Everton 2 - 3 Crystal Palace

Everton took on Crystal Palace looking to extend their record-setting run of Premier League victories to eight which would keep them in the driving seat in the race for fourth place.

James McCarthy got a rare rest, dropping to the bench along with Steven Naismith and Leon Osman as Roberto Martinez named an attacking line-up featuring Aiden McGeady, Gerard Deulofeu and Kevin Mirallas.

Everton pushed forward from the off, Barry winning the first corner and heading just over off McGeady's excellent delivery. Deulofeu then with another trademark run in and cross from the right and out for a second corner, taken poorly by Baines.

Everton kept the game at a high tempo but couldn't quite make the required connections going into the Palace area. Lukaku seemed to pull a groin muscle on an innocuous looking attempt at goal. Barkley then overstretched, stumbled and was fouled all in one move as the ball ran away from him into the Palace area: a clear penalty — if he had been wearing a red shirt!

More fabulous stepovers from Deulofeu won a third corner, which he delivered from the right, but it was defended away too easily, and Palace were allowed to run at the Everton defence, but with no end product. Ledley and then Jerome combined dangerously but the latter was well offside when he headed over. Mirallas won and took Everton's fourth corner but the delivery was no better.

Palace were looking just a little too dangerous when they came forward and sure enough when Puncheon finished into the corner of the Gwladys Street net after Howard had palmed the ball out to Chamahk following a good run by Bolasie around the back of the lacklustre Everton defence. A really poor goal to give away through laziness and over-confidence.

The Everton crowd were not too impressed with the response to going behind: too many poor passes; too much possession squandered cheaply. And it almost led to a second when Bolasie powered in a vicious shot that beat Howard and smacked off the face of the post behind him, Jerome thankfully unable to finish the rebound off.

Another sweeping forward move by Everton was again countered, ending in another corner, better from Deulofeu, that McGeady curved over from outside the area. Speronni then had to get down well to stop a shot from Lukaku sneaking in at the near post. A better corner almost created another chance as the Blues started to reasset themselves but Jeromme got forward and won a good free-kick off Barry.

Palace went in at the break with the bit firmly between their teeth leaving Everton with a huge second-half mountain to climb if they were to make more of a dent in the effective rearguard action being mounted successfully by the visitors to deny their hosts many real chances on goal.

Deulofeu was withdrawn at the break, with Naismith replacing him. But it did nothing to thwart a bright Palace side who were determined to tale the game to Everton, Ledley getting a great shot in on Tim Howard. From the corner, Scot Dann was all alone as he headed in the resulting corner unchallenged.

McGeady tried to change things up but saw his third strike from distance fly past the target. Coleman was next upfield but Bolasie had him well covered. Everton were lacking coherence all over the park as Palace swarmed at them like bees. A Baines free-kick wide right was delivered in well this time but headed over by Lukaku. Martinez completed the changes on the hour, McCarthy and Osman on for McGeady and Barry.

It was scrappy when it finally came, but a decent cross to the far post by Mirallas (after a very poor first attempt) stood up nicely for Baines to head back in and there was Naismith to bundle it across the line, taking out Speronni in the process.

Some lively exchanges really got the crowd going, Mariappa coming off worst after competition for an aerial ball, Baines giving him a bloody nose and earning a yellow card as Crystal Palace physios took full advantage of disrupting the Everton flow. A fabulous ball to the back post and Mirallas should have burst the net but Mirallas could only spoon it well over the goal as Parr replaced Mariappa and the atmosphere hit fever pitch.

A tremendous shot by Osman was tipped onto the crossbar, as the Blues pushed for the equalizer. But it was a stunning piece of skill form Jerome who dug out a wicked shot from hardly anything to beat Howard and tuck his shot inside the post, instantly silencing a stunned Goodison Park.

The third goal knocked the stuffing out the Blues, who could no longer raise the tempo, a long run by Lukaku ending in a dreadful layoff to nobody. Barkley won corner with probing pass, then took it on himself, bursting in and firing low, Speronni saving with a desperate lunge of his foot. From the corner, then a quick free-kick, something should have come from it but Osman's shot was wayward.

Mirallas did superbly to anticipate a good ball behind the Palace defence and clip it beyond Speronni then over the line with 5 mins left, but Barkley spoilt it a little, shooting horribly over when more composure was called for. Everton kept probing as the minutes ticked away. but nothing would really fall right for them in the end, and a shocking home defeat brought to an end the wonderful seven-game winning streak.

Scorers: Naismith (61'), Mirallas (86'); Puncheon (23'), Dann (49'), Jerome (73').

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines; Barry (59' Osman), Deulofeu (46' Naismith), Barkley, Mirallas, McGeady (59' McCarthy); Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Hibbert, Garbutt, Alcaraz.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa (68' Parr), Delaney Y:44', Dann, Ward, Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie, Puncheon, Chamakh (80' Murray), Jerome (76' O'Keefe).
Subs not Used: Hennessey, McCarthy, Ince,Gayle,

Referee: Andre Marinner

Attendance: 39,333

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Hugh McKillop
698 Posted 16/04/2014 at 19:01:29
No James McCarthy - strange one but very attacking.
Hopefully we win by a bagful, but it must just be the Evertonian nature to think is this the point were we cock it up?
Dan Heaton
699 Posted 16/04/2014 at 19:02:04
Thought he would have rested Barry and not Macca. Bit surprised to be honest. COYB
David Bryant
701 Posted 16/04/2014 at 19:02:34
Palace going 4-4-2 by the looks of it. Should be goals – how many I've no idea, but we're winning this!
Jay Harris
702 Posted 16/04/2014 at 19:08:16
Bit surprised he's left McCarthy out in a game that will be physical.

Maybe he is carrying a knock.

Dont like Ross playing defensive mid as he is to prone to stand on the ball and not release it early.

Nevertheless if we want 4th we should get through this one.

Hope the crowd is really up for it and stays patient.


Sam Fitzsimmons
703 Posted 16/04/2014 at 19:12:36
That is one adventurous starting 11. An all-or-nothing statement of intent.
Peter Z Jones
704 Posted 16/04/2014 at 19:16:02
Anthony Flack
705 Posted 16/04/2014 at 19:16:43
Imagine our old manager picking that team. Not a chance....
Drew Shortis
706 Posted 16/04/2014 at 19:21:18
If this line-up clicks we could see a really high scoring game, something that could make a huge difference to our final position!

Stones can bring the ball out of defence allowing Barkley to join the attack more often. We are sure to dominate possession and it could be tough to break down Pulis' well organised defence, but with that much pace, trickery and drive coming from midfield we will be very dangerous. Very excited!!!

Dick Fearon
707 Posted 16/04/2014 at 19:15:09
It is 2.15 am, we live in exciting times, On my 2nd coffee already. Clatterboard and United at the back of my mind but first things first and that is the game against Palace. Wenger, the football league and lord knows how many others are wishing bad luck on us.
Mountains to climb, I hope our players are more composed than I am.
Scott Williams
708 Posted 16/04/2014 at 19:28:36
Get in! What a line-up! Baines, McGeady and big Rom to score tonight! COYB!
Hugh McKillop
714 Posted 16/04/2014 at 20:33:46
Nothing much on the bench to change this other than Naismith. Think Mirallas is going down to easy and complaining too much.
Based on first half, a draw would be a good result.
David Cornmell
715 Posted 16/04/2014 at 20:42:17
I hope we play better in the second half than the first. The final product was gash, and a McCarthy-less midfield is getting out muscled. If they want fourth the players are going to have to dug deep for it. COYB !
Sean Roberts
716 Posted 16/04/2014 at 20:59:23
Come on blues we have done too much to let it slip away now !!! Need 3 goals we can do it !!!
Steven Telford
717 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:14:43
Merry fucking Easter from EFC.............
How frustrating is it to rip arsenal to pieces and then have to watch that shite!

Dennis Ng
718 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:47:16
Disappointing result. The decision not to put Barry and McCarthy together baffles me but it is one of those days nothing goes our way...
Paul Mackie
719 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:49:48
Good old Everton. Always disappointing when it matters most.

Martinez got it completely wrong tonight.

Tommy Coleman
720 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:48:58
What a disastrous result. Palace had 4 shots on goal. When did they learn to finish like Messi!?

It's not quite over yet, Hull can do us a favour and we owe Moyes a good hiding.


Anto Byrne
721 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:47:24
Very disappointing but very typical of Everton to blow the chance of big time football. Can't see Arsenal slipping up now unless they get held by Hull. City drew and that leaves the shite sitting pretty. What a horrible night of football.
Jamie Barlow
722 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:48:36
I can't keep doing this.

First 10 and last 15 we were good. The rest can fuck off.

So can Lukaku if he's going to carry on playing like he has in his last 2 games.

Depressing shit this football lark.

Tommy Coleman
723 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:52:23
Paul - I thought our shape wasn't quite right but we lost because everything they hit went in. I hope they finish line that when playing LFC.
Craig Fletcher
724 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:54:33
Man U on the weekend is taking on even more importance. Now not only do we have to hope the Arse slip up; we're also looking over our shoulder.
Jamie Barlow
725 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:54:41
It's definitely not over Tommy. We've seen tonight that there's always going to be mad results.

Who'd have had a Palace win and Sunderland draw tonight?

Danny Kewley
726 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:52:28
We obviously got the balance wrong and everyone bar the fans underestimated Palace. Time to wake up! Do the Mancs on Sunday and hope Hull rip the Arse out of the Gunners!
Andy Crooks
727 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:53:56
There was an arrogance about the team selection that invited what we got. This isn't the best Everton team ever or the third best or anything like the best. Roberto has been magnificent but tinkering with so view games left seems bizarre.
Tommy Coleman
728 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:57:48
Agree Jamie. It's going to be weird until the last game of the season.
Michael Kenrick
729 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:58:16
Tough job being a manager, but I can't see how many will — with the benefit of hindsight, obviously — defend the strange decision to bench McCarthy.

Still scratching my head...

James Martin
730 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:55:46
Classic Everton... the only thing you can rely on them for is letting you down when it's most embarrassing for the fans. Easy quarterfinal after nearly a year unbeaten at home – 3-0 home loss. Going to Anfield after a load of talk of no fear – 4-0 loss. Champions League in our hands and a week of the press building us up – concede 3 at home to Palace.

I feel sorry for Martinez having to deal with this bottling group of players. I genuinely thought the corner had been turned against Arsenal but clearly as soon as a modicum of pressure is applied to a match we choke. Better leave it to the real big boys hey rather than pretenders like this lot.

Embarrassing, our league campaign has fallen apart due to losses at home to Sunderland and Crystal Palace. You can only blame the players for that. Cocky and complacent when they've never won jack all for Everton in their careers. Disgusting.

David Harrison
731 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:55:34
It's the hope that kills you! Bobby outsmarted himself tonight but when it's in our hands we always seem to blow it...unlike a certain other team. Fed up of having to explain it away to my boys but if we can't beat Palace at home then we really don't deserve it
Patrick Murphy
732 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:54:49
Typical Everton just when the fans start believing in them they screw us over. I couldn't go tonight due to work, but the bits I did see we were all over the place, and unfortunately Roberto fell into that old DM trap of playing the next fixture rather than this one - That is the only reason I can see for leaving McCarthy on the bench. Mind you it makes you wonder if BK realising that CL might put pressure on him to open the wallet and safe in the knowledge that he has the requisite number of renewals of Season Tickets put the brakes on. What's the use of having four wingers if the Centre-Forward can't be arsed moving and looking for space - another limelight player who only wants to play when the top four come to town and we already have enough of those at the club.

Phil perhaps your pre-season prediction is correct seventh it is after all. We should know better after so many false dawns. FFS

James Carlisle
733 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:54:00
Only one point from Palace this season. In recent seasons it seems while our record against the top is improving, our record against the bottom is getting worse. Particularly when it comes to newly promoted clubs.

Now we've got to just put this behind us and crack on with getting 4th. One point behind but with a better goal difference. It's still well within our sites. Tonight was an easy opportunity missed but as always with Everton if we're gonna do it then we'll do it the hard way.

Tommy Coleman
734 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:00:13
Andy - They had 4 shots on goal. Their finishing was outrageous.
I've not seen finishing like that at Goodison this year. They'd win the league if they kept that up.
Martinez commentated that they were defensive and a counter attacking team so he overloaded on attacking players.
No one could have expected the quality of their 4 shots.
Trevor Lynes
735 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:00:17
Palace earned the win and tonight all their shots hit the target. We do not have a divine right to win and there have been quite a few surprise results this season. Pulis has got a few top class players including the Scouser Dann.

Never mind, boys, we will bounce back against Man Utd. We need Jagielka back to shore up the defence.

Tony J Williams
736 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:02:17
That midfield was always going to invite trouble, three attacking non defending players leaving the defence short. Trying to be too clever and it backfired enormously
Chris Gould
737 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:01:23
Fucking Everton. We threatened to throw away the season for 2 months after christmas. Then we go on an amazing 7 game winning streak and turn it all around only to piss it away again. Sunderland and crystal palace at home...the 2 results that we will all look back on at the end of the season. Martinez royally screwed up tonight. We needed to outmuscle them in midfield for 60 mins and then throw on our penetrative players NOT the other way round!!!!!!! I don’t know what he was thinking. Everyone knows how well organised and physical they are. So angry at Martinez. That was bloody naive.
Dean Adams
738 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:02:45
We still have our record number of points and 12 more to play for. It is not over yet, we just don't seem to like making things easy for ourselves. Arsenal have not been in good form since October so it could go down to the wire. Never easy being a toffee.
Peter Z Jones
739 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:05:50
Utterly demoralizing.
Jamie Barlow
740 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:07:15
That's right Michael. And if you're going to rest one of your holding midfielders, surely it's the older Barry. McCarthy didn't look injured when he came on.
Sean Patton
741 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:09:34
The cynic in me wonders if Crystal Palace who played like men possessed will do likewise when they entertain the league leaders I bet they roll out the red carpet for that shower.
Nigel Gregson
742 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:12:00
Well this is why we need depth across the park. The season is not split linearly - there are 10-15 day gaps when we play zero games and then there are weeks where we play 3 weeks in 8 days. This will be even worse next year when we play in europe.
David Harrison
743 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:08:49
Have to agree Chris, Michael et al. Why breakup what has been a really effective part of our team in Barry & McCarthy & then leave little on the bench to potentially change the game. We've been a really strong 2nd half team so why go gung ho from the start tonight? Aargh!!
Stephen Bird
744 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:07:02
Flipping heck, we dare to dream but always get a dose of reality from EFC; this is what keeps us balanced and objective fans and human beings...

Unlike of course the wide-eyed, gaping mouthed RS who, after winning the Title, Champions league , the World Cup , the Ashes and Grand National are planning a successful assault on the Dancing on Ice title by 2016

Robbie Muldoon
745 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:13:26
We can win every game from now til the end of the season, and Arsenal only need to slip up once. There's some Martinez positiveity rubbing off on me. Let's ignore that weird little McCarthy stunt.
Jimmy Hill
746 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:14:55
Its not over yet. Arsenal will drop points. The season is still all on.
If Sunderland can draw with City anything can happen.
Jay Richo
747 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:13:54
Biggest disappointment from me tonight was our fans. Could have heard a pin drop right up until our 1st goal in the 61st minute. Weren't we playing for Champions League football tonight? Didn't sound like.

The players performed badly but so did we as fans so to take the moral high ground and sit here slating players when we were just as bad doesn't sit right with me. 4th place is gone. 5th will be tough. On to the next one.

Phil Rodgers
748 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:15:54
Got to be honest folks. Martinez completely fucked that up by picking about 6 wingers, In the most unbalanced everton 11 I have ever seen. I wish I could be optimistic but I can't 4th is gone.
Kieran Riding
749 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:20:01
Not arsed.
Roberto picked a dead attacking line up.. At home to a Crystal Palace.

They played out of their skins.

It's still on.

David Harrison
750 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:18:18
Jimmy,Robbie. It was in our hands & we blew it. It now isn't and I don't think we will get a better opportunity than Palace at home to cement that 4th place. All we can do now is cross our fingers but I suspect that a major psychological blow was struck tonight
Phil Head
751 Posted 16/04/2014 at 21:50:51
Think we finally got what we deserved, we've been conceding 5/6 glorious chances every game for weeks now, so it was only a matter of time till the opposition started finishing them off. That's about 5 goals I've seen this season where Stones has let his opponent get a clean shot off when he's standing right next to him, for all the abilitiy and potential he has, he's just a liability defensively at this stage of his career. As for McGeady??? We should have been worried by the comments of EVERY Irish supporter when we signed him, full of tricks, no end product. Regardless of how bad Mirallas and Deulefeu are playing, they're always likely to get you a goal,so have to stay on the pitch, we'll be lucky if we see McGeady get more than a couple of goals a season, poor signing. If there's a lesson to be learned from this season for Roberto, it's that, unless you have a squad of players all of equal ability , you've just got to pick your strongest team every week. Over a season, injuries will give fringe players a chance and starters a rest from time to time. If someone comes in and plays well and earns a start the next game (Like Naismith) then fair enough, but don't go starting players that are shocking everytime they put on the shirt (McGeady/Osman) just coz you think your better players need a rest. We just don't have replacements for the likes of Lukaku, Deulefeu, Mirallas, McCarthy, Barry to afford the luxury of resting or subbing star players and tonight we were punished for it.
Si Cooper
753 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:18:38
Not disastrous or pathetic, but very disappointing all the same. Will be interested to hear what the manager has to say about it.
Brian Waring
756 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:25:47
Don't know about a £20m player, tonight Lukaku looked more like a £20 player.
John Malone
757 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:01:33
Just got in from match walked out at 3-1 absolutely pig sick, I know it's easy to say now but got to say I thought Martinez got it wrong tonight, credit to him for playing an attacking team but it just didn't seem like he did his homework he totally dismissed Palace's attack when we all know just by watching motd that Puncheon and Bolasie are there main threat. Unlike the Arsenal game were we had a game plan what worked to perfection tonight it seemed like it was get it to Deulofeu and see what happens.

It's going to be hard to pick the players up but if there was any game to do it Moyes' Utd at home has got to be the tonic.

Brian Denton
758 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:29:27
Just back. Din NOT see that coming, even by Everton standards of building you up just to knock you down! Going off to sulk now.
Brian Waring
759 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:27:40
One thing had me baffled, with all the attacking pace we had on the pitch tonight, why the fuck with every attack did we always look to get the ball out wide, and do it at a snails pace to boot? We should be looking to mix it up and use some of that pace through the middle.
Simon Watts
760 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:25:27
Watching this game from Thailand. There are no Everton fans. They let me watch it as early in the morning but had a member of staff who was snoring when I left. Everton have no interest for these people regardless what they say on the efc website. If it was even Arsenal be 20 to 30 people here. Mcarthy and Barry are the fulcrum of the team. They are the defensive heartbeat I am so surprised Mcarthy left out. I worry also that I am the only person that supports Everton in my city. I teach many students. This term 300 and last term the same. I never met one Everton fan. But the women and men all support an EPL side.
Jimmy Hill
761 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:28:49
Phil Head what on earth are going on about 'finally got what we deserved".
the reality is we completely dominated the game from start to finish.
I think McGeady probably had more shots than most tonight and wasn't that far away. He also beat his man consistently and got the ball into the box it not his fault no one got on the end of it.
Osman in my book is the one we missed in midfield and changed the game when he came on along with Naismith.
Roberto has to rest players with the numbers games we have this week. I don't think he got it wrong Palace defended well and got lucky up front.
That's all that happened.
Danny Broderick
762 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:30:22
Martinez got it wrong tonight. Team selection way too attacking. BUT... We have had a cracking season. 4th is looking remote now, but you never know...

I'm sure we'll have a good go at it anyway. Even if we ONLY end the season on around 70 points, that is phenomenal for a 1st season – a season that many (including me) thought would be a season of transition...

John Schrempft
763 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:22:39
Why was Baines given a yellow card.? Even the biased,pro Crystal palace commentator said it was an accident...

Everton really MUST practice their corners more, both defending them and when taking them. How many goals have we scored from corners this season and how many have we conceded?

Unless we have both Mcarthy and Barry on the pitch, then we're going to concede more goals.

On the other hand, Crystal Palace were lucky with 3 of their 4 attempts going in.

Anyway, it isn't over yet. We're only one point behind the Arse with a superior goal difference....

Mike Oates
764 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:36:38
Time for Stones to step out of 1st team and let Jags back in. Stones will undoubtedly be an International of the future , almost Beckanbaur ish but tonight he was muscled out by some 6ft,15 stone CH for their 2nd goal and gave Jerome far too much space to get a shot away for the 3rd. Top class footballer but needs to look and learn a bit longer.
Dean Adams
765 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:39:59
Still plenty to play for.
Drew Shortis
766 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:29:47
On the bright side, if we can slip up then so can Arsenal. Not an ideal situation, but anything can happen. If it was easy to predict the outcome of games then we would all be winning accumulators every week! The initiative could still swing back and forth a few more times before the end of the season!
Bill Gall
767 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:31:57
Perphaps the doubters will realise how important Mcarthy is to the team. Good teams win with solid defending and as we do not have a quality midfielder to open up teams you have to stop them on the break..

Funny the 2 teams that have beaten us at home -1 is fighting relagation and now the second one that has beaten us is a team that has been fighting against relagation all season.

Brian Waring
768 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:45:19
The funny thing is, there has been loads on here questioning as to why do we always have to play 2 holding players when we play the teams near the bottom,think you got your answer tonight.
Steve Barr
769 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:47:39
It doesn't seem to matter who our manager is. When we have to deliver we cock it up.

Consider arguably our last two most important home games.

Lost to Wigan in the FA Cup semi, conceding three goals and now Palace, another three conceded. Under the lights in a mid week game to boot!

The joys of supporting Everton.

Mark Frere
770 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:43:19
Desperately disappointing result! Still, we're only one point behind Arsenal and even though their games are much easier than ours on paper, it doesn't mean we are out of the race for top 4. Football is very unpredictable, we thought we were out of the race for top 4 after Chelsea and Spurs defeats but back we came. Who'd have thought Sunderland would have got a draw tonight? Nothing's a given, lets just put this behind us and move on and obtain the 12 points available.
Kieran Riding
771 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:53:37
Home defeats to Sunderland and Palace.

Funny old game.

Brian Waring
772 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:57:09
Martinez " he (Lukaku) reported a pull at the end of the game so were going to have to assess him first thing in the morning. It's too early to say what but yes of course it's a worry but this squad has proven time and time again that there is quality in it to step up to the job"
Dave Lynch
773 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:49:31

"We dominated the game from start to finish".

Don't know what game you where watching mate but from my view in the upper Glad they gave us a lesson in how to shut a team out.

We didn't have a shot on target in the first half, they hit the upright then went 2 up at the restart before we had a shot on target !!!!

They got it spot on while we on the other hand where shite.

Sam Hoare
774 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:45:19
How very, very deflating. Trying hard to not feel like we will drop more points now and end up clinging onto 5th or 6th or even Wallingth.

We were a little unlucky tonight but ultimately the league doesn't lie and it's all very well beating Arsenal one week but if you then lose at home to palace it renders the effort slightly redundant.

More support for the argument that Lukaku is not worth anything like 25m. He was worse than Jerome tonight and some of his hold-up/ link play was atrocious.

Eamonn Long
775 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:50:40
I was surprised at how attacking the line up was. McCarthy, imo, fitted the system more so than Barry.

Palace are a good side, but we should've won this one. At 3-1 down, we still could've got a result; just didn't get the luck at times. Sloppy, sloppy goals given away tho, which is the most disappointing aspect and Mirallas again frustrates (more so than Delboy).

Champions league football is gone now, I fear.... :/

Brian Waring
776 Posted 16/04/2014 at 22:59:45
Agree Dave, Palace deserve loads of credit tonight, they did a job on us good style.
Colin Glassar
777 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:02:44
Roberto shot himself in the foot tonight with his team selection. He has done it before (the derby) and learned from it. He will learn from this as well no doubt.
Patrick Murphy
779 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:04:23
If only West Ham had have had the same attitude as Palace last night, I really hope that the Hammer's go down following their wafer-thin performance it will also mean that a few of those in trouble get good results as well which may help us to achieve CL. But really tonight's game was a must win and even a draw would have helped - can't help thinking we have blown our outside chance.
Kevin Tully
781 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:00:18
Finding this very difficult to post fellas. Haven't felt this bad since that 3-0 defeat to Wigan in the Cup. Fucking gutted. We went too gung-ho from the off and certainly underestimated the opposition. Roberto started to believe we were invincible (along with a few of us)

The last vestige of hope I can leave my fellow blues with, is that we have won every game after a defeat this season.

Sick as the proverbial. Goodnight lads.

Craig Fletcher
782 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:01:52
Phil (752) pull your head in (see what I did there). Take a deep breath. There will be more twists before this season is out. Who the hell would have bet money on Connor Wickham scoring twice to help Sunderland draw with Man City.
Colin Glassar
783 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:07:39
Patrick, arsenal were awful against Wigan and terrible in the first half against a pathetically poor WHU. Hull still need the points to guarantee prem safety so I wouldn't be surprised if Hull beat them or at least get a draw. Long is quick and could rip them apart.
Michael Edwards
784 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:06:18
Fustrating yes but don't go overboard. We played into their hands and couldn't cope with the physical stuff. When we tried to give it back, the twatting referee penalised us. Palace were getting away with murder. RM says that McCarthy had a muscle injury otherwise he would have played. Dust yourselves down and let's have a go on Sunday.
Patrick Murphy
785 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:13:28
A Jelavic hat-trick wouldn't go amiss on Sunday Colin - but I just think it's too much to ask in winning all four remaining games and hoping that Arsenal drop points - but you never know do you?
Phil Walling
786 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:08:09
Stupid team selection cost Everton dear. Roberto pisses about too much with the line up - a wonder he didn't start Robles!

4th still within our grasp but three points needed off the Old Moystro this Sunday.

Colin Glassar
787 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:17:08
PW, for once I agree with you but it sounds like McCarthy wasn't fully fit. And we all know Ossie can't start every game. Nessie should've definitely started as we all knew this would be a physical battle.
I still think we've got a chance for 4th but it isn't in our hands now.
Colin Malone
789 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:18:36
Too cavalier from the start with three wingers, no shape. Barkley out of position,No McCarthy ??, Baines stunk. We never won one ball in the air but kept trying?????. Frustrating but keep the faith blues.
Ally ally ally ooooo
Paul Ferry
790 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:25:41
Lovin this new Phil - 786 - 4th still within our grasp but three points needed off the Old Moyestro this Sunday.
Damian Braithwaite
791 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:18:05
Just got back home from the game and I believe Bobby has dropped a clanger just like the Arsenal cup game. We were unbalanced in the first half due to McCarthy being dropped which made Lukaku come too deep to pick the ball up and when the crosses came in he wasn't there. This highlights the unsung work McCarthy does bring to the team. Energy, decisive tackles, box to box running are what we missed tonight and I Thought it was unfair to have a pop at Stones, the kid oozes class and if McCarthy was playing from the start he would be mopping up the 50/50s and marshalling the defence. Opportunity lost tonight but we have come so far, onwards and upwards blues.
James Stewart
792 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:30:49
Tactically inept, race for 4th over.
Barry Stevens
793 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:08:23
Gutted as everyone else but let's not give up hope just yet. The Gooners have a tough game on Sunday at Hull, and the gap is only 1 point.

As for tonight's game, it just didn't work out. Some unfair criticism being directed at Roberto. He picked an attacking line up and all season people have been saying not to play two holding players in games like this.

Peter Laing
794 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:22:49
As with the derby capitulation against Liverpool a lack of leadership on the pitch from the senior players and a lack of discipline with the team selection from Martinez cost Everton dearly. Hardly surprising given that after supporting Everton for forty years they always without fail kick you in the nuts.
Chris Leyland
797 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:29:07
What the fuck was that?

Everything about tonight was wrong. The line up was a strange one and backfired big time on Martinez.

Three wingers, none of who seemed to want to beat their man. Mirallas in particular was woeful for most of the match and didn't seem to know where he was supposed to be playing.

Barkley off the pace and afraid of driving forward.

Baines and Coleman ineffective going forward and sloppy with the ball.

Barry exposed as he had to do his own and McCarthy's job.

Lukaku couldn't trap a back of cement. His first touch is woeful. £25m? Not on tonight's performance.

Distin with his customary sloppy lack of control gave away the throw that lead to their third.

Stones, whilst looking quality at times was too slow to close down for their third and allowed a free header for their second.

The fans. We were quiet for 90% of the game. We have become too accustomed to winning and onto he atmosphere is dead. I was sat in the Upper Bullens and, to be fair to the Palace and, they made a lot of noise fri start to finish.

One lesson in life for the younger fans, Everton always let you down. My first one was the 1977 League Cup Final and it went on from there. 1984 Milk Cup lost to the shite. 1985 FA Cup Final and the chance for a historic treble - lost to 10 mancs. 1985 and we blow the league by losing to poxy Oxford and then compound it by losing the FA cup to the shite. Roll forward to 1989 and once again we get to another final and it's another losss to the shite. Then, more recently we've had the losses to the shite once again in an FA cup semi and the surrender to Wigan at home in the quarters. I'm putting tonight's game in that bracket as it was a real chance to keep the top 4 in our own hands and we bottled it again with a naive line up and players who, when the going gets tough don't have the desire or will to give it that extra push. Say what you want about the shower from across the Park but they do have it this season and you can see why they are right up there whereas we will be the nearly men once again.

Roger Helm
800 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:52:27
We are like Spurs - nice football, everyone likes us, but we don't have the mental strength to win the important games. We need some leaders on the field. Imagine what Roy Keane or Peter Reid would have had to say about the sloppy football we saw today.
Alistair Strachan
802 Posted 16/04/2014 at 23:59:42
The main problem tonight was that at no point did Everton match Palace's work rate, commitment to the tackle or determination. Yes, their finishing was clinical but Everton were poor defensively all night.

The starting line-up was a shocker....McCarthy would be the first name on my team sheet every week. The frequency with which Barkley loses possession is less dangerous when the wall of Barry and McCarthy play behind him.

The Barkley-McGeady-Deufelou axis was awful...they can barely tackle a fish supper between the lot of them. The Spaniard doesn't seem to even know the meaning of the phrase "tracking back".

A lack of commitment in the tackle, slack passing and sloppy concentration was evident all night.

Roberto tried to close the stable door once the horse had bolted, been captured by gypsies and turned into dog food by introducing Naismith and Osman who put the foot in a bit more often and at least gave effort..
However, overall this was pitiful stuff.

Brent Stephens
803 Posted 17/04/2014 at 00:06:01
Sickening performance and result.

Strange selection.

Stones defensively dodgy a few times; "phenomenal" going forward.

Crosses were going in close to the keeper but nobody anticipating – until Nais did and scored.

Why oh why are we so crap at corners – not just getting them into the box but also getting a head onto them.

Delboy always looks threatening – but looks so predictable in that he'll normally take it on the outside of the man. McGready seems to offer more – goes past a man and crosses straight away.

Colin Glassar
804 Posted 17/04/2014 at 00:11:19
It might be sour grapes on my part but I thought all their goals were a bit flukey and Howard and Stones were at fault for numbers 2 and 3. Stonesy has been brilliant but maybe we missed jags experience tonight.

Overall, we were shit and looked like scared rabbits most of the time. We're still in with a shout though. C'mon Jela and Co, give us a chance on Sunday.

Jamie Carroll
806 Posted 17/04/2014 at 00:24:04
Heads up everyone, Arsenal away to Hull, who play before Everton on Sunday.... advantage to Everton. They still need points to stay up, if Hull take anything off Arsenal and Everton beat Man Utd, it's then back in Everton's hands.

ps: Why was Neil Mellor commentating on Sky's game tonight? Same with Dowie who was having an orgasm everytime Palace scored!

Rob Halligan
807 Posted 17/04/2014 at 00:34:46
To play Mirallas, McGeady and Deulofeu was a major mistake for me. Look at the major impact Mirallas and McGeady, along with Naismith, made in the game against Fulham a few weeks back.

Once Naismith had come on at half time, there was nobody else you could say could come on to change the game. McCarthy was a like for like swop for Barry and you can't really say Osman can change a game.

Might have been better starting with Barkley in place of McCarthy as the only change from the Sunderland game, seeing as McCarthy was carrying an injury.

Then again, what do we as fans know???

Mike Keating
808 Posted 17/04/2014 at 00:42:26
After a season of hope you just did it again;

Why do you build me up (build me up) Buttercup, baby
Just to let me down (let me down) and mess me around
And then worst of all (worst of all) you never call, baby
When you say you will (say you will) but I love you still
I need you (I need you) more than anyone, darlin'
You know that I have from the start
So build me up (build me up) Buttercup, don't break my heart

Thomas Newton
809 Posted 17/04/2014 at 00:36:18
Listening to Graeme Sharp go through the team selection on the way to the game and his apprehensions couldn't turn out to be more accurate, unbalanced and lack of physical presence in midfield.

70% possession 1st half and one effort on target, width on both sides yet barely a body on the end of anything, so frustrating.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but now at the business end of things the recalling of Jags would of been a wise move, for all his promise Stones still has much to learn. Seen him do similar for Stoke's goal earlier in season, a block Jags would make several times a game.

Dan Parker
810 Posted 17/04/2014 at 01:13:46
I think other big clubs celebrating our loss so much shows just how far we've come. Almost there, but not quite. Bloody mid-week games!
Dick Fearon
816 Posted 17/04/2014 at 03:03:17
Roberto says pressure got to us, I say what bloomin pressure.
For most of the game we played like cathartic zombies.

Paul Columb
817 Posted 17/04/2014 at 03:05:42
Let's face it lads... if we would have spanked them with the attacking line-up we would have been celebrating RM's genius and wondering why two defensive/holding midfielders have been used against the 'lesser' sides all along.

Lesson learned, and at a high cost, to add to other obvious humblings we and RM have had to digest this season.

Hard to take, I know, but season not over yet. Maybe a good way to ponder in advance just how our midfield should function when Barry is benched vs City.

On another note, I had really high hopes of Mirallas this season but again though his contribution was very poor today. Nice 1st touch for his goal but that was it. And for Christ's sake, Delboy needs to add to the repertoire a bit... just cut inside once... just once.

Come on you Blue Boys. Make the run-in count.

Michael Penley
819 Posted 17/04/2014 at 03:20:40
What we really need is a lifelong captain like Steven Gerrard - someone who's been at the club his whole life and motivates by the sheer will to win. Someone who won't tolerate not winning anything in a 10+ year career at a single club. If we had that, we'd be guaranteed to never be complacent as we were last night. I'm hoping this will be Baines in a few years because if it's going to be Barkley or Stones we'll be waiting a long time.
Kevin Rowlands
820 Posted 17/04/2014 at 04:31:50
Little bit of an over reaction by some on here, don't forget this team beat Chelsea only two weeks ago and are one of the form teams in the Premier League, imagine being a Man City fan tonight, nearly turned over by the bottom team in the PL who are going to get relegated and basically blowing their chance at the title.

There are NO easy games in this league, we've had a great season regardless whether we finish 4th or not. Just to get back to MC, hundreds of millions spent and all they're going to get back for that is the fucking League Cup. Say's it all really... we can still get 4th, believe.

Harold Matthews
821 Posted 17/04/2014 at 01:52:39
Someone said the line-up showed a lack of respect. Quite right. It also showed a lack of research. My first thought being...My god, Coleman is going to get roasted.

In recent Palace games Bolasie has been tearing defences apart with lightning speed and awesome power. He has been truly phenomenal. Yet we field a side with no-one to support our right-back. Delboy doesn't defend, McCarthy was missing and Stones is still wearing defensive L plates.

Up front we were completely toothless. Lukaku is big, young and mobile. That's it. Full stop.... Despite our giant No 9, they won every header and were quicker and stronger all over the pitch. A very impressive display from a team which knew our every move before we made it. Not too difficult really. Against a deep lying defence we are always too slow and predictable. Barkley, McGeady, Baines and Mirallis had one or two good attacking moments against a packed defence and two goals would be enough to win most home games. Unfortunately, weak defending cost us dearly at the other end. Being comfortable on the ball is all well and good but there are times when tough experienced tacklers like Jags and Hibbert are sorely missed. Our forwards faced those kind of players last night and found it very hard.

Personally, I won't be too bothered if we don't make the top four. How can I be? At the start of the season I was hoping to finish in the top ten.

Peter Barry
822 Posted 17/04/2014 at 04:58:59
This one has to go down to Roberto. I don't know what he was thinking, maybe he has bought in to all the media hype, but whatever it was he made a colossal tactical error with his team selection. His lack of respect for Palace as an attacking force and a attitude I presume that we would simply overwhelm them with our team full of attackers proved woefully wrong. It was only when he changed the formation in the second half that it was somewhat rectified but by then the damage was done and there was no way back.

Dare I say TGT would have most probably won this one by playing his normal defensive KITAP crap and even saying that makes me angrier at what happened.

Why is it so hard being an Evertonian we get to believe then are cruelly disappointed so many times. I know the season is not yet over and there will be more twists and turns but this should have been a banker home win.

Kevin Rowlands
824 Posted 17/04/2014 at 05:23:33
Peter, City should have been a banker home win! there are still a few twists and turns to come, 4 games left and tbh if it does come down to the last game who would you prefer to play? a Norwich side needing a result to stay in the PL, or a Hull side looking forward to an FA cup final?
Peter Barry
825 Posted 17/04/2014 at 05:46:46
Kevin either of those games would be less important if we got a result last night and that's the point.
Kevin Rowlands
826 Posted 17/04/2014 at 05:52:37
Peter, seriously you have to take the good with the bad, we just won seven games on the trot, have the most points we have ever had in our PL history, are one point out of 4th with 4 games to play, would any of us taken that at the start of the season? I think the answer to that is yes!
Mike Gaynes
828 Posted 17/04/2014 at 06:07:45
Well said, Kevin. Hard to remember for a few hours after a game like this, but too true.
Charles Brewer
829 Posted 17/04/2014 at 06:31:43
There was just one thing seriously wrong last night. We do not have a striker worth anything. Even with the bus parked, there were crosses and corners which a real striker would have scrambled in (or at least got near) and there were enough even in the first half that we could easily have been ahead.

Last Saturday was the same. Cross after cross half a yard off the goal line and no one to put it in.

Why Lukaku stayed on last night I have no idea. It is clear that Mourinho has got him 100% spot on. Distin and Stones looked more likely to score. Mirallas gets loads of stick but scored a proper opportunist goal and was in the right place to have made it a draw, ok a couple of air shots constituted an embarrassment, but at least he was there.

Kevin Day
832 Posted 17/04/2014 at 07:12:54
That's the spirit Phil Walling!
Steve Brown
839 Posted 17/04/2014 at 07:30:55
Keep calm and carry on..despite the performance! One point in it and Arsenal are flaky. We can still do it.
Colin Glassar
871 Posted 17/04/2014 at 08:55:20
Well, the run is over. Let's go on another one and win our last four games and see what happens. Hull might do over arsenal and we can beat man u. After that it's a case of beating Southampton (safe), city (title challenge finished) and Hull (FA cup final to think about). These games are all winnable.
Mark Stone
874 Posted 17/04/2014 at 09:10:16
Absolutely Colin, plenty of twists and turns yet I reckon. Who would have predicted Sunderland holding Man City last night? Impossible to predict whats going to happen in the premier league this season.
Andy Meighan
902 Posted 17/04/2014 at 10:14:51
Down to the manager, that one; he's taken the plaudits all season so I'm afraid he's going to have to take the flak with this one. Trying to shoehorn three players of a similar ilk into a side playing against an ultra-physical Palace side was nothing short of criminal. And by the way, the three so-called wingers I'm referring to just went missing.

Martinez has done absolutely brilliant this season, keeping us in with a shout of the top 4 at this stage of the season, but, like on a couple of occasions this season, his naïvety got the better of him. All-in-all, a really bad performance but we move on and he must know himself he's got to change it on Sunday. All is not lost.

Tony Heslop
980 Posted 17/04/2014 at 16:31:20
Please don't let this be like 1975 when, way out in front of the League we fritter everything away on defeats to low lying and relegated teams. And then we had an undignified battle with Stoke City over who should have the UEFA cup place. Remember the one club one city "rule" ? It still hurts when I think of that year.
Peter Bell
982 Posted 17/04/2014 at 16:44:53
Yes Tony, it still hurts, then we played the mighty AC Milan next season, and got robbed that year also
Neil Cremin
992 Posted 17/04/2014 at 18:22:41
What I find interesting is that it seems to be accepted that McCarthy loss was key to the stability of the team.

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