Everton 3-1 Crystal Palace: Gylfi Sigurdsson, Oumar Niasse and Tom Davies score for hosts
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 10/02/18 8:12pm
Everton scored three second-half goals to move nine points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.
Gylfi Sigurdsson broke the deadlock just 45 seconds into the second half with his shot deflecting in off James Tomkins, before Oumar Niasse headed in his eighth goal of the season from Cuco Martina's cross five minutes later.
Tom Davies stretched the hosts' lead (76), tapping in from Sigurdsson's cut-back, before Luka Milivojevic gave Palace late hope after slotting in from the penalty spot following a handball by Ashley Williams.
Everton: Pickford (6), Martina (6), Coleman (6), Keane (6), Mangala (6), Gueye (8), Davies (7), Rooney (7), Walcott (7), Sigurdsson (7), Niasse (7).
Subs: Kenny (6), Williams (6), Schneiderlin (n/a)
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Ward (6), van Aanholt (6), Fosu-Mensah (5), Tomkins (6), Milivojevic (6), McArthur (6), Cabaye (6), Townsend (5), Sorloth (7), Benteke (6).
Man of the match: Idrissa Gueye
Morgan Schneiderlin was jeered by a section of home supporters when he emerged as a late substitute, but Everton move up to ninth in the table on 34 points while Palace sit 14th, two points above the relegation places.
It was Palace who first went close to breaking the deadlock after a back-pass from Eliaquim Mangala forced Jordan Pickford to misjudge and present the ball straight to Yohan Cabaye, but the Frenchman's attempt from the halfway line drifted wide of the left-hand post.
Wayne Hennessey was finally forced into action after 27 minutes as Idrissa Gueye cut inside Cabaye before seeing his shot tipped around the post by the Wales stopper.
Everton boss Sam Allardyce made four changes to the side that were dismantled by Arsenal. Seamus Coleman, Tom Davies, Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson returned as Jonjoe Kenny, Ashley Williams, Morgan Schneiderlin and Yannick Bolasie dropped out. Crystal Palace handed Alexander Sorloth his first start replacing the injured Wilfried Zaha. Joel Ward came in for Martin Kelly in the one other change..
Allardyce was forced into a change before the break as Mangala - on his home debut since joining on loan from Manchester City - was forced off with a knee injury after clashing with Hennessey.
Everton substituted Seamus Coleman, only recently back from a broken leg, at half-time with Allardyce confirming afterwards that he will have a scan on a suspected muscle problem on Sunday.
But the home side were ahead just seconds into the restart when Niasse forced a mistake out of Tomkins before Sigurdsson stepped inside and fired a shot beyond Hennessey via the defender's outstretched leg.
Palace had barely had enough time to regroup before they found themselves further behind as good work from the lively Davies allowed Martina to cross for the unmarked Niasse to head home.
Palace came close to reducing the deficit when Christian Benteke met Cabaye's cross to head inches wide of the post with Pickford rooted to the spot, and after Hennessey saved Niasse's shot with 14 minutes remaining, Sigurdsson was on hand to set up Davies for a simple tap-in from close range.
Moments after Schneiderlin had been booed onto the pitch by a minority of home supporters, Williams handled Benteke's acrobatic shot inside the box allowing Milivojevic to dispatch his consolation penalty past Pickford.
Sam Allardyce: "We've been like that at home most of the time that I've been here. It's eight home games since I've been here and we've picked up 17 points.
"We would've had another clean sheet but for another penalty like against Leicester when that was another penalty, so two clean sheets would've been nice but it puts the Arsenal result and performance way back in everybody's mind."
Roy Hodgson: "It's very frustrating because when we came in [at half-time] we were happy with how we'd played in the first half. We had managed to keep Everton at bay, and we'd created one or two chances of our own.
"To go down to a deflected goal right at the start of the second-half was very disappointing and very frustrating. But I thought that even at 2-0 we came back and started to play some good football and weren't totally out of it until the third goal."
- Everton are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games against Crystal Palace (W3 D4), although this was their first win against them at Goodison Park since April 2005.
- No team have won more penalties than Crystal Palace this season (7), with Luka Milivojevic scoring more goals from the spot than any other player in this campaign (5).
- Gylfi Sigurdsson has been involved in seven goals in his last six Premier League starts against Crystal Palace - he has scored three and assisted four goals.
- Tom Davies scored his first goal for Everton since 9th April 2017 against Leicester, 307 days ago.
- Since his debut in January 2012, Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored 17 goals from outside the box; more than any other current Premier League player.
- Oumar Niasse has both scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for the first time in his career.
Man of the match: Idrissa Gueye
Wayne Rooney rarely conceded possession in a deep role while Theo Walcott's directness caused Palace countless problems but the pair - along with Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson - were allowed to run freely because of Gueye's discipline and fight.
The Senegalese impressed at the heart of Everton's midfield, constantly snuffing out the threat of Andros Townsend and Alexander Sorloth to set off the home side's attacks and it was only after his withdrawal that Palace forced a consolation.
Everton now head for warm-weather training in the Middle East before they return to Premier League action away to Watford on February 24. Crystal Palace host Tottenham in the Monday Night Football on February 26.
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