The last time a London side came to Goodison Park Everton controlled the first half and scored first, and then receded into their own shell in the second half, conceding an equalizer and barley surviving.
In the end, Crystal Palace should be more aggrieved than Everton for the 1-1 final scoreline.
The Blues started the game the better side, storming up and down the park and getting in some incisive passes in the first twenty minutes before the Eagles gained a foothold in the game. Wilfried Zaha looked to have the beating of Bryan Oviedo all half long, and the Costa Rican was booked for a foolish tug early on in the game.
The awarding of the freekick that led to the opening goal might be deemed controversial. Captain Phil Jagielka went in head first for a high ball and Damien Delaney brought his foot to bear. Jags hunkered and raised his hands to save his regal visage, handling the ball in the process. Referee Jon Moss, a late replacement for the ill Mark Clattenburg, immediately blew for a freekick for Everton while Alan Pardew screamed it should have gone the other way.
Palace did themselves no favours though, with the wall failing to jump and Romelu Lukaku skimming it just over the five players and into the corner with ten minutes left in the first half.
Christian Benteke equalized early in the second half with a very good header as they started the better side looking livelier than the home side, gaining a succession of corners after the goal woke them up.
Everton lived on the edge for long periods of the second half, with little to show in the attacking half. For as good as Barkley was in the first half, he was largely invisible for most of the second half and it took Kevin Mirallas coming on to relieve some off the pressure.
In the end it was a deserved draw, with referee Jon Moss attempting to win the Man of the Match award with a flashy display of equal parts rulebook intelligence and frantic card-waving.
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