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Pickford grateful for Goodison Park support

Goalkeeper keyed a big win with a crucial penalty stop

Everton FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

It had been a pretty stop-start game in the first half as a series of fouls from both sides made for a choppy game. However, whatever Marco Silva said to the Everton players at the half seemed to galvanize them as they looked more coherent on the ball afterwards as Crystal Palace hunkered down and relied on counter attacks.

But then, with about an hour played, Seamus Coleman appeared to catch Wilfried Zaha on the ball in the box, the forward went down somewhat theatrically and the referee Anthony Taylor pointed straight to the spot. The players were aghast and Goodison Park bemused, and furious as well.

The normally-reliable Luka Milivojevic stepped up to the spot, and fired his shot right down the middle. Jordan Pickford had dived to his left, but had the presence of mind to kick out his right foot, and blocked the shot.

Goodison stood up as one and applauded the England international keeper, and then stayed on their foot to roar the Blues on to a frenetic finish that saw the home side score twice in the last four minutes of regular time to dispatch the visitors 2-0.

After the game, Pickford was very grateful to the fans for their support.

“I think [the save] was a bit of game-changer, really. It got the crowd going and it really helped us to perform well.

“And when the crowd really got behind us, we brought the two lads on [Calvert-Lewin and Tosun] and the game changed.

“It was two great finishes from them.”

Asked if he had a secret training method for handling spot kicks, Pickford explained he did lots of research.

“I was just looking at his run-up and he normally whips it. I thought he was going to go to the ‘keeper’s left and I just left my right leg dangling and managed to get a foot on it

“I don’t mind taking penalties in training but I don’t really practice saving them! I just do my research and that’s it.”

Earlier in the week Pickford had already demonstrated that he had plenty of outfielder skills as well, beating Lucas Digne, Ademola Lookman and Cenk Tosun in a skills competition.