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February 25 2018 11.39am

Eagles stuck with draw against Toffees

November 18 2017

James McArthur

James McArthur

Crystal Palace had to settle with a point against Everton as the two sides play out an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Roy Hodgson picked Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the starting lineup after he recovered from a back problem which he picked up against Brazil, playing for England on Tuesday night.

Fit again Christian Benteke had to settle for a place on the bench, as Hodgson paired Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha again in attack.

The Eagles were ahead as early as the first minute when Loftus-Cheek's drive was palmed away by Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal, and James McArthur was on hand to place the ball in the net with ease.

The lead didn't last long though as five minutes later Anthony Taylor awarded the Toffees' a penalty when Oumar Niasse (who almost joined Palace on transfer deadline day back in August), went down easily after a challenge by Scott Dann. Leighton Baines converted the spot kick.

Zaha restored Palace's advantage on 35 minutes finishing a wonderful team effort. Joel Ward picked out the Ivorian at the back post with a low accurate cross.

Sadly the Eagles gifted Everton another goal just before half time. Julian Speroni passed the ball out to Dann who was dispossessed, and Gylfi Sigurdsson played in Niasse to score.

The Eagles continued their dominance of the game in the second half but couldn't find a finish required to win the game.

Benteke, on as a sub in the final 15 minutes, scuffed a golden opportunity wide with eight minutes left, and then saw another decent effort saved by Pickford moments later.

The draw leaves Palace still bottom of the Premier League on 5 points. Stoke City are their next opponents in another home game in a week's time.

Palace: Speroni, Sakho, Ward, Schlupp, Dann, Cabaye (Puncheon, 85), McArthur (Benteke, 75), Milivojevic, Loftus-Cheek, Zaha, Townsend

Subs not used: Sako, Fosu-Mensah, Tomkins, Souare, Hennessey

Everton: Pickford, Keane, Kenny, Jagielka, Baines, Gueye, Lookman (Calvert-Lewin, 45), Lennon (Ramirez, 76), Niasse, Schneiderlin (Davies, 45), Sigurdsson

Subs not used: Robles, Martina, Williams, Rooney

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