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  • By Julian Taylor at Goodison Park

Frustrated Eagles earn a point at Everton in front of new boss Glasner on an eventful day



Everton 1 Crystal Palace 1


For large chunks of this Goodison Park encounter, two labouring teams provided plenty of evidence for their current struggles in the Premier League. A point each was about right in the end.


Crystal Palace called on a rare touch of class by Jordan Ayew on an evening of low level frustration only to be denied seven minutes from the end by Everton substitute Amadou Onana. Two points sacrificed from a set piece, on a day when the Londoners revealed Oliver Glasner was to become the club's new manager, replacing the outgoing Roy Hodgson.


There is much for Glasner to occupy himself with in a tactical sense with the Eagles.


Palace's extensive courting of the 49 year old has finally reached the desired conclusion for both parties. The Eagles' new Austrian boss has taken Wolfsburg to the Champions League and won the 2022 Europa League with Eintracht Frankfurt. Keeping Palace's Premier League status intact is an altogether less fashionable, but necessary, challenge.


Glasner, attracted by a first challenge in English football and, presumably, a generous transfer budget, must keep cool under the fires which are likely to accompany his new side between now and the end of the season.


Unsurprisingly, it was a whirlwind day for Palace and their supporters, absorbing the news both of Hodgson's departure, his replacement, and the nervousness of a trip to Goodison to play an Everton side who had already beaten them at Selhurst Park in the league. The Toffees had also accounted for the Eagles' short lived venture in this term's FA Cup .


There was barely two hours between Hodgson's statement of stepping down and the announcement of Glasner, an interested spectator here. However, both assistant boss Paddy McCarthy and evergreen coach Ray Lewington were overseeing the clash, billed as a six-pointer, with Palace, in 16th, two places ahead of Everton.


Urgency


McCarthy and Lewington, in theory, provide a reassuring presence for players who will shortly expect ex-Eintracht Frankfurt manager Glasner to adopt greater tactical flexibility and a high pressing agenda. Perhaps all this urgency will provide Palace with the tools they need to steer themselves out of relegation trouble, particularly with the upcoming game against struggling Burnley to consider.


The Eagles are currently without the services of injured creative duo Ebere Eze and Michael Olise at the worst possible time. With so much of Crystal Palace industry channelling through these two, how would a team, who have won only four of their last 18 Premier League matches and sit just five points above the relegation zone, fare amid the intensity of a vocal Merseyside crowd? No wonder there was concern for a band of Eagles fans who made the trip.


There was, predictably, an intense, if undoubtedly scrappy, start to a game which was equally as important for Sean Dyche's Toffees - but it took until the 11th minute for a keeper to be tested, when Palace striker Odsonne Edouard struck the ball straight at Jordan Pickford from an inviting position 12 yards out.


Ashley Young should have done better for the hosts when his wild volley went a couple of yards wide. Then a header from Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin sailed over the bar. All a reflection of what was at stake. And the lack of composure in crucial areas, including misplaced passes galore, for both sides was obvious.


Blazed


Jefferson Lerma, meanwhile, blazed a shot over for Palace in the 33rd minute of a scattergun first half. Such a lack of guile in these situations needs to be addressed by Glasner.


Palace brightened a little - their competitive nature in the opening 45 minutes a reasonable takeaway for the new incumbent in the dug out. On the other hand, Everton, hardly convincing at the heart of defence, had Young to thank for clearing a Jean-Philippe Mateta header off the line.


The second half began in much the same manner as the first: two teams, beset with anxiety and subconsciously hoping to avoid defeat when a point would be gratefully accepted.

On a rare raid down the left hand side, Tyrick Mitchell was thwarted by Pickford in the 55th minute. Still, the lack of conviction in the final third only amplified the current absence of Olise and Eze. At least until Ayew intervened.


During a rare and compressed spell of Everton pressure, Palace keeper Sam Johnstone was living a charmed life, firstly clawing away a header by James Tarkowski and then reacting well to deny a shot from a few yards out by Abdou Doucoure.


The Toffees paid the price for their skittish nature when Palace took the lead in tremendous manner after 65 minutes.


Direct


Taking the direct route, via a goal kick by Johnstone, a flick on by Edouard and a neat lay off by Mateta, Ayew took aim from around 20 yards out and arrowed the ball into the left hand corner of the net. A piece of quality.


Palace's work rate, embedding themselves to protect their lead, towards the end was impressive, albeit their organisation wasn't severely tested against an Everton side sorely lacking ingenuity. Calvert-Lewin missing an inviting header, symptomatic of the Toffees' malaise.


James Garner was next up for the Merseysiders, only to see Johnstone push away his fine shot.


Yet from the resulting corner from Dwight McNeil, Dyche's side earned their equaliser. Onana did well to tower over a forest of Eagles' defenders to powerfully head home and send the home fans into raptures.


Through relief as much as anything else, Everton ended the stronger, pinning Palace back - but there was to be no late drama. Altogether, a night when Glasner can see quite clearly he has a big job - particularly without Eze and Olise right now - on his hands to move the Eagles up the table.


Eagles: Johnstone, Ward, Mitchell, Lerma, Ayew, Munoz, Mateta, Andersen, Wharton (Ozah 87), Edouard (Ahamada 71), Richards



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