Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace

Christian Benteke’s header cancelled out Belgian compatriot Romelu Lukaku’s freekick to earn Crystal Palace a point at Everton.

Match Reports: Everton 1-1 Crystal PalaceMatch Reports: Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace

A point apiece was probably a fair result with neither side doing enough to earn all three, Lukaku’s freekick in the 35th minute the only highlight in a frantic but tight first half.

Palace were aggrieved at the decision that lead to Everton’s opener, Phil Jagielka handling the ball in the build-up but earning the freekick thanks to a high boot by Damien Delaney.

Lukaku took full advantage of the home side’s lucky break as he bent in a stunning freekick, leaving Palace goalkeeper Steve Mandanda with no chance as he netted his fifth of the season.

Benteke was not to be upstaged by his compatriot on his return to Merseyside though and produced a superb header from a Joel Ward cross to get Palace level five minutes after half-time.

Everton should have been back ahead a minute after Benteke’s header, Yannick Bolasie pulling the ball back for Idrissa Gueye but he could not take advantage of Mandanda being out of position, his effort striking Martin Kelly.

Gareth Barry then saw a header cleared off the line by Jason Puncheon, while James Tomkins had a header at goal well saved by Maarten Stekelenburg.

Palace looked more likely to find a winner but failed to create any further chances as the game petered out, both sides settling for a draw.

The Eagles have now taken 10 points from the last 12 available and are up to seventh, while Everton are third, despite Ronald Koeman’s men having stumbled recently.

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