May 18, 2024

Everton defeated Crystal Palace 3-2 in dramatic fashion on Saturday in London, their third straight victory in spite of the Eagles twice putting one past them.

 

Less than a minute later, Vitalii Mykolenko gave the visitors the lead, but five minutes later, what appeared to be an easy penalty for Eberechi Eze erased that lead. After Odsonne Edouard tied the score again after 49 minutes, Abdoulaye Doucoure gave Everton their lead again. However, with just four minutes left, substitute Idrissa Gueye scored the winning goal.

 

Chris Beesley captured some of the moments you might have missed from yet another exciting day for the Blues in the capital while covering all the action from Selhurst Park.

Everyone participates in the festivities

When everyone participates in the goal celebrations, it indicates that the group is close-knit. Who could forget the video of Andros Townsend hobbling and hopping down the Goodison Park touchline to join in the celebrations the last time Everton defeated Crystal Palace 3-2 and maintained their Premier League status in May 2023? Townsend was recovering from an ironically sustained anterior cruciate ligament injury at Selhurst Park a few months earlier when he returned to face his former club.

 

Many Blues joked at the time that the winger might have delayed his comeback by a few months. The fact that the 32-year-old never really kicked a ball again in a competitive game for the team may have given them some ground, even though he has already successfully revived his career at Luton Town.

 

By the same token, let’s hope that Amadou Onana, who Sean Dyche confirmed was substituted for Gueye at halftime due to ongoing calf issues that Everton has been dealing with and which kept him out of the previous match against Brighton & Hove Albion, hasn’t caused any more harm after he wildly celebrated his fellow Dakar-born player’s goal.

 

The 22-year-old, who was born in Senegal and later relocated to Belgium, was leading the celebration together with Doucoure, who scored the second goal, even though he was still sporting his large Everton coat. Arnaut Danjuma, an unutilized substitute, also contributed to the celebration.

 

Evertonians must find such displays of togetherness encouraging, as it was a similar situation when Mykolenko had given them the early advantage. Images show Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the center striker, celebrating a headed goal by the left back that any Blues number nine would have been pleased to score, both off the field and behind the goal, with his arms up.

 

Myko ‘on it’ from the start

Having been buoyed by his first goal in 18 months in Everton’s previous game at home to Brighton & Hove Albion seven days earlier, Mykolenko clearly had his dander up going into this contest. It took the Ukrainian just 55 seconds to break the deadlock and head the visitors in front but he’d already had a shot before that in the build up to his opener.

 

With the roof hanging down in front of you, the view from the Selhurst Park Press Box is one of those ‘letter box’ style vantage points but my suitably ‘Eagle-eyed’ colleague Joe Thomas spotted that Mylolenko looked to be on form, even in the pre-match warm-up. During a possession drill he twice sent fellow full-back Ashley Young the wrong way in quick succession with consecutive back heels – it just goes to show what a bit of confidence can do for a player.

 

VAR sound effects

With their cheerleaders ‘The Crystals’ who are still going – it was a surreal sight to see them provide a guard of honour onto the pitch for Armed Forces veterans ahead of Armistice Day commemorations – and the eagle that used to swoop down to the turf (I think they might have copied that one from Benfica), they’ve always done things slightly differently in Croydon, this far-flung corner of the capital.

 

Hats off to Palace because with their vocal and passionate support, this correspondent rates them as the best fans in London but some of their gimmicks are just odd and that’s certainly the case with their VAR ‘sound effects.’ They’re difficult to describe in words if you haven’t actually heard them but they sound a bit like some kind of laser beam ‘zapper’ noise from a sci-fi movie.

 

It’s the absolute last thing you need when you’re sweating over a decision but we had to endure it on several occasions with the Crystal Palace penalty that was given, the one that wasn’t, plus the offside checks for both the Doucoure and Edouard goals. For me it can go in the bin, it’s worse than playing music after a goal is scored and I hope such ‘novelties’ are never embraced by Everton’s hierarchy when they move from Goodison Park to the new stadium.

 

Well done to Sean Dyche after steering Everton to a hat-trick of consecutive wins in London this season but for all the mutual respect he and his Crystal Palace counterpart Roy Hodgson have for each other, the pair have somewhat contrasting attitudes towards the post-match pies that seem to be a staple in the Selhurst Park media room.

 

When these sides last met on April 22 and played out a goalless draw here, Hodgson made a point of observing that the pie plate was looking rather depleted. However, if Melton Mowbrays aren’t there to be eaten, what are they doing there?

 

That’s the attitude of Dyche – who recently revealed his love for the chicken wings produced in the Finch Farm kitchen on the Everton: Nothing Will Be The Same podcast – as, after conducting his press conference, he helped himself to a celebratory pie for the road ahead of the journey home. Surely even old Roy couldn’t begrudge him that as results like this put him on the way to joining the upper crust of Blues bosses.

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