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  • by Yann Tear at Selhurst Park

Two-goal Gallagher shines again as Palace end their Everton jinx

Crystal Palace (1) 3 Gallagher 41, 90, Tomkins 62

Everton (0) 1 Rondon 70

Conor Gallagher stole the show, as Patrick Vieira’s men plundered a precious victory to end a run of three defeats in a row.

The Chelsea loanee has been the stand-out man for the Eagles this season and his bustling energy and hyper-activity made the difference.

That is now six goals and three assists – a fair proportion of the 22 goals Palace have scored in the campaign so far.

There was also a goal for James Tomkins, which is a rarer beast. It was the former West Ham defender’s first in the league for nearly two years.

Gallagher applied the coup de grace at the death with a sublime finish after Everton had given the ball away on the edge of the area with a rushed free-kick.

It meant a first Palace win in 14 encounters with the Toffees stretching back seven years. It was also a first home win over the Merseysiders for 27 years and a solitary goal from Andy Preece. It was that long ago.

Victory – only their fourth of the season – lifts Palace up to a healthy 12th position.

The Eagles were always on top and ought to have had the boost of an early goal, but after bursting past the last defender, Jordan Ayew’s low shot was kept out by Jordan Pickford. But he would make amends.

Soon, Gallagher was turning onto this left foot just outside the box to rip a shot over the bar and Pickford was having to keep out an angled shot from Wilfried Zaha.

Gallagher had another go with a free-kick which was safely pouched by the England stopper, but it was a while before Vicente Guaita had anything of note to do.

Eventually he was called upon to fall onto a low effort from Demarai Gray and save a left-foot volley from Richarlison.

But the hosts had the most of it and it was no surprise when, when Evetron failed to clear their lines after an Eagles attack broke down, Ayew pounced on a poor clearance from Gray and squared for Gallagher to put away.

The first-half pattern was soon on repeat on the resumption of play, with Gallagher’s far-post header nearly converting a Zaha cross and a neat flick-up gave Gallagher another promising opening, which he scuffed into the side-netting.

A disaffected Everton seemed to slip into a trough of gloom. Richarlison looked really miffed at being subbed off.

Moments later, it was 2-0 when Will Hughes’ corner reached an unmarked Tomkins at the far post and he had all the time in the world to prod home.

Game over? Not quite. An effort from inside the box from Abdoulaye Doucoure which deflected off Joel Ward fell invitingly for Richarlison’s replacement, Salomon Rondon, to poke home from a yard to give Everon hope with 20 minutes to go.

And Everton did cause a scare in one quick raid late on involving former Eagle Andros Townsend – who go a good reception from home fans before kick-off – and Anthony Gordon. The latter scampered towards goal and was denied by Guaita.

But Rafa Benitez's did not merit anything from the game and Gallagher’s late strike ensured that they did not.

Eagles: (4-3-3) Guaita – Ward, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell (Clyne 90)– Hughes (Schlupp 73), Kouyate, Gallagher – J Ayew, Zaha, Edouard (Benteke 74). Subs not used: Butland, Olise, Eze, Mateta, Kelly, Riedewald

Toffees: (4-2-3-1) Pickford – Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey – Doucoure, Delph (Gordon 58) – Townsend, Andre Gomes, Gray – Richarlison (Rondon 58). Subs not used: Begovic, Kenn, Iwobi, Gbamin, Branthwaite, Simms, Onyango


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