REPORT | Everton 3-2 Crystal Palace

Everton confirmed their Premier League safety with a thrilling 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace.

Jean-Phillippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew strikes had given the Eagles a 2-0 half-time lead but a second-half rally from the Toffees saw them turn it around with goals from Michael Keane, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

An ecstatic Goodison crowd spilled onto the pitch on the final whistle to celebrate a dramatic victory and the guarantee of a place in next season’s top flight.

The Blues knew before the game they needed three points to successfully pull away from the relegation zone, but they struggled to find a rhythm early on, making silly mistakes possibly due to nerves.

It was Patrick Vieira’s side who struck first on 21 minutes when Mateta scored a routine header from Eberechi Eze’s free-kick.

Evertonians would have been fearing the worst when a quarter of an hour later, Ayew doubled the Eagles’ lead with a scrappy goal after a Seamus Coleman error.

It was a particularly bitter pill to swallow as mere moments before, the Ghanian was rather fortunate to avoid a red card after a reckless challenge on Anthony Gordon.

The explosive noise around Goodison Park continued in spite of the extremely difficult task facing their side and centre-back Keane restored hope on 54 minutes with a well-taken goal.

Dele had struggled to make much of an impact since arriving from Tottenham in the winter, but he changed the match with his range of passing and ability on the ball after he replaced Andre Gomes at half-time.

He played his part in Everton’s equaliser on 75 minutes when Coleman’s cross picked him out at the back stick, his shot ricocheted off Joachim Andersen into the path of Richarlison, and the Brazilian was able to find the net with a skewed effort.

The Toffees had pulled themselves back into the game and were now hunting for a winner.

It arrived ten minutes later when substitute Demarai Gray’s free-kick was thumped home by the head of Calvert-Lewin and Goodison was sent into ecstasy.

It was a nervy closing stages as the Blues looked to cling onto a famous victory and the final whistle brought a mass pitch invasion as supporters revelled in both jubilation and relief.

Frank Lampard had rallied his troops after they had looked down and out at half-time and inspired one of the greatest comebacks in Everton’s history; the very first time they have won a Premier League match they were trailing 2-0 at the break.

The win came at the end of an impressive run of form as the Toffees took control of their own destiny with some well-fought wins.

Every player in blue has ran their socks off with a special mention to Alex Iwobi who has looked a different player since Lampard’s arrival.

With just one match of the campaign left, now rendered insignificant thanks to this win over Palace, fans are already looking ahead to the summer and a new campaign where with some signings and a chance to start afresh, the former Chelsea man can finally start to show what he can really do.

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