London (AFP) – Seamus Coleman’s late strike gave Everton a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday to leave the losers without a win under Sam Allardyce in five Premier League matches and third from bottom of the table.
The Irish international’s goal four minutes from time was no more than the visitors deserved — recording wins in their first three league matches in a calendar year for the first time since 2008 — having peppered the Palace goal with 16 shots prior to that.
Palace, with just one win in their last seven league matches and only one clean sheet in their last 22, dropped into the bottom three when Swansea pulled off a thrilling 3-2 win over Liverpool earlier on Saturday.
Things look even bleaker for Palace and Allardyce as their run-in will see them play the present top five in their last nine games.
Palace pressed early on, Christian Benteke going close with his glancing header clipping the crossbar.
Palace’s bright start, though, petered out and Everton’s Belgian international midfielder Kevin Mirallas — who had had a penalty appeal turned down — then forced Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey into a decent save.
The Welsh international goalkeeper, though, could do nothing about Romelu Lukaku’s shot from 12 yards out — after receving a perfectly threaded pass from Gareth Barry — but it rebounded off the post.
Ross Barkley went close early in the second-half, although he could have done better by squaring it to Lukaku who was better-placed.
Everton then went close again through Barkley after Coleman’s curled effort was palmed away by Hennessey and fell to the England international.
Barkley kept on battering away at the Palace goal but the results didn’t improve as he went one-on-one with Hennessey but missed again.
Palace barely managed to get out of their own half.
However, they went close to stealing the three points but Joel Robles pulled off a smart save from Benteke’s header.
The visitors, though, were not to be denied and all their pressure paid off with Coleman deftly lifting the ball over Hennessey to break the deadlock four minutes from time after being found by Tom Davies.
Palace players and Allardyce were furious as they had a player down at the time of the move and Everton didn’t put the ball out whilst the referee allowed play to carry on.
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