Lukaku con­tin­ues strong sta in draw

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

GOALS by Bel­gian in­ter­na­tional strik­ers Romelu Lukaku and Chris­tian Ben­teke saw Ever­ton and Crys­tal Palace draw 1-1 in their Premier League clash on Septem­ber 30.

Lukaku struck with his fifth of the sea­son in the first half be­fore Ben­teke, who en­dured a dis­ap­point­ing spell at Liver­pool be­fore mov­ing to Palace in the sum­mer, lev­elled with a su­perb header in the sec­ond-half.

The draw was enough for Ever­ton to put an end to a two-match los­ing run in all com­pe­ti­tions and lift them up to third while Palace – who have not lost at Good­i­son since 2005 – re­main seventh af­ter ex­tend­ing their un­beaten run to four games.

Ever­ton man­ager Ron­ald Koe­man was sat­is­fied with the out­come.

“It’s a good point in the end. We de­fended set plays and sec­ond balls well against a dif­fi­cult team,” the 53-yearold Dutch­man told Sky Sports.

“The team per­for­mance was out­stand­ing, al­though we’d like to cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We’ve had a good start to the sea­son. The po­si­tion in the table is not ev­ery­thing at the mo­ment and we need to im­prove, but we’re do­ing a good job.”

His Palace coun­ter­part Alan Pardew was proud of the man­ner his play­ers re­fused to be over-whelemd by early Ever­ton dom­i­nance.

“They took the lead but we wouldn’t lie down and we did re­ally well in the sec­ond half,” he said.

Ever­ton made a bright start to the match forc­ing Palace to con­cede sev­eral cor­ners in quick suc­ces­sion with Yan­nick Bo­lasie tor­tur­ing his for­mer team­mates with some deft foot­work down the left flank.

How­ever, it took till the 19th minute for the hosts to force a save from Palace keeper Steve Man­danda, Lukaku fir­ing straight at him.

Lukaku, though, broke the dead­lock in the 36th minute, curl­ing a pearler of a free-kick over the Palace wall, leav­ing Man­danda rooted to the spot for his fifth of the sea­son.

The free kick had been awarded in con­tro­ver­sial cir­cum­stances as there was a sus­pi­cion Ever­ton de­fender Phil Jagielka han­dled the ball be­fore Palace’s vet­eran cap­tain Damien De­laney raised his boot too high in the chal­lenge.

Four min­utes into the sec­ond half Palace were level as Ben­teke pro­duced a su­perb header, from Joel Ward’s cross, to beat Maarten Steke­len­burg for his third of the cam­paign.

Ever­ton stormed back al­most im­me­di­ately and a won­der­ful piece of skill by Bo­lasie teed up Idrissa Gu­eye but he fluffed his lines as Martin Kelly blocked his goal­bound shot.

The vis­i­tors thought they had taken the lead when De­laney, mak­ing his 600th league ap­pear­ance, had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for off­side al­though the scorer did not ap­pear to be in an off­side po­si­tion.

A pul­sat­ing match then saw Gareth Barry’s flicked header cleared off the line by Palace de­fender Ja­son Pun­cheon.

Palace came back at Ever­ton and James Tomkins was pre­sented with a great chance but his header was gath­ered by Steke­len­burg. –

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