May 15, 2024

Although Crystal Palace were beaten in a dramatic game against Everton yesterday, the successful return of Eberechi Eze was a positive for Roy Hodgson to take.

The 25-year-old was making his first start after recently returning from injury, and fresh from signing a new contract in recent days, he delivered an exceptional performance.

Everton took an early lead through Vitaliy Mykolenko, but Eze shortly pulled one back from the penalty spot, and his speed and trickery were on full display, as the visitors could not handle him at times.

Eberechi Eze praised in Crystal Palace defeat

During the game, Sky Sports broadcaster Sue Smith highlighted how Eze was giving the Everton defence nightmares with his skill and pace.

“It’s been a good game but Palace are on top and Eze is causing all sorts of problems,” she stated on Soccer Saturday after 20 minutes of the match.

Eze had started the game superbly, winning a penalty within the first ten minutes following a dangerous dribble, and thought he had done the same again after tearing the Everton back line apart, but was booked for simulation.

Crystal Palace v Everton FC - Premier League

In what was a chaotic game, Palace could count themselves unlucky to not come away with a point, but Eze’s comeback should give fans hope for the coming games.

In addition to his three dribbles, two shots on target and two chances created, Eze also won 12 duels and drew four fouls, highlighting his incredible all-round performance in both attacking and defensive scenarios.

His ability to win fouls is sensational, as opposition defences often have no other means of winning the ball off him, and when Michael Olise returns to the starting lineup, Palace should see a major increase in their attacking output.

The next step for Palace is to find a good balance between defence and attack. Eze’s return made Hodgson’s side look a lot more dangerous going forward, but they conceded three times having gone into the game with one of the league’s best defensive records.

Having someone like Eze, who brings a lot of flair to the side, but also a strong work rate and good mobility, will help in this sense, and it will be exciting to see him line up alongside Cheick Doucoure, who was a surprise omission against Everton.

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