James McCarthy failed a fitness on his hip injury and is deputised by Tom Cleverley
Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace
Everton return to Premier League action for the televised Monday match with the incentive of sitting in sixth place by the end of the evening if they can overcome Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.
Roberto Martinez makes two changes from the side that won at Middlesbrough with Tom Cleverley continuing in place of the injured James McCarthy, Arouna Kone coming back in for Leon Osman and Tim Howard reclaiming his place in goal.
The Eagles kicked off and Wickham was soon firing in at Howard before the Blues had much possession, with Palace snapping at Blues heels. Barkley played a lovely ball from deep for Galloway to run onto but who was almost too deliberate with his cross. Everton were trying some neat flicks and clips but it broke down and Palace were attacking again in what promised to be a very lively game, Funes Mori doing very well to intercept.
More intricate passing down the right seemed to have Coleman penetrating but his cross went behind Lukaku. Yet more clever stuff, Barkley, Kone and Lukaku finally overpassing, but then Barkley did a lovely one-two off Lukaku and curled a great shot that flew just past the far post.
Deulofeu almost got free but his first touch was not the best and it ran through to the keeper. a couple of crosses in by Palace were defended away but they were worryingly getting to the byeline. But Stones did superbly to control and play the ball out to Barry, whose first-time out-ball was too ambitious.
Palace then won another corner crossed in dangerously and on the second ball Wickham was alert to delivery a point-blank header straight at Tim Howard's sternum. Bolaise then controlled a good diagonal cross with his hand — not called.
It was Everton's turn to attack and Deulofeu magically kept control in a zig-zag move inside but Lukaku was crowded out and Barry's attempt charged down by close attention of the Palace defenders.
Lukaku did brilliantly to create a superb chance with a return ball from Barkley and a tremendous strike that smashed off the inside of the post and along the line, just a foot in front of the other post. So close!
The Blues combined superbly again, Coleman to Lukaku to Kone but the Ivorian's hurried shot was high and wide in a good spell for the Blues that needed to produce a goal. Deulofeu whipped in a great cross right to Lukaku's feet but it came back off the Big Man, who could not control it.
Kone did some good defensive work on a Palace free-kick. Stones forged forward and they tried another close-quarter passing move down the middle but it was just too crowded for that to work.
When Palace attacked again, Funes Mori showed great composure and timing to break their progress. But Everton were stymied again as Palace got back in solid and impenetrable defence as Deulofeu's cross flew long.
Deulofeu got free off a great Barkley flick. Then a brilliant piece of work from Stones, a deep cross on the byeline that Funes Mori pushed back in but Lukaku wanted the ball to fall for him rather than throwing his body at it... and the chance was gone. The lively ebb and flo continued with another Palace attack being denied.
Deulofeu had another opportunity to cross early but this time straight to Hennessey in the Palace goal. The next attack looked more promising with Cleverly running free but again Palace formed that solid wall and Deulofeu could only fire at a defender's legs. Was he running out of ideas?
Ward looked to fir in but Stones's sliding tackle was perfect, and Everton advanced again, ending with a Coleman shot deflected for a corner, short to Deulofeu and again more intricate passing, the Spaniard winning another corner. Barry crossed deep but Stones was under it and it looked like Kone would get a chance in the second phase but one pass too many when a shot on goal would have been preferred.
Barry chipped one in for Lukaku who was driven wide and then blocked by Delaney. Off another corner, the ball fell to Barry but his shot was far too tame. Some great pass-and-move from Everton in a very competitive first half but no end product despite tremendous creative effort.
Everton attacked from the restart and attacked spiritedly, winning a couple of corners, but nothing came of them and the game pattern continued, with alternating bouts of determined attacking and stalwart defending, apart from Barry's cynical shirt-tugging on a Palace corner! Kone eventually broke and his second cross was headed just wide.
Bolaise looked odds-on to break the deadlock after dodging Stones but Howard made himself big, his outstretched foot stopping a certain goal against. Everton, backed by an increasingly boisterous crowd, seemed to be upping the tempo and imposing even more pressure
Ward fouled Galloway wide left and Barkley flashed in a brilliant rocket of a delivery that Wickham glanced onto the bar and away. Everton kept up the pressure but it ended with a silly claim for handball when Ward took one in the stomach, with his hands tucked behind his back.
Baines replaced Galloway just after the hour mark, despite a solid display from the youngster. Lukaku played in CLeverley who struck a wonderful shot but Hennessey pulled off a tremendous save.
Baines showed his old self, picking out Lukaku with a 40-yard ball as Everton every way they could think of to get a decent strike on the Palace goal, Deulofeu involved repeatedly, but the winning move just would not happen.
After more determined Everton pressure, Palace came very close on the counter, a snapshot form Puncheon bringing out another tremendous save from Howard. But from the corner, Scott Dann was there to power home a header that Howard could only waft at as he fell backwards.
Lukaku did his best with an excellent strike that beat Hennessy all hands down but smacked off the bar. Deulofeu and Cleverley combined down the right to win a corner. From it, Deulofeu advanced again, as he had countless times before, but this time a perfect cross low, through to the far post, thanks to a dummy by Barry, and there was Lukaku to force it home.
Bolasie almost got through but Barry got the vital block as Everton were stretched. Funes Mori appeared to have given away a penalty with a late tackle on Mutch but perhaps not enough contact.
Everton tried again and again in the last few minutes to create more chances for the winner but it seemed destined not to happen, while Palace had a late resurgence and tested Howard a couple more times. In the end, Palace kept possession to the final whistle, despite a breakaway that saw Lukaku unable to get off a shot.
Hugely disappointing for Everton, who threw everything (except Mirallas) at this but Palace were the epitome of obdurate, and hard to deny them a very hard-earned point.
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori [Y:88'], Galloway (63' Baines), Barry, Cleverley, Deulofeu, Barkley, Kone, Lukaku.
Subs:Robles, Gibson, Osman, Mirallas, Lennon, Naismith.
Subs: Speroni, Bamford, Campbell, Gayle, Mutch, Chamakh, Kelly.
Kick off: 8pm
Referee: Craig Pawson
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