Crystal Palace beat Everton to put pressure back on Benitez

Conor Gallagher
Crystal Palace's Conor Gallagher celebrates scoring their third goal. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

London: Conor Gallagher scored twice and James Tomkins was also on target as Crystal Palace arrested a run of three defeats by beating Everton 3-1 at Selhurst Park on Sunday to renew pressure on visiting manager Rafael Benitez.

Gallagher fired home four minutes before half-time as Palace took advantage of a defensive error and Tomkins stabbed home from a corner midway through the second half.

Salomon Rondon pulled one back for Everton with 20 minutes left before Gallagher whipped a stunning curling shot from outside the area into the top of the net to ensure the home side's win in stoppage time.

The result lifted Palace above Everton in the Premier League standings as they moved up two places to 12th.

It also heaped pressure back on under-fire Benitez, who had earned some respite when Everton came from behind to beat Arsenal, but whose side have now won only one of their last 10 matches.

Gallagher’s opening goal came after an errant back pass from Everton’s Demarai Gray was intercepted by Jordan Ayew, who then passed from the left into Gallagher’s path for a polished finish.

Everton’s defence allowed Will Hughes’ 62nd-minute corner to evade them and find Tomkins unmarked at the back post, where the Palace defender had ample time to recover from an initial poor first touch to stab home and double the lead.

There was a further sign of potential discord at Everton when Brazilian striker Richarlison provided a petulant response to being substituted, but it was his replacement who reduced the deficit in the 70th minute to offer the possibility of a comeback.

Rondon set up a shot for Abdoulaye Doucoure and then reacted quickest when the Frenchman’s effort was blocked, sliding home the rebound.

Five minutes later Everton went close to an equaliser when Rondon passed back for Andros Townsend, after a storming run down the right from Ben Godfrey, but the effort was blocked.

Substitute Anthony Gordon was free on goal in the 85th minute but his shot was saved by Vicente Guaita as Everton squandered another opportunity to equalise.

But Gallagher ensured the win as he took the ball from Seamus Coleman and then struck home a superb effort to underline his promise.

"This game was massive for us after losing the last three," said Gallagher.

"The performance was brilliant and three points unreal. I felt we've been unlucky in our last games and today we just wanted to give a good performance. The feeling when that last goal went in was incredible."

The win ended a run of 13 matches without success for Palace against Everton and halted a streak of recent losses to Aston Villa, Leeds United and Manchester United.

"It was really good team performance, we played with some confidence," added manager Patrick Vieira.

"We went through a difficult period later in the game and we were under pressure but we stuck together. We can take a lot of courage from this."

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