Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored five minutes from time to guarantee Everton’s Premier League survival as they rallied from two goals down to secure a thrilling 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace at a rocking Goodison Park on Thursday.
36'—Everton 0-2 Crystal Palace
85'—Everton 3-2 Crystal Palace
It was a match where Everton were down and out but they rallied around and orchestrated an astonishing comeback to ensure that they continue their 68-year top-flight stay! The Toffees are still breathing. pic.twitter.com/Q66YnXLFwr
— Faisal Caesar (@faisalyorker1) May 20, 2022
Everton needed a win to ensure they continue their 68-year top-flight stay and Calvert-Lewin, who has been a peripheral figure this season due to injury, headed a Demarai Gray free-kick in at the Gwladys Street end to spark a pitch invasion.
Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew, who perhaps should have had a red card moments earlier, scored first half goals for mid-table Palace, who were well on top, but Everton rallied in the second period thanks to goals from Michael Keane and Richarlison, before Calvert-Lewin’s winner.
3 – Richarlison has reached 10+ goals in a Premier League season for a third time for Everton (also 2018-19 and 2019-20), only the second player to do so for the club, after Romelu Lukaku (4). Responsibility. pic.twitter.com/N8dGoumPSm
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 19, 2022
Everton move to 39 points from 37 games, four clear of relegation rivals Burnley and Leeds United, which ensures they go into Sunday’s final game of the season at Champions League-chasing Arsenal with the pressure on them since January now off.
“It was unbelievably special,” Calvert-Lewin told Sky Sports. “The amount of pressure that we were under, going two goals down and then to get to 2-2, I just felt that another chance would come.
“I just had to make sure I was in the right area. It was an incredible experience.
“It’s why we love the game, it’s why the fans love the game. You don’t want to be in the position we were in, but then it produces moments like this.
“You can go from low to high so quickly. It is the biggest weight in the world that has been lifted!”
🔎 Richarlison (25 anos) entre os jogadores do @Everton_PT na Premier League 21/22:
1° em gols (10)
1° em assists (5)
1° em grandes chances criadas (7)
1° em chutes certos (23)
1° em duelos ganhos (214)
1° em nota (7.02)
Fundamental na permanência do time na 1ª divisão! 🕊 pic.twitter.com/Uj8eYmg1Pc
— SofaScore Brazil (@SofaScoreBR) May 19, 2022
Palace went ahead after 21 minutes when Eberechi Eze’s free-kick was met by Matete with a simple-headed finish as Everton’s set-piece woes were on show again.
Ayew was fortunate not to receive a red card after a crunching tackle on Anthony Gordon only drew yellow, and then minutes later scored the second goal for the visitors.
It was a setback of Everton’s own making as captain Seamus Coleman lost the ball on the halfway line.
As Palace broke into the home side’s box, a mix-up between goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Vitalii Mykolenko allowed Wilfred Zaha to fire at goal, the ball ricocheting into the net off Ayew after 36 minutes.
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeverton you never shoooone so brightly! 💙 pic.twitter.com/yKu9NEzL2H
— Richarlison Andrade (@richarlison97) May 19, 2022
Everton started the second half much brighter and pulled a goal back through Keane. They kept pressing after that and drew level through Richarlison.
The home fans roared Everton forward in search of a vital third and Calvert-Lewin, a player who has drawn some criticism for his perceived poor performances in recent weeks, came up with their magic moment to send Goodison Park wild.
“The way the fans have been supporting us has been unbelievable,” Calvert-Lewin added. “I think they’ve made the difference for us.
“Some fans have questioned my commitment to the club, but I always give 100% and I hope my goal showed that.”