Everton slogged their way to a miraculous 2-0 win against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park today. Andre Gomes made his full debut with a surprise start, Seamus Coleman returned as captain, and Bernard retained his place on the left side of the attack.
The Portuguese midfielder, to his credit, looked tidy and effective after a long injury layoff, but even Gomes’ nifty passing couldn’t keep the Blues from failing to create many chances of note. Marco Silva’s decision to leave Richarlison up front backfired, as Everton’s number 30 had a terrible time with his decision-making and passing ability. Richarlison has to learn that sometimes the simple play is the best one - just move the ball along.
In the end, the turning point of the day was an electrifying save by Jordan Pickford. Seamus Coleman conceded a penalty to Wilfried Zaha, but Pickford turned away Luka Milivojevic with a strong trailing foot.
Everton did not deserve to win this game on the whole. Thankfully, Marco Silva’s substitutions and tactical changes are our new lord and savior. Instead of settling for a 0-0 draw, Silva rode the momentum from Pickford’s save and made extremely attacking substitutions.
Ademola Lookman, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Cenk Tosun arrived. A newly-engaged and incredibly dangerous Lookman created a goal for DCL with a beautiful lofted cross, and Cenk Tosun wrapped up the points with an easy finish off a ball over the top from Michael Keane.
Clean sheets are cool, but there will be no result at Old Trafford next week if the Blues’ offense continues to drag along for huge stretches of the match. Manchester United are intensely flawed, but they’re still Manchester United.
At any rate, we can think about that later. For now, we can relish the fact that Everton produced one of the moments of the year with a stirring final five minutes. Into the top eight, then with the third Premier League win in a row.