Let us get one thing out of the way - Everton did not have a bad game at Selhurst Park today. It was a flawed performance, yes, but the Blues dominated possession, they dominated the shot totals, and generally dictated the match to their opponents. Unfortunately, the final move of every attack was more absent than Sam Allardyce’s neck.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s baffling performance certainly didn’t help. Aaron Wan-Bissaka keeping Bernard and Lucas Digne in his pocket simultaneously didn’t help either. There were still enough free flowing forays forward to create plenty, and Everton just...didn’t. It’s been quite awhile since we’ve seen a match so one-sided have so few true scoring opportunities.
Matters improved quite a bit when Cenk Tosun was introduced, and the Turkish striker almost - and I mean almost - scored the goal of the season with a no-look backheel around a defender that Crystal Palace keeper Vicente Guaita somehow saved for absolutely no reason at all. It was too little, too late.
Everton’s defense was yet again spectacular. The four men at the back are forming a partnership unrivaled outside the top six, and really, nearly outside the top two. Farhad Moshiri should send Chelsea a blank check for Kurt Zouma before the charter bus rolls back into Finch Farm tonight.
The game was there for the taking all afternoon, and the Blues just never grabbed it by the scruff of the neck. Unlike the Fulham performance, there were quite a few things from which to build on here. Unfortunately, Wolves picked up all three points at Vicarage Road, which means that the race for Europe is almost assuredly over.