his first appearance of the season and Eze electric, the momentum seemed to be firmly with the home side. But in a rare foray forwards Gueye played a one-two to get into the area and came up with a clinical finish. It’s his first goal of his second spell at Everton and one he enjoyed.
The win keeps up Everton’s dominant record over Palace – they’ve lost just one of their last 18 meetings now – but perhaps more importantly gives them hope they are on course for a positive campaign this term. Palace missed out on a chance to go into the top 10 and sit 12th, a point ahead of Everton.
How Everton eventually came out on top
These sides had served up a poor 0-0 when they met at this venue in April but this was action-packed from the first whistle. Mykolenko struck inside a minute, meeting Harrison’s stood-up centre to give Sam Johnstone no chance and stun the home supporters.
- Crystal Palace: Eberechi Eze returned to the midfield in place of Cheick Doucoure, while fit-again Michael Olise made his first appearance in a matchday squad this season
- Everton: Amadou Onana took Idrissa Gueye’s midfield spot after overcoming a calf injury.
Everton almost instantly lost their advantage when Jeffrey Schlupp saw a penalty appeal against James Tarkowski waved away but it was gone with just four minutes on the clock. Ref Samuel Barrott – in just his fourth Premier League game – pointed to the spot when Eze was caught by Branthwaite’s dangled leg. The No10’s finish from the spot into the corner was so calm, so casual.
It contrasted with the livewire nature of the rest of his performance, as Palace pressed for a second and James Tarkowski was forced into a series of blocks.
Eze was centre of attention again midway through the half when he produced a wonderful turn past Amadou Onana in the box and hit the deck as Branthwaite slid in – but this time there was only a yellow card for simulation. Replays hinted at the faintest of touches but VAR opted not to overrule.
That decision came into focus just before the break when Eze clipped Garner on the edge of the box and no foul – or second yellow card – was shown.
A penalty shout from Edouard for a challenge from Tarkowski, rightly turned down, and a good piece of Joel Ward defending to deny Dominic Calvert-Lewin were other dramatic moments from a thrilling half and the action continued after the break.
Everton again came out quickly, with Palace punished for half-clearing a corner when Doucoure tucked in after Mykolenko’s unfortunate effort hit the upright.
Palace’s defenders were sleeping for that goal but the home side came to life from there, with Jordan Pickford having to save from Eze and then keep out what would have been an own goal from Gueye.
Branthwaite also had to dive in to deny Edouard but there was no denying the big striker when he latched on to Lerma’s header. It looked like he had set up a big finale for Palace – but it went the other way.
Gueye – close to disaster in his own box – was the hero in the end for an Everton side who have now won back-to-back away games and are looking optimistically up the table.
Opta stats – Everton leave it late after fast start
- Everton have scored more goals in the opening minute of Premier League games than any other side in the competition’s history (13).
- Only Erling Haaland (13) and Callum Wilson (10) have more Premier League away goals since February 4 2023 (Sean Dyche’s first game as Everton manager) than Abdoulaye Doucoure (7).
- Crystal Palace’s Odsonne Edouard has now scored as many Premier League goals this season (5) after 11 appearances as he did in the whole of last season (5 goals, 35 appearances). His five goals this season is as many as he managed in his previous 44 Premier League games.
After the international break, Crystal Palace travel to Luton on Saturday November 25; kick-off 3pm.
Meanwhile, Everton host Man Utd on Sunday November 26, live on Super Sunday on Sky Sports; kick-off 4.30pm.