Everton 1 Crystal Palace 0: Toffees through to fourth round after Gomes winner

Tonight the Blues beat Palace one nil at Goodison Park to see them into the next round of the FA Cup after a traumatic few days in the club's season.
Everton v Crystal Palace - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
Everton v Crystal Palace - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Everton went into the match this evening on the back of news that the club will face yet another charge for alledegly breaking the Premier League's FFP regulations.

It was of course the last thing that Toffees supporters, Sean Dyche and his players needed following a difficult end to last year when the Blues were deducted ten points for the first breach and then after winning four straight, lost their last three Premier League games.

The first match of 2024 was the FA Cup game at Selhurst Park where both sides had the ball in the net only for the goals to be ruled out and so it ended in a 0-0 draw.

Tonight for the replay, Dyche had a few selection issues in particular the likely absence of Abdoulaye Doucoure and Seamus Coleman both of whom picked up knocks at Palace.

Neither were fit as I expected and so Dyche brought in Nathan Patterson and Andre Gomes. While both did well, let us hope that Coleman and Doucoure can recover full fitness before the next game, which is Luton Town in the fourth round.

And it was Gomes who produced the decisive moment with his fine first-half free-kick which gave Everton a lead going into the break. They held onto it to run out narrow winners in the end.

Just like the first match between these sides a week ago, this was not a classic and two evenly-matched teams slugged it out without either ever looking as though they were going to score a glut of goals.

The hosts had the majority of the game in the first half and Dominic Calvert-Lewin - who was sent off in South London before his red card was overturned - had the best chance, apart from Gomes.

Calvert-Lewin also had another chance in the second half which again he couldn't take. The centre-forward's lack of goals is a major worry and now stretches to fifteen games since he scored the winner at West Ham on 29th October. Maybe it is time to give Beto a sustained run instead.

Palace were not too threatening in attack although they had a few half-chances and forced a couple of routine saves from Joao Virginia in the Everton goals.

But they were being mainly confined to taking long-range pot shots and late on seemed to have essentially given up on the match with manager Roy Hodgson making a number of substitutions.

So, a largely forgettable third round tie has finally been decided and Everton went into the hat for the next round, to play Luton at Goodison Park on the 27th.