(Reuters) – Two late goals by Everton substitutes brought the Merseysiders a third successive win when they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Goodison Park in Sunday’s only Premier League game.
Ademola Lookman set up the first in the 87th minute for another substitute, Dominic Calvert-Lewin to head in and the third replacement, Cenk Tosun, scored two minutes later.
Palace had missed a chance to take the lead when Serbian international Luka Milivojevic’s penalty was saved by Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Wilfried Zaha, passed fit after missing an Ivory Coast international in midweek, had won the penalty when he was clipped by Seamus Coleman on the hour.
The miss meant Crystal Palace have scored only five goals in nine games, the second worst record in the Premier League.
Everton moved up three places to eighth in the table, Palace dropping to 15th.
The London side, only two points above the relegation places, were bitterly disappointed after having a fair share of the game until the dramatic finale.
Their goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey saved well from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Theo Walcott on either side of halftime as the game warmed up.
Palace defender James Tomkins headed carelessly wide from a chip by Andros Townsend and when Tomkins did better to head across goal, Cheikh Kouyate’s header came back off the underside of the bar.
As Pickford said later, the penalty was the turning point.
“I thought he (Milivojevic) was going to go to my left so I left a leg dangling and managed to get a foot on it,” the goalkeeper told Sky Sports.
“It was the game-changer. The crowd got going and we brought the lads on for two great finishes.”
Turkish international Tosun, with a second goal in three games, said that an Everton squad approaching full fitness are now full of confidence after the three successive wins.
“We played a really good second half and will go to Old Trafford next week with confidence,” he said.
(Reporting by Steve Tongue; editing by Clare Lovell)