Good evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole
for tonight's huge Premier League clash between Everton and Crystal Palace
. Both teams are in great form going into the game, so we should have an intriguing encounter on our hands on Merseyside. Let's start with a look at our hosts this evening...
Everton could not wish to be coming into this game in any better form. They have won their last seven Premier League matches, last losing a game when Chelsea edged to a 1-0 victory on February 22. Indeed, only neighbours Liverpool are above them in the form table at the moment, so it has been a very good spell for Merseyside on the whole recently.
That run has put the Toffees in the driving seat for a fourth-placed finish, but they still have a lot of work to do before now and the end of the season if they are to oust Arsenal from that position. The Gunners came from behind to beat West Ham United last night, moving back above Everton in the process, but as long as Roberto Martinez
's side don't lose tonight then they will be back in fourth by the end of the day. They have four games to go after today, so Champions League football is very much in sight for them.
It would be a remarkable feat if the Toffees were to finish in the top four, and what a first season that would be for Martinez. He has already guided the club to their highest Premier League points tally of 66, but faces some stiff opposition before now and the end of the season. Arsenal do have the easier run-in on paper, but Everton's form suggests that they can beat anyone at the moment, especially if they play the way they did against the Gunners in their recent 3-0 victory.
That was a very convincing win for the Toffees, but the same cannot be said of their last outing as they scraped past struggling Sunderland 1-0. A similar performance against the likes of Manchester City - who Everton still must play before the end of the season - may not be enough, so Martinez will want his side regularly showing performances similar to the Arsenal win. Having said that, if they continue to pick up victories when not at their best then Martinez will not be complaining come the end of the season.
They certainly deserve their place among the league's elite this season. Their defensive record stacks up alongside the best, with only Chelsea having conceded fewer goals in the current campaign. They have let in just one goal in their last four games, and will be looking to further improve their goal difference this evening as it could be an important factor in the race for fourth. A draw tonight would put Everton level on points with Arsenal, but their superior goal difference would put them back into the Champions League places.
They are already on their best run in Premier League history with their seven consecutive wins, and they haven't won eight in a row since 1985. That would be a remarkable record for Martinez to break in his first season, and there is no doubt that his team have hit form at the perfect time of the season. Arsenal go into their games knowing that there is little chance that Everton will slip up at the moment, which serves to put more pressure on the Gunners' shoulders. Given pre-season expectations, this season could already go down as something of a success for Everton, even if they don't finish in the top four.
They have been particularly impressive at Goodison Park of late, losing just once in front of their own fans in the league in the last 16 months. Sunderland were the only team to beat them at home in the league in 2013, while they have a 100% record here since the turn of the year. In fact, their winning streak at Goodison stretches back to seven games in the league and nine in all competitions. They have not won seven straight home league games since April 1990.
Palace face an almighty task tonight, then, but they will travel up to Merseyside full of confidence after a remarkable run of form themselves. Less than a month ago they were teetering on the brink of the relegation zone and serious questions were being asked of whether they would be able to stay in the division. However, consecutive wins against Chelsea, Cardiff City and Aston Villa have launched them up the table and they are now seven points clear of the drop.
In all likelihood, the Eagles are already safe from relegation. Plenty of other teams are more vulnerable than them now and it would take a very unlikely set of results for them to be dragged back down into the mire. However, Tony Pulis
is not the type of man who takes such things for granted and he will not rest until his side are mathematically safe. A win tonight would give them the usual benchmark of 40 points, but their current tally of 37 really should be enough.
Being all but safe at this stage of the season would have been beyond Palace's wildest dreams when Pulis took over - indeed, it would have seemed unrealistic just a month ago. However, the fact that they are now 12th, with a chance of challenging for a top-half finish, is testament to the work that the Welshman has done at the club. He has made them into an organised outfit and they are now one of the toughest teams to beat in the league. Not bad for a club that was desperately searching for a manager the last time these two met.
It is in defence that the biggest change has occurred under Pulis. Palace have conceded just 39 goals this season, which is three fewer than league leaders Liverpool and two fewer than Arsenal. Indeed, only Chelsea, Everton and the two Manchester clubs have conceded fewer goals than Palace this season - a magnificent record for a team that has spent most of its time battling it out at the bottom.
At the other end of the pitch, there is still plenty of work to do for Palace. They boosted their goals tally with three against Cardiff in their last away outing, but they have still managed just 24 all season. That meagre total is the worst out of all the 92 professional clubs in England, while no team in the top five leagues in European football have managed fewer. It's a good job they are so solid at the back!
They come into tonight's match having kept three clean sheets in a row and having only conceded one goal in their last five outings. Since Pulis arrived, they have kept 10 clean sheets in 22 games, compared to one in 11 before. In fact, from the date of Pulis's appointment, both these teams have only conceded 18 goals overall, the joint-second lowest tally in the league in that time behind Chelsea's 14.
Their run of three straight victories is their best in the top flight since November 1994, and they even appear to be improving on their travels. They had not won in six away games before their victory over Cardiff City, while their three goals significantly added to their combined tally of just six for the rest of the season. However, they have still failed to score in five of their last seven games on the road and may struggle to find the back of the net against an in-form Everton backline tonight.
TEAM NEWS: Right, the teams are in for both sides and, as expected, there is no Jagielka for Everton. He returned to training this week after a hamstring injury but tonight;s match just comes too soon for him, so Stones retains his place. Aiden McGeady also starts, with Lukaku leading the line and Barkley coming in to midfield. Palace, meanwhile, name two strikers as Chamakh and Jerome both get the nod, while Bolasie has passed a late fitness test to be included. Full team news for both sides coming right up...
EVERTON STARTING XI: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines; Barry, Mirallas, Barkley, Deulofeu, McGeady; Lukaku
EVERTON SUBS: Joel, Hibbert, Naismith, McCarthy, Osman, Garbutt, Alcaraz
CRYSTAL PALACE STARTING XI: Speroni; Mariappa, Delaney, Dann, Ward; Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie, Puncheon; Chamakh, Jerome
CRYSTAL PALACE SUBS: Hennessey, Parr, McCarthy, Ince, O'Keefe, Gayle, Murray
So, what can we make of those two teams? Well, it is no surprise to see Martinez make a few changes to his side for their second game in the space of five days. He has a lengthy injury list at the moment so is understandably keen to keep his best players fresh for a crucial run-in. Barkley has been in and out of the starting lineup recently but has impressed when he has been given the chance, and he could be a key player for the Toffees again tonight. Mirallas also returns for the hosts, and he should pose plenty of questions for Palace to deal with.
Despite the recent and unjustified controversy over Everton's loanees, all three of them play tonight as Barry continues in his anchor role in midfield and the exciting Deulofeu starts out wide. The big threat comes up front, however, where Lukaku will be looking to punch a hole in a stubborn Palace defence. That should be a really intriguing battle tonight as Palace will not have come up against many more tests of their organisation than the pace and power of the young Belgian.
Incidentally, Lukaku is the highest scoring loanee in Premier League history now, with 30 goals over the last two seasons. Questions continue to linger over his future with parent club Chelsea, and there is no doubt that Everton would be delighted to have him back. They may not be able to afford him without Champions League football next season, however, which places even more emphasis on the Toffees finishing in the top four this season.
Arguably the most impressive part of Everton's team this season has been the defence, however. The continued absence of Jagielka is a blow, but Stones has slotted in well and the Toffees have coped without the England international, who is due to return in the next week or so. Coleman and Baines have established themselves as two of the best full-backs in the league, and they pose a significant goal threat as well as being solid defensively.
There is no doubt that the Palace defence has been their strongest unit this season, and they will be looking to frustrate another team above them in the table. Their tactics are rarely pretty, but they are very effective, and it will be up to Everton to find a way through the visitors tonight. They are disciplined and organised at the back, very much hallmarks of a Tony Pulis
The midfield is very much part of their defensive solidity as well, with the Eagles preferring to defend as a unit. However, they have started to show a bit of quality going forward in recent weeks too, with Puncheon in particular in good form. He has scored three of Palace's last four goals and has netted six times in 13 matches since the turn of the year. Tom Ince is once again forced to settle for a place on the bench due to Bolasie being deemed fit, but there is no place for the injured Dikgacoi.
Pulis has taken the unusual step of naming two strikers in his side for tonight's game, with Jerome and Chamakh both including. However, I'd expect Jerome to spend most of his time out wide rather than alongside Chamakh up front as Palace will find themselves defending for large periods. Neither have exactly been red hot in front of goal this season, and Chamakh is no longer the club's top scorer thanks to Puncheon's recent exploits.
PREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes from kickoff at Goodison Park, so it is about time I made a prediction for this game! Palace certainly won't make it easy for Everton and, while they appear to be safe now, Pulis will not allow his players to give anything less than their best until the end of the season. However, Everton need a win in this match to keep their stranglehold on fourth place, and they have been too good at home this season to suggest that they will slip up here. I'll go for a 2-0 win to the Toffees.
Everton boast a long unbeaten run against Palace that stretches back almost 17 years, with their last defeat to the Eagles coming in August 1997. Their last meeting at Goodison was back in 2005, when Mikel Arteta and James Vaughan added to a Tim Cahill brace to give the Toffees a 4-0 victory. However, nothing could separate them earlier this season as the two teams played out a goalless draw at a time when Palace were still looking for a new manager after Ian Holloway's exit.
Everton will need to show more of a cutting edge tonight than they did in that match in November. They enjoyed 73% possession at Selhurst Park but only managed two shots on target in the entire game. Tonight's match was originally scheduled for February but was called off due to adverse weather conditions on the day of the game.
This is one of two Premier League matches on offer tonight. There is also an intriguing battle that will have an impact on the top and bottom of the table as Manchester City host Sunderland, commentary of which you can find here
. There is also a treat from Spain as Barcelona and Real Madrid go head-to-head in the Copa del Rey final. Once again, Sports Mole
has it covered and you can follow El Clasico by clicking here
I will be keeping you up to date with major events from the other Premier League match as and when they happen, but our main focus is, of course, on Goodison tonight. It is a big match for the hosts, while Palace could also seal their Premier League future for another season at least with a victory.
Before kickoff, we will have a minute's applause in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy, which occurred 25 years ago today. Liverpool, of course, felt the tragedy worse than anyone else, but Everton very much shared the burden and have showed great class in standing by their neighbours throughout the years.
KICKOFF: Lukaku and Mirallas get us underway in front of an expectant Everton crowd. They could move back into the top four if they avoid defeat today, but their eyes are very much set on an eighth consecutive victory.
CHANCE! Bright start from Everton as they force an early corner that is swung in towards Gareth Barry in the middle. He is on his way away from goal as he gets his head to it, but he can't keep it down. Decent early opening for the hosts.
Deulofeu now threatens down the right flank as he speeds past a defender before sending a low ball into a dangerous area. There are no blue shirts attacking it, however, and Everton eventually have to settle for a corner which comes to nothing.
UPDATE: Everton have made a quick start to this match, but that is nothing compared to Manchester City. They have taken the lead against Sunderland after just three minutes courtesy of a Fernandinho strike.
Positive play from Stones as he strides out of defence and slides a nice ball down the wing Deulofeu. The Spaniard shows good pace as he looks to get past Joel Ward, but the Palace defender does just enough to force a goal kick.
As expected, it is Everton who have made the better start to this match, taking control of the ball and dictating the tempo. Palace have dug in early on and aren't showing too many signs of being dragged out of their defensive unit at the moment.
Slight worry for Everton as McGeady skips away from two players on the left before looking to pick out Lukaku on the edge of the box. He bundles a nothing effort towards goal and appears to have picked up a slight injury in the process. He will try to run it off, but he isn't moving freely at the moment.
A worry now for Palace as Puncheon - their own star player of late - goes down under the challenge of Mirallas and then stays down. It didn't appear to be anything too bad, and sure enough he is back on his feet when Everton kick the ball out.
SHOT! McGeady picks up the ball just inside the Palace half an immediately drives straight at the Palace defence. They back away from the winger, eventually allowing him space within shooting range, but his effort is always rising over the bar. Moments earlier, Barkley went down inside the box, but the half-hearted penalty appeals were correctly waved away.
Palace have not threatened whatsoever in an attacking sense so far, with Everton asking all the questions. However, that Barry header from an early corner is still their only real chance so far as the Palace defence holds firm.
Both Everton wingers have made a good start to this game. McGeady has already skipped past plenty of tackles on the left flank, but his final ball is not quite good enough at the moment. The same applies to Deulofeu on the right, who is giving Ward plenty of trouble but is then faced with a box packed with yellow shirts.
McGeady again look to threaten as Everton find a bit of space on the counter. Mirallas gives it to the winger, who moves into the box, cuts inside onto his right and sees his shot blocked by Dann.
Better from Palace as they commit men forward for the first time tonight. Ledley clips a ball into the box that Jerome nods just over, but the linesman's flag was correctly raised for offside anyway.
Jerome is the man leading the line for Palace at the moment, with Chamakh anonymous in the game so far. He is filling in behind Jerome, but it is a much deeper position than the usual number 10 role with Everton controlling possession.
GOAL! Everton 0-1 Crystal Palace (Jason Puncheon)
Palace take a shock lead at Goodison Park, and it is Puncheon who has got the goal again! It is great work from Bolasie in the build-up as he drives past Baines to the byline before forcing Howard into a save at the near post. The American palms it straight back into the area, where Chamakh is waiting to lay it off for Puncheon, who guided it into the bottom corner. That is four goals in his last three games!
That is a huge blow for Everton, and it came due to mistakes from two players who are usually so reliable. Bolasie got past Baines far too easily, while Howard should have done better with the ball into the box. It wasn't the easiest for the keeper to deal with, but he parried it back out into a very dangerous area.
The worrying thing for Everton now is that Palace's defence looks as stubborn and disciplined as ever. They have kept plenty of clean sheets under Pulis and Everton are going to have to come up with something different if they are going to get back into his match.
It will be interesting to see how Everton respond to this now. Arsenal went behind against West Ham and came back to win last night, now Everton must do the same tonight. It will be a good test of their character.
More good play from Bolasie as this time he drives past Coleman and into the box before drilling a dangerous ball across the area that Everton just about deal with. Bolasie has now had the better of both full-backs on separate occasions.
McGeady again manages to work a yard of space on the left before delivering the ball into the area, but his cross is behind Mirallas and the Belgian can only flick a harmless header in the vague direction of the goal.
That is a waste from Mirallas. Lukaku cuts inside from the right and looks for a one-two with his compatriot on the edge of the box, but the return pass is lofted over the defence, which is not what Lukaku was after.
SHOT! Much better from Mirallas as he manages to get Deulofeu's dinked pass forward under his spell inside the box. He holds off Dann before spinning and firing a powerful striker just over the bar from an acute angle.
OFF THE POST! Palace are within inches of a second! Bolasie picks the ball up on the left flank and cuts inside before drilling a low effort towards the bottom corner that strikes the foot of the near post. The ball rebounds to Jerome, but he can only put his shot wide with Howard struggling to recover. Bolasie is proving to be a real handful at the moment.
Palace never look like giving anything away too easily, and that is the case again so far tonight. Everton just can't seem to find a way through the defence, and Palace do look fairly dangerous on the rare occasions that they come forward. This was is very nicely poised.
SHOT! McGeady has looked most likely for Everton tonight, and he goes for goal again here having picked up the ball from a cleared corner on the edge of the box. He shifted it to his right foot before whipping an effort a couple of yards over the bar.
SAVE! Really good stop from Speroni to keep his side in the lead! Barkley made his way down the right channel and looked to have overrun the ball, but showed good strength and determination to poke it inside for Lukaku. The striker hits a first-time snapshot towards the near post that Speroni gets down really well to save.
Palace have a free kick in a dangerous area and they try a training ground routine with the ball being back-heeled to Jedinak for the Australian to clip the ball towards the back post. However, he doesn't put enough on his delivery and Everton manage to get it clear.
SHOT! Bolasie again threatens from the left as he cuts inside onto his right foot and hammers and effort towards goal. He can't keep it down, but he has been the standout performer from the first half so far. Everton just can't seem to handle him!
YELLOW CARD! Damien Delaney becomes the first name in the book tonight having come right through the back of Mirallas. No complaints there.
There will be a minimum of one minute added time at the end of this first half.
CLOSE! Everton almost get the equaliser in fortuitous circumstances at the end of the first half as McGeady's cross threatens to drop below the crossbar, but lands on the roof of the net. It certainly had Speroni worried!
HALF TIME: Everton 0-1 Crystal Palace
Go on then, who saw this coming? Palace continue to surprise us as they take a 1-0 lead into the halfway stage at Goodison Park, and they are now just 45 minutes away for a fourth straight win. They are good value for the lead too, having soaked up everything that Everton have thrown at them with relative ease so far. The hosts will need to come up with something different if they are to extend their own winning streak to eight.
The goal came from Jason Puncheon
, who continued his rich vein of form in front of goal with a smart finish into the bottom corner. Most of the credit has to go to Bolasie, however, as he drove past Baines inside the box before delivering a dangerous cross that Howard parried into a dangerous area. Chamakh then laid the ball off for Puncheon to finish confidently for his fourth in three games.
Bolasie has been the star of the show so far, almost doubling his side's lead later in the half with a low strike from 25 yards that thumped back off the post. He has caused Everton plenty of problems and the Toffees will need to find a way to deal with him in the second half. He has coasted past players far too often and the hosts have simply struggled to get near him at times.
Everton's most likely route of an equaliser has come from Aiden McGeady, who has shown plenty of flicks and tricks but not enough quality on the final ball so far. He has worked space to put plenty of crosses into the box, though, so if he can improve his end product then Everton could cash in on those runs. Deulofeu has also threatened on occasions down the opposite flank, but he too has struggled to provide a telling final ball when it matters.
Everton's best chance of the match so far fell to Lukaku just five minutes before the break as Barkley showed good tenacity to squeeze a pass to his striker inside the area. Lukaku hit it first time towards the near post, but Speroni reacted very well to get down low to his left and put it behind for a corner. It was an important stop from the keeper as it looked to be sneaking in at the near post.
Gareth Barry had a half chance in the opening stages as he sent a header from a corner over the top, but other than that Everton have really struggled to break the Palace defence down. They have been limited to long-range shots on the whole, and none of them have unduly worried Speroni so far.
It is very much so far so good for Tony Pulis's side, so he will be telling his players for more of the same. They have certainly not enjoyed the majority of the possession, but they have prevented Everton from using theirs effectively and have threatened on the break as well.
The Toffees have made a change at the half-time interval, with Steven Naismith
KICKOFF: We're back underway at Goodison, where Everton have a real fight on their hands to keep their 100% home record in 2014 alive. As things stand, they will not be returning to the top four tonight.
SAVE! Almost a second for Palace, and only a smart stop from Howard keeps the visitors out. Ward does well down the left, cutting into the box before going down under a challenge. Ledley picks up the second ball and fires a good strike towards the near post that Howard pushes wide.
GOAL! Everton 0-2 Crystal Palace (Scott Dann)
Incredible scenes at Goodison as Palace double their lead! The corner is swung into a dangerous area and Scott Dann
rises highest to meet it, nodding his effort past Howards for his side's second of the night! Everton have it all to do here, could they be on course for just their second home league defeat in 16 months?
CLOSE! McGeady twists and turns in midfield as he tries to work space for himself to shoot. He eventually does steal a yard, allowing him to fire a left-footed strike just past the post. That was not too far away at all.
Palace come forward again as Puncheon skips away from his man on the right before sending a square pass into the middle. Stones gets a touch but Palace manage to keep possession, eventually working the ball into an area where Jerome can force a corner.
This time Everton deal with the corner and Howard wastes no time in getting his side going forward again. Lukaku wins a free kick in a good crossing position on the right, and Baines will swing it in.
Half a chance for Everton as Baines's ball is aimed towards the near post, where Lukaku rises well to meet it. However, he is under heavy pressure and can't steer his header on target, instead sending it well over the bar.
Everton patiently build an attack as they look to pick a way through the Palace defence, but every visiting player knows exactly what they have to do and they refuse to be pulled out of shape, eventually dealing with the threat. It is hard to see how the Toffees will get two goals here.
EVERTON SUBS: Double change from Martinez as James McCarthy and Leon Osman come on in place of Aiden McGeady and Gareth Barry. That is all three subs made for the hosts now.
GOAL! Everton 1-2 Crystal Palace (Steven Naismith)
Everton have a goal back! Mirallas clips the ball to the back post where Baines does really well to keep it alive, nodding it across the six-yard box for Naismith to bundle home from close range. It is a potentially huge goal for the Toffees, who now have half an hour to complete the turnaround.
Speroni picked up a nasty knock during that goal and he receives treatment on the field before we get restarted. He should be alright to continue, but he may be a little shaken for a while as he appeared to be struck in the head by the knee of Naismith.
It's amazing what a goal can do. Suddenly there is an entirely different complexion on the game as the hosts have momentum on their side and are winning the 50/50 challenges. The crowd have responded and are making a lot of noise now. Can Everton come back to win this one?
YELLOW CARD! Baines goes into the book, and it is quite a harsh one for the left-back as he just caught Mariappa on the noise in an aerial challenge. There was no intent on Baines's part, but Mariappa's nose is streaming with blood now, which may have made up Andre Marriner's mind.
CHANCE! Big chance for Everton to get an equaliser! Baines whips a delightful ball into the box, drawing Speroni out but leaving him in no-man's land. Mirallas meets the ball at the back post, but it is a tough shot to control and he balloons it well over the bar.
CRYSTAL PALACE SUB: Palace are back up to their full complement as Jonathan Parr replaces Mariappa, who has been off the field since that clash with Baines.
It is all Everton now as they push for a second goal. It is was hard to see how they would get back into the game before that first goal, but now I certainly wouldn't back against them equaliser and perhaps even going on to get a winner.
CHANCE! Another decent chance for the Toffees as they open Palace up with some slick one-touch passing inside the box. Lukaku knocks it down for Baines, who in turn sends a pass inside to Osman, whose first-time shot flies over the bar via the aid of a deflection. In fact, it looks like it clipped the bar on its way over. Very close for the Toffees.
GOAL! Everton 1-3 Crystal Palace (Cameron Jerome)
Just as Everton looked like getting back into this one, Palace strike with what could well be the killer blow! It is great play from Puncheon as he cuts inside and beats a couple of tackles before sliding the ball to Jerome, who takes a touch before steering his effort past the despairing dive of Howard and into the bottom corner.
Is there any way back for Everton now? They have 15 minutes left to score two goals for a point that would lift them back into the top four on goal difference or three for a win that would put them two points clear of Arsenal. It is a big ask.
CRYSTAL PALACE SUB: The man who could have killed off Everton's chances makes way as Jerome is replaced by Stuart O'Keefe. It's a defensive change from Pulis, but who can blame him?
Palace no longer have the worst attacking record in the league, and even more amazingly they have scored three goals in each of their last two away games having only managed six all season before that! It is a huge shock for them to come to Goodison Park and score three times. What an incredible result this would be for the Eagles.
UPDATE: Speaking of incredible results, Sunderland have levelled things up against Man City at the Etihad! It is Connor Wickham who has got the goal that casts City's title challenge into further doubt. The blue half of Merseyside may not be having the best of times, but the red half will be delighted with that news from Manchester.
CRYSTAL PALACE SUB: The Eagles make their third and final change of the night as Chamakh makes way to be replaced by Glenn Murray.
SAVE! What a huge save that is from Speroni! Barkley picks the ball up on the edge of the area and drives past a couple of challengers to create space to shoot. He drills a powerful low effort towards the bottom corner, but Speroni reacts brilliantly to keep it out with his foot. Barkley thought he had scored!
Everton are really knocking on the door now. After sustained pressure they win a free kick that is quickly taken to Mirallas on the right. His cross finds Baines, whose blocked shot falls to Osman on the edge of the area. He goes for goal with his weaker left foot put scuffs his effort a few yards wide.
UPDATE: Oh my word, huge news from the Etihad as Wickham has a second to give Sunderland the lead against Manchester City!
GOAL! Everton 2-3 Crystal Palace (Kevin Mirallas)
This one is not over yet! Everton pull another goal back as Barkley's through-ball takes a slight deflection that takes it into the path of Mirallas. The Belgian finishes it brilliantly, chipping it over the keeper before tapping the ball into the empty net and racing back to the halfway line to start the game as soon as possible. Can they complete the comeback?
Barkley looks to get his side back level in style, but in the end he just wastes a good position for the hosts. He goes for goal from 25 yards or so, firing his effort a long way over the crossbar.
There will be a minimum of SIX minutes stoppage time at the end of this match. Still plenty of time for Everton to create some late drama!
UPDATE: There is plenty of late drama too at the Etihad, where Manchester City have equalised against Sunderland in the 89th minute. Samir Nasri got the goal for the hosts, keeping their fading title hopes just about alive.
Really good work from Bolasie as he launches a counter-attack, racing into the corner before playing the ball off Distin and behind. That should waste some valuable seconds for the Eagles.
YELLOW CARD! Puncheon gets a needless yellow card for a word out of place to Andre Marriner.
Commanding goalkeeping from Speroni! He comes out to claim a cross, holding on to it well under the considerable challenge of Lukaku.
CHANCE! Another chance for Everton late on as Barkley scoops the ball over the defence for Mirallas, but the winger completely misses his attempted volley and the ball runs through to the keeper. It wasn't a sitter, but he will have been disappointed not to make more of that one.
FULL TIME: Everton 2-3 Crystal Palace
Andre Marriner blows his whistle for the final time tonight as Palace record a remarkable victory to surely seal their Premier League status for another season. It also rips Champions League football out of Everton's control as they fail to move back into the top four, meaning that it is now Arsenal's to lose. The Toffees' seven-match winning streak comes to an end, while Palace extend their own streak to four victories in a row.
Right, that is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole
for what was an absorbing contest between Everton and Palace. The Eagles make it four in a row to reach the magic 40-point mark, while Everton remain fifth. I will leave you with our match report
, and be sure to stick around for reaction and analysis, which will be on site shortly. Until then, though, it is goodbye from me!