Everton player ratings v Crystal Palace: Alex Iwobi and Dominic Calvert-Lewin heroic for Toffees
Everton came from two goals down to beat Crystal Palace 3-2 and secure Premier League safety on a wild night on Merseyside.
A fast start quickly subsided and Jean-Philippe Mateta was left unmarked to nod in the opener. Then Jordan Ayew somehow escaped red for a foul on Anthony Gordon and typically it was the Ghanian who scuffed in the second soon after.
A massively-improved second half showing saw Michael Keane pull one back from Mason Holgate’s knock-down, and the pressure kept growing until Richarlison forced in the equaliser from a Dele Alli rebound.
As the game ticked towards 90 minutes Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored with a diving header to spark, simply put, absolute scenes inside Goodison Park.
Here Goodison News reviews the players for their performance out of 10 on the night.
Jordan Pickford – (7)
Not the hero this time but still important. Couldn’t do anything for the first. Got two bites at the second one and might have done better but was barely assisted by multiple defenders around him. Vital save from Mateta as the Toffees were mounting a comeback.
Seamus Coleman – (5)
Had most of his limitations exposed but fought to the crazy end. Calamitous error to be caught in possession near half way by Mateta and wasn’t close to getting back to rectify the problem before Ayew scored.
Michael Keane – (7)
The pick of the defenders and made a vital contribution at the other end. Probably the least to blame of all the Toffees defenders in the first half, then got his side back in the game with a lovely left-foot finish after the half. Booked for a wild challenge later on.
Mason Holgate – (6)
All action if unrefined. Looked pumped from the start but almost played himself into trouble a couple of times early. Key headed knock-down to assist Keane’s goal.
Alex Iwobi – (9) Man of the Match
Stunning game in the second half. Was everywhere in a much-improved performance after half time, showing a relentless commitment across the midfield, both on the ball and off it. Simply wouldn’t have done it without him.
Abdoulaye Doucoure – (7)
Performance of two halves. Started sharply but got worse from there until the half. Somehow let Ayew’s goal dribble in through his legs and looked panicked in the aftermath. Was far more central to the second-half, combining with Iwobi well and driving his side forward.
Andre Gomes – off for Dele ’46 (2)
Aside from a couple of interceptions and one long-range shot he was a liability. Gave away the early free kick in a dangerous area that Palace took the lead from and generally conceded way too many fouls. Was standing right next to Ayew for the second goal but failed to prevent him bundling it in.
Vitalii Mykolenko – (5)
Not his best outing. Didn’t stay with his man as Mateta headed the visitors in front. Looked much more dangerous in an attacking capacity. Was all over the place for the second, going for the same ball as Pickford then was one of three players who somehow couldn’t prevent Ayew scoring inside the area.
Anthony Gordon – off for Gray ’61 (7)
Best player in the first half, but was cut down by repeated fouls. Evidently up for the challenge as he squared up against Zaha in the opening minutes and took a hand in the throat for his troubles. Palace clearly knew he was a threat it as seconds after Will Hughes was booked for a nasty foul on him Ayew was lucky not to see red for a worse one. Probably unlucky to be replaced.
Richarlison – off for Kenny ’91 (8)
Short of his dangerous best of late in the opening exchanges but grew into the action as time went on. No surprise it was the Brazilian who forced home the equaliser with a sharp turn and determined finish.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – (9)
Scored the biggest goal of his life to bring safety. Gave everything he had in a supporting role and toiled for the team. Struggled to get into the game as an attacking threat. Put himself about with purpose without getting many clear cut chances. Committed to providing flick-ons and hold-up play. Then his moment came.
Dele Alli – on for Gomes ’46 (8)
Excellent impact off the bench at half-time. His attacking purpose was central to the second half performance, and it was his shot that rebounded to Richarlison for the leveller.
Damarai Gray – on for Gordon ’61 (7)
Crucial input. Quiet until a wonderful jinking run started the move for the equaliser. His teasing delivery with the late free-kick was turned home for the winner.
Jonjoe Kenny – on for Richarlison ’91 (-)
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