Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Everton start well, looking disciplined in defence, pressing up high and creating a number of chances early on. And then as the half goes on, the Blues don’t get that goal, and instead they concede from a mistake at a setpiece.
That precipitates a sequence of play where the players start moping about and allow their opponents more possession and chances, which eventually lead to more goals and that’s about that for the game.
The Blues started very well here, pressing their hosts and forcing them into mistakes. Everton had chances to score too from a couple of setpieces that Palace struggled to clear. However, it all turned when Marc Guehi got over his personal terrible start to the game to head home unchallenged from a corner after twenty or so minutes.
The ref then missed a blatant handball from Wilfried Zaha in the build-up before Jean-Philippe Mateta stroked home the second just before the break and the game looked over.
Everton didn’t pose much of a threat in the second half until about fifteen minutes to go, but then a bizarre third goal put paid to any chances of a recovery and that was that. Michael Olise completely mishit his shot, but with all the bounces going for the home side, it looped up in the air and came back off the post and fell to Zaha who tucked home while the Everton backline looked around in bemusement.
There was more misery though for the traveling support who were loud and brilliant throughout. Pickford saved well from Gallagher as he charged forward, but substitute Will Hughes stroked home the rebound unchallenged to make it 4-0 and heap more embarrassment on Lampard and his boys.
Everton’s issues with setpieces are definitely not resolved yet. Under Paul Clement we’ve seen an improvement in defending them, but there is still lots of improvement required there especially with how the zonal marking works - at the end of the day, defenders have to attack the ball, whether it’s man-marking or zonal marking.
There has been a downturn in Demarai Gray’s performances since the arrival of Frank Lampard. Injuries have played a part, but it also looks like Gray isn’t quite suited to that high press Lampard wants to play.
Asmir Begovic missed this game due to illness, but when he’s back, he has a legitimate shout to be the starting goalie. With Jordan Pickford in goal there’s a certain jitteriness to the Blues defending. He’ll be disappointed about the first and second goals he conceded, no chance on the third, though should he have reacted quicker to the rebound?