By the time the final whistle sounded to conclude Crystal Palace’s 2-2 draw with Everton at Goodison Park yesterday, the vast majority of Palace fans will have been gutted to be coming away with a single point rather than all three but the two goals scored by the Eagles certainly gives us reason to cheerful heading into the next few weeks.
It took less than two minutes for Roy Hodgson’s men to break the deadlock through James McArthur after some wonderful work from man of the moment Ruben Loftus-Cheek inside the Toffees penalty area. With the ball at his feet on the edge of the 18-yard-box, the England new-boy drove into the area, before cutting inside with a neat flick and angling a shot at Jordan Pickford’s goal from roughly 12 yards out. The Everton stopper got a strong hand to it but was only able to push it into the path of an extremely grateful McArthur, who met the ball on the volley and sent it straight into the visitors’ net.
Having been pegged back thanks to a contentious penalty from Leighton Baines, Palace took the lead once more in the 35th minute through Wilfried Zaha after a lovely passage of build-up play across midfield. Starting with a rolled pass from centre-back Scott Dann, Zaha laid a ball off to Townsend with his back to goal, allowing Andros to take a touch and send a well weighted ball out to Joel Ward on the right flank. Having met it first time, the defender sent a beautiful pass whistling across the face of goal, evading the grasp of Pickford and giving Wilf an easy tap in from all of six yards.
Whilst there is still a mountain of work to do before the side can have any realistic hopes of avoiding the drop in May, we are now unbeaten in four games at Selhurst Park in all competitions, scoring seven goals in the process; which will surely give Roy and his players hope of turning things around.
Now, we just need to work a little harder on keeping a clean sheet every once in a while.