From Selhurst Park – Crystal Palace became the second team to book their place in the FA Cup semi-finals as they romped to a 4-0 home win over Everton on Sunday afternoon.
After Frank Lampard’s side failed to capitalise on some early pressure, the hosts eased to an impressive win. Marc Guehi got them going with a header, before Jean-Philippe Mateta doubled their advantage soon after. Third and fourth goals, scored by Wilfried Zaha and Will Hughes respectively, followed late in the second half.
With the scent of pyrotechnics still lingering in the air following the home fans’ elaborate pre-game tifo demonstration, Palace got off to a nervy start. Richarlison was the beneficiary of several errors in these opening throws, but he was not clinical enough to take advantage.
After this inauspicious start Palace settled down and eventually opened the scoring through captain Guehi. He rose high at the front post to nod home Michael Olise’s cross in a week in which he received his maiden senior England call-up.
Palace should have made it 2-0 soon after. Channel-running enthusiast Mateta latched onto Joachim Andersen’s clearance and crossed to Zaha at the near post, but the Ivorian somehow smashed it the wrong side of the post from close range.
The Eagles would grab a second before the interval, though. Zaha made up for failing to gift Mateta an assist moments earlier by instead giving him a goal of his very own. After nipping in behind the lumbering Toffees backline courtesy of Eberechi Eze’s pass, the most fouled player in Premier League history cut one back for the Palace target man to score first time.
After a blood-and-thunder opening period, the second half was a much quieter affair. Palace largely kept the Toffees at arm’s length and Everton grew increasing frustrated, committing a string of fouls as their hosts tried to counter-attack.
It took until the 65th minute for the first real chance of the second half, with Demarai Gray fortunately finding himself in his space and his drove an effort the wrong side of the post.
12 minutes from time Palace made sure of the result in bizarre circumstances. Olise’s shot looped up unnaturally before eventually hitting the post and falling to an unmarked Zaha who tapped in, much to the bemusement of Jordan Pickford.
Substitute WIll Hughes then added some gloss to the result, scoring on the rebound to ensure Lampard’s charges departed London on the receiving end of a thrashing for the second time this month.
Here are your player ratings for both teams…
Jack Butland (GK) – 6/10 – Everton’s weak finishing gave him an easy afternoon. Sometimes shaky on the ball when Richarlison pressed.
Nathaniel Clyne (RB) – 7/10 – Stayed alert at the back post when Everton threatened with crosses.
Marc Guehi (CB) – 8/10 – Looked shaky early on but sent Selhurst into raptures with a fine header in the first half. Steady in defence after the wobble.
Joachim Andersen (CB) – 7/10 – Composure personified on a huge occasion for himself and his team.
Tyrick Mitchell (LB) – 7/10 – A few minor mishaps aside he was reliable down the left.
Conor Gallagher (CM) – 7/10 – Here, there and everywhere as per usual. Should be starting for England next week.
Cheikhou Kouyate (CM) – 7/10 – Another strong display from a player who has found another gear since winning AFCON.
Eberechi Eze (AM) – 8/10 – His well-weighted pass allowed Zaha to set up Mateta. Such a joy to watch, his close control in mesmerising.
Michael Olise (RW) – 8/10 – Set up the opener with a pinpoint corner. So direct and dangerous throughout, providing further fuel to England’s attempts to convince him to switch international allegiances.
Jean-Philippe Mateta (ST) – 8/10 – Such a selfless player. Held the ball up with ease and ran the channels. Also took his goal superbly.
Wilfried Zaha (LW) – 8/10 – Made amends for a poor first-half miss by setting up Mateta soon after. Got on the scoresheet himself as well. Will now be looking for his second FA Cup semi-final victory as a Palace player.
Luka Milivojevic (CM) – 6/10 – Came on to shore things up in midfield.
Odsonne Edouard (ST) – 6/10 – Full of running.
Will Hughes (CM) – 7/10 – Came on, scored a tap in, went home. Not a bad day.
Jordan Pickford (GK) – 3/10 – Kicking was poor and he conceded four goals. His England place is under real threat.
Ben Godfrey (CB) – 3/10 – Zaha exploited the gap between himself and Coleman too easily at times.
Michael Keane (CB) – 2/10 – Needed to be more authoritative as Palace scored from a corner. Mateta never gave him a moment’s peace.
Mason Holgate (CB) – 3/10 – Olise came out on top in the vast majority of their battles.
Seamus Coleman (RWB) – 5/10 – Made a last-ditch covering tackle to deny Mateta on the stroke of half-time. Everton would likely benefit from a player with more legs.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (CM) – 3/10 – Chasing shadows for the majority. Way, way, way off his best.
Andre Gomes (CM) – 3/10 – Let Mateta streak past him to score. Really not a good look in such a big game. Needed to be busier in midfield. Booked for too many tactical fouls.
Jonjoe Kenny (LWB) – 5/10 – Not a left wing-back but didn’t do too badly. Traded blow with Olise before being take off at the break.
Anthony Gordon (RW) – 3/10 – Started brightly, picking the ball up between the lines and driving at the Palace defence. He then faded badly. Booked.
Richarlison (ST) – 2/10 – Wasted a string of chances in the first half. So frustrating. Anonymous in the second.
Andros Townsend (LW) – N/A – Looked bright on his return to Selhurst Park before an injury forced him off inside 15 minutes.
Demarai Gray (RW) – 4/10 – Fired one effort narrowly wide, in what was he only notable involvement.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ST) – 4/10 – Failed to make an impact.
Alex Iwobi (RWB) – 5/10 – One quite good cross was the sum total of his efforts.
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