Unsettled Crystal Palace striker Michy Batshuayi forcefully made his point to manager Roy Hodgson as Everton’s Goodison Park blues continued to derail their European aspirations.
Batshuayi, who said on international duty he felt more ‘trust’ from his Belgium boss Roberto Martinez than Hodgson, was given just six minutes as a late substitute to try and save Palace, and only needed two of them as he coolly converted Jeffrey Schlupp’s pass into the corner.
While a draw virtually guarantees another season of Premier League football in south London, it represented another dreadful home result for Everton who had gone ahead through the returning James Rodriguez and saw other chances squandered by misfiring strikers Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.
Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to salvage a point for Crystal Palace against Everton
The striker came on in the 84th minute and netted in the 86th with his first effort on goal
The result means Everton have dropped more points in the race to qualify for a spot in Europe
The Toffees had taken the lead through James Rodriguez in the 56th minute of the game
The midfielder produced a classy finish on his return to the side after recovering from injury
Everton (3-5-1-2): Olsen, Coleman (Godfrey 76), Mina, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Gomes (Sigurdsson 31), Davies, Rodriguez (Gbamin 79), Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs not used: Virginia, Nkounkou, John, Tyrer, Broadhead, King
Booked: Digne, Mina
Scorer: Rodriguez 56
Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt, Riedewald (Schlupp 68), Milivojevic, Eze, Ayew (Batshuayi 84), Zaha, Benteke (Mateta 77)
Subs not used: Butland, Mitchell, Hannam, Kelly, Dann, Townsend
Scorer: Batshuayi 86
Carlo Ancelotti’s dream of taking Everton into the Europa League or even possibly the Champions League is being wrecked by results at Goodison, having lost four of their previously.
‘When you deserve to win, you have to win. We should have killed the game,’ said the despondent Everton manager.
Everton were boosted by the returns of former Real Madrid galactico Rodriguez from a calf injury and Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen (abdominal) for the first time since February.
The Colombian added class and composure to Everton’s operating centrally.
The only problem was the finishing from his team-mates with Calvert-Lewin extending his run to three goals in 15 games after a blistering start to the season.
The England striker missed a one-on-one against pink-clad Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita while Richarlison couldn’t finish from six attempts on goal.
One free-kick wastefully fired over particularly displeased specialist taker Gylfi Sigurdsson who had wanted a go himself.
Hodgson had never won at Goodison Park and must have feared the worst after 56 minutes when Lucas Digne was the source for Everton’s breakthrough, bombing into the box after a one-two with Richarlison.
The French left-back teed up Sigurdsson and though his shot was parried by Guaita, the rebound fell kindly to Seamus Coleman. The Everton skipper spotted Rodriguez and he cleverly steered a low finish through a body of players for his hundredth goal in European club football.
Calvert-Lewin missed another chance to make it 2-0 and Palace slowly gained belief something was on the cards for them.
Vicente Guaita made some vital saves to keep Palace in the game throughout the 90 minutes
Richarlison found himself thwarted by the Eagles goalkeeper on a number of occasions
Olsen had to make saves from Jordan Ayew, Eberichi Eze and Wilfried Zaha – once coveted by Everton – and Hodgson made the changes late on, sending on Schlupp, Jean-Philippe Mateta and finally, after 84 minutes, Batshuayi.
Six of the Belgian’s seven previous goals this season had come for his country rather than club, where he is on loan from Chelsea.
But natural finishers rarely lose their prowess and he struck a firm finish across Olsen wen set up by Schlupp.
Hodgson had been irritated by the Batshuayi’s comments on recent international duty when the player said: ‘I get a breath of renewed energy when I come into the national team, because it’s very hard for me at my club.’
But on Monday night, the 73-year-old Palace boss was a little more conciliatory.
‘It is part and parcel of football,’ said Hodgson. ‘We have all seen quotes made like that during international weeks.
‘Since he’s come back, he has contributed in training and given me the faith to put him on, and luckily he repaid that fait. It is good for me to know we have him on board and he still has goals in him.’
Jean-Philippe Gbamin made his long awaited return from injury after coming off the bench
Guaita made another great save to deny Richarlison while Everton were still leading 1-0
Robin Olsen also made a decent stop to deny Wilfried Zaha before the Palace equaliser
There was grumpiness at the final whistle with Zaha and Ben Godfrey squaring up and other players surrounding them to prevent any further ‘handbags’. ‘Of no consequence. A minor issue,’ snapped Hodgson when asked about it.
Ancelotti was asked about his decision to withdraw Rodriguez shortly before the equaliser. ‘He had played a fantastic match but he was tired,’ said the Italian.
Midfielder Andre Gomes was taken off after 31 minutes with a hamstring injury and he will be assessed to see if he can play a part in reviving Everton’s flagging European hopes.