Everton clawed three goals back to win against Crystal Palace, guaranteeing their Premier League safety before the last week of the season.
The equation was simple for Everton going into this game. Win, and they would secure Premier League football for another season, but a loss would prolong their danger into the final week of fixtures.
The Toffees started on the front foot for the opening minutes, stating their intent from the off. However, Crystal Palace managed to get themselves into it after a few minutes.
Palace enjoyed more decent spells of position than Everton after the first few minutes. The Eagles made their possession count, taking the lead after 21 minutes, thanks to a free header from Jean-Philippe Mateta who was found by a fantastic Eberechi Eze free kick.
Everton could have gained an advantage a little while after. Jordan Ayew clattered through Anthony Gordon, but the challenge was adjudged to have only warranted a yellow card.
Just a couple of minutes after he could have seen red, Ayew doubled Palace’s lead. Mateta was in the action once again, as he nicked the ball from Seamus Coleman on the half-way line, putting in a good cross to Ayew.
Everton half cleared the ball, though it found its way back into the box. Some poor defending after a goalmouth scramble – which should have seen Abdoulaye Doucoure clear it – meant Ayew’s unorthodox effort somehow squeezed in.
At the end of the first half, Everton had left themselves a mountain to climb in the second.
Everton climb mountain sensationally
Everton came back in the second half with a new energy to them, and got on the front foot immediately.
Despite Palace attempting to counter, Everton managed to maintain possession well. The Toffees crowd backed the side with their all, trying their best to rouse the troops.
Everton continued to maintain possession, they played a long ball into the box, which found its way to Michael Keane. With just two touches, the centre-back deftly brought it down and finished with the outside of his weak foot as if it was second nature to him.
Frank Lampard’s side continued to take the game to Palace, desperately searching for an equaliser. The Toffees seemed to have the ball for the majority of the second half.
Jordan Pickford kept his side in it when called upon, as a Mateta chance out of nowhere was well saved by the England goalkeeper.
With just 15 minutes left to go, Richarlison managed to claw back the goal Everton were longing for. The ball fell to him inside the box, and his skewed left-footed strike flew past Jack Butland into the back of the net.
Just moments later, Everton managed to take the lead, with a goal that could well have guaranteed their Premier League survival. The big striker rose above the defence, and guided his bullet header into the back of the net.
The Toffees managed to hold onto their lead during the seven minutes of added time. The final whistle signified their top-flight survival, after a rough season.