It took until the 87th minute, but Seamus Coleman’s late goal gave Everton a well-deserved 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday. The Toffees are on fire now, winning three straight league games and taking 13 points from five games.
Apart from the opening five minutes, Everton were the superior side all day. However, they failed to create many chances in the first half. Kevin Mirallas had a nice shot on goal, but blasted it right at the keeper. It was a center back, Ramiro Funes Mori, that had the best opportunity to score, but a terrific save from Wayne Hennessey maintained the deadlock.
The second half saw the Toffees do more on attack. They made it clear they were going for the three points. And they were effectively getting in behind the Palace defense, but Hennessey had a good day and made it tough for the yellow-clad Everton offense.
But this was a resolute performance from the Toffees. After the big 4-0 win over Manchester City last week, there was some worry there would be a let-off this week. That didn’t happen. The team went on the road against a desperate Palace side that needed to win today. It didn’t matter. Everton got the points they came for.
Just to highlight a few players: Ross Barkley was good again. He was great on the ball and was the creative force Everton needed. Also, Tom Davies continues to impress. His assist led to the Coleman goal. And, can we please talk about our goalkeeper?
Joel Robles is the team’s number one and deserves to stay there for the time being. He made a brilliant save late in the game that, at the time, kept things tied 0-0. But more importantly, he is showing signs of improvement. Robles used to struggle severely on corner kicks. Today, he commanded his box and plucked crosses out of the air. Everton needs his big 6-foot-5 frame because they are not the biggest team. This was a big performance from the keeper.
The only negative that comes to mind is the fact that Manchester United was able to draw Stoke City with a late Wayne Rooney wonder strike. To that point, it looked like a loss for the Red Devils that had Everton gaining even more points in the table. Alas, the Blues have to settle for gaining just two points rather than three.
Everton now find themselves only five points back of sixth-place United as they head to February. First up next month is a trip to Stoke on Wednesday the first. Following that are matches against Bournemouth, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.