Super-sub Michy Batshuayi denies Everton late on for Palace, cancels out James Rodriguez opener
Premier League, Goodison Park: Everton 1 (James 56') Crystal Palace 1 (Batshuayi 85')
Crystal Palace's Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi shoots to score their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 5, 2021.
Michy Batshuayi stepped up the bench to snatch Crystal Palace a last-gasp point in a 1-1 draw at Everton on Monday night.
The hosts missed plenty of chances to break the deadlock in the first half, but needed that additional quality from the returning James Rodriguez, who drilled in at the near post to score break the deadlock in the 56th minute – his 100th goal in European football.
Everton looked like they had done enough to secure a vital three points only for substitute Batshuayi to score just his second league goal of the season to snatch a dramatic point for Palace.
The draw is a real setback to Everton, whose poor home form continues - they have won one of their last eight home league games - as the Toffees missed the chance to really put the pressure on the top four.
James Rodriguez celebrates
Image credit: Getty Images
Rodriguez’s return provided a boost to Everton, who were looking to capitalise on top-four rivals Tottenham, Chelsea and Leicester all dropping points this weekend, but their finishing let them down time and again in the first half.
Richarlison was especially guilty of profligacy in front of goal in the opening period, firing too close to Vicente Guaita on several occasions in the Palace goal.
After the break, it was substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson who took over from Richarlison as chief chance waster, with Rodriguez having enough, showing his team-mates how it is done with a fine finish.
Richarlison continued to waste opportunities – the Brazilian had six shots in the match without scoring – before Batshuayi stole in behind before slotting home to break Everton hearts
TALKING POINT - What has happened to DCL?
While Richarlison may feel much of the Everton fans' ire for his plentiful missed chances, what will be of more concern is how ineffective Dominic Calvert-Lewin was, again.
After making a blistering start to the season, the England striker's form has tailed off, and is without a goal in his last six league matches.
He has made giant strides this season, but Calvert-Lewin could do with a strong end to the season to ensure he keeps his place in the England squad at the upcoming European Championships.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Vicente Guaita
Few goalkeepers in the top flight make as many saves as Guaita. Richarlison was especially guilty of poor finishing, but time and again the Palace goalkeeper stood firm and kept his side in the match at crucial moments.
Everton: Olsen 6, Coleman 6, Holgate 7, Keane 5, Mina 7, Digne, Davies 6, Andre Gomes 6, James 7, Calvert-Lewin 4, Richarlison 6... Subs: Sigurdsson 6, Godfrey 6, Gbamin 6.
22’ - DOUBLE CHANCE! Long ball over the top catches Palace out, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is clean through, but Vicente Guaita does well to race from his line to block, before the ball comes back in, and Richarlison heads over from a good position.
24’ - DOUBLE SAVE! Game is really opening up now and Everton should be in front. Gomes wins the ball in midfield, threads it though for Richarlison, who checks onto his right foot, but is denied by Guaita, before the Palace stopper gets up to smother the rebound at the Everton forward's feet.
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56’ - GGGGOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLLL!!! Everton 1-0 Palace. Cometh the hour, cometh James. It looked like Sigurdsson had passed up another opportunity to break the deadlock, as Guaita saved smartly from point-blank range, but the rebound comes out to James, who expertly arrows in a strike at the near post. His 100th career goal in European football.
59’ - SHOULD BE TWO! Calvert-Lewin has to score. He charges through the middle and only has Guaita to beat from 15 yards. He snatches at the finish though and the goalkeeper makes the block.
81’- MISS! Another chance goes begging for Richarlison as he drills into the ground from a good position, enabling Guaita to fling up a hand and tip the ball over.
86’ - GGGGGOOOOOAAALLLL!!! Everton 1-1 Palace. Substitute Batshuayi has stolen an equaliser. Poor defending from Michael Keane gets punished. Zaha picks the ball up, Keane steps out, Batshuayi slips in behind, before slotting into the far corner. Can they win it from here?
Batshuayi's goal came just two minutes and 16 seconds after coming off the bench.
James Rodriguez is the fifth different Colombian player to reach 10 goal involvements in a single Premier League campaign, and first since Hugo Rodallega in 2010-11.
Rodriguez has been involved in 12 goals in 14 home appearances for Everton in all comps (five goals, seven assists).
Of all players to have scored at least 15 Premier League goals, Michy Batshuayi has netted the highest proportion of them as a substitute (60% - 9/15).
Everton have won just two of their last 14 league games played on Easter Monday (D3 L8), with this their first such match since a 4-0 win over Sunderland in 2012.