Everton 1 Crystal Palace 1: Watch players clash as late Batshuayi strike dents Toffees' top-four bid

MICHY BATSHUAYI took up Roy Hodgson’s challenge in the best way possible – by hitting a late leveller to dent Everton’s top-four hopes.

The Belgian had moaned while on international duty that he does not feel trusted by Hodgson like he does with Roberto Martinez for his country.


Hodgson hit back by saying it is one thing scoring in an 8-0 win over Belarus, as Batshuayi did last week, and another doing it the Premier League.

It proved to be a masterstroke of man-management as Batshuayi came off the bench to chalk off James Rodriguez’s opener with four minutes to go.

Tensions threatened to boil over after the full-time whistle with Wilfried Zaha having to be dragged away by his team-mates after a confrontation with Ben Godfrey.

Carlo Ancelotti will also be furious with the Italian left with that familiar sinking feeling at home, having dropped yet more points there.

They had already lost SEVEN league games at Goodison Park – including to Newcastle, Fulham and Burnley – and this will have felt like another defeat.

The Toffees only had themselves to blame though as Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed a hatful of chances.

And it left them four points off the Champions League places, in a weekend where Chelsea and Tottenham also slipped up.

Palace created little but did have the first decent opportunity.

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Ebere Eze exchanged passes with Jordan Ayew and then saw a near-post blast saved.

Seconds later, Mason Holgate’s fabulous long-ball landed in the space behind Gary Cahill, sitting perfectly for Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

But the England striker, who netted twice against San Marino over the international break, could not beat Vicente Guaita who had come rushing off his line.

The Everton chances kept on coming, and largely to Calvert-Lewin’s strike partner Richarlison, but the Brazilian’s finishing was just as wasteful.

His first effort was his easiest as Andre Gomes nicked possession and played him through, but Richarlison could not beat Guaita when the goal was gaping.

The ex-Watford man then risked irritating his team-mates when he refused to surrender free-kick duties to designated takers Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lucas Digne, before, inevitably, firing high and wide.

Richarlison’s tale of woe in front of goal continued just before the interval as he headed Rodriguez’s set-piece delivery over.

But where Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison struggled, Rodriguez looked razor-sharp as he clinically put the hosts ahead on 56 minutes with his weaker right foot.

Guaita had saved well from Sigurdsson but Seamus Coleman picked up the rebound and cut back to Rodriguez who buried the ball in at the near post.

It was the 100th goal in European football for the ex-Real Madrid and Bayern Munich man – and his first for Everton since February’s 3-3 draw at Old Trafford.

Calvert-Lewin really should have wrapped things up minutes later when rolled through by Richarlison, but the Three Lions ace’s effort was weak and straight at Guaita.

Eagles stopper Guaita produced another sublime stop to deny another Richarlison opportunity.

And with four minutes to go, Jeffrey Schlupp slipped in fellow sub Batshuayi wholethally found the corner.

Ancelotti claimed before the game his side needed another six wins from their last ten games to qualify for Europe.

That number is down to nine matches now  – and with their home discomfort still costing them, you would not fancy them at this point.

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