Everton found their footing again today, easing past Crystal Palace at Goodison Park by a 3-1 scoreline. Gylfi Sigurdsson, Oumar Niasse, and Tom Davies got the goals, and it was an excellent team performance, particularly in the second half.
- It was a nightmare first half for Everton, and most of it revolved around Eliaquim Mangala. The Frenchman was poor. Sloppy in possession and easily muscled off the ball, Mangala suffered what appeared to be a knee injury and had to be removed before halftime in favor of Ashley Williams.
- The Blues’ midfield was very good today, and Tom Davies in particular deserves singling out. The youngster has yet to hit the staggering heights of last season, but in the last several weeks has vastly improved his performance. Took his goal nicely, too. Well done, lad.
- As bad as the first 45 minutes were, Everton came out of the gate flying in the second half. Within a minute, an aimless long ball fell to the feet of Gylfi Sigurdsson outside the Crystal Palace box, and he made no mistake with a low shot past Wayne Hennessey.
- Not five minutes later, Sigurdsson shook free of Joel Ward on the left, and Cuco Martina picked up the pieces. The stand-in left back lofted a ball into the area, and Oumar Niasse provided a clever header to make it 2-0.
- For whatever reason, the Blues’ centre backs look infinitely more comfortable in a back 4. Michael Keane left his Arsenal performance in the rear-view mirror, and picked up right where he left off against Leicester.
- Both Mangala and Seamus Coleman had to exit early for fitness reasons, and Morgan Schneiderlin was Sam Allardyce’s final substitution. Schneiderlin entered the pitch to a loud round of boos from the Goodison faithful.
- There were several candidates for man of the match - Walcott, Sigurdsson, and Davies were all superb, but Jordan Pickford bears mentioning as well. The keeper made several outstanding saves, nearly got to Luka Milivojevic’s penalty, and boxed out the Palace goalscorer from getting the ball quickly back to the center circle.
There were a few speed bumps along the way, but overall, this was an excellent response from Everton after The Emirates Embarrassment. The boys have two weeks off before taking on Watford, and could welcome back both Leighton Baines and Ramiro Funes Mori.
Three points? Three points.