After an eight-game winless run in all competitions, Everton finally picked up their first win since 16 December with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.
While it wasn’t a game of great quality, Andre Gomes produced a single moment of magic to ensure that Sean Dyche’s side booked their place in the fourth round in front of an elated Goodison Park crowd on Wednesday (17 January) night.
The visit of Luton Town now awaits the Toffees in the fourth round on Saturday 27 January, but until then, Everton players and supporters can enjoy their Premier League winter break knowing that they’ve finally brought their losing run to an end.
Here’s what Goodison News learned from the clash.
Life in Gomes yet
You would have been forgiven for assuming that Gomes’ time at Goodison Park was drawing to a rather disappointing end at the start of the season, as the midfielder repeatedly struggled with injury issues following his loan spell at Lille.
But the 30-year-old has been a player reborn since returning to the fold under Dyche and has now scored two goals in just as many starts in all competitions this season. He may not be perfect, but he certainly adds another dimension to the Toffees’ midfield.
If Gomes can stay fit between now and the end of the season, he could play a huge part in Everton’s fight against relegation and who knows, if he keeps scoring goals like that, he could even earn himself a new contract.
Mind out Pickford
Dyche remained loyal to the players who played for him in the first clash with Palace and that included starting Joao Virginia between the posts ahead of Jordan Pickford and the 24-year-old made several excellent stops in the clash.
Sky Sports pundit Danny Mills was blown away by one “outstanding” save to deny Palace a late equaliser, with talkSPORT commentator Ian Danter labelling the stop “Schmeichel-esque” [talkSPORT, 21:35].
Pickford’s place as Everton’s number one may well be safe for now, but the Toffees seem to have a more than able deputy waiting in the wings ready to steal his position should the England international’s standards drop.
Goal drought continues for Calvert-Lewin
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s performance on Wednesday night was much better than his outing against Aston Villa in the Premier League, but still lacked that all-important factor. A goal.
The England international last found the back of the net all the way back in October and has failed to score in his last 14 matches. While his work outside of the penalty area remained excellent and he offered a real outlet against Palace, he never really looked like scoring.
If this goal drought runs on for much longer you have to wonder whether Dyche may turn to one of Beto or Lewis Dobbin to lead the line for the Toffees. Everton need a goalscoring number nine and at the moment, Calvert-Lewin is not that man.