Wednesday 21 August 2019

Palace and Everton play out Selhurst Park stalemate

Visitors twice hit the woodwork in game of few chances.

Bernard hit the post for Everton (Martin Rickett/PA)
Bernard hit the post for Everton (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, Press Association Sport

Crystal Palace and Everton played out a forgettable goalless draw at Selhurst Park to dent the visitors’ chances of ending the Premier League season with European qualification.

A seventh-placed finish could prove enough to play Europa League football next season but, after thrashing Manchester United last weekend, the Toffees could not find a way past Palace.

With fellow European hopefuls Wolves winning at Watford, Everton are now four points adrift of Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright gave £5 to all of those Everton fans travelling with the club’s official coaches so they could buy a drink when they arrived in south London.

But there was little to toast on a breezy afternoon, with Bernard’s shot off the post the closest either side came to netting a winner.

Richarlison was passed fit to start for Everton as Marco Silva was able to stick with the same side that beat United 4-0.

But Palace were also coming into this game on the back of a great result having won 3-2 at Arsenal and Roy Hodgson’s side took another point here.

Palace’s Max Meyer (left) and Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson battle for the ball (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The hosts were quick out of the blocks and Max Meyer fired into the side-netting but they were almost undone by a long ball forward from Jordan Pickford.

The Everton goalkeeper launched a clearance forward which Martin Kelly failed to deal with, allowing Dominic Calvert-Lewin to run through on goal. However, he could only shoot tamely at Vicente Guaita.

Another defensive mix-up almost allowed Gylfi Sigurdsson in but Guaita was lively enough to pounce on the loose ball after Scott Dann’s underhit pass was intercepted.

The uncertainty at the back gave Everton the advantage, Idrissa Gueye seeing a shot deflected behind as every ball into the Palace box seemed to cause problems for the hosts.

Patrick van Aanholt in action during the clash with Everton (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Kelly bravely blocked from Sigurdsson before the game began to even out, Gueye drawing a save from Guaita with a long-range strike before Calvert-Lewin came within inches of heading in Richarlison’s cross as the half progressed.

Palace started the second half in much the same way as the first, James McArthur firing just wide before Everton again came into it.

Bernard stuck the foot of Guaita’s right post with a low effort before Patrick Van Aanholt did well to tackle Richarlison as he ran into the Palace box.

Silva introduced Cenk Tosun into his attack and the Turkey international forced a superb save out of Guaita as he back-heeled Bernard’s low cross towards goal.

Everton were the only side who looked like they may strike late to take all three points back to Goodison Park – Lucas Digne’s deflected cross almost catching out Guaita only to clip the crossbar.

That was the last action of note, with both sides having to settle for a share of the spoils.

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