EPL

Oliver Glasner watches on as Palace are denied win by late Amadou Onana leveller

By Sports Desk February 19, 2024

New Crystal Palace manager Oliver Glasner watched from the stand as substitute Amadou Onana grabbed Everton a crucial late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.

Jordan Ayew’s 66th-minute goal was greeted with a beaming smile from the former Eintracht Frankfurt coach, who was sandwiched between Eagles chairman Steve Parish and ex-striker Mark Bright in the directors’ box.

The 2022 Europa League winner had no input into the game, having only been announced as Roy Hodgson’s successor less than three hours’ before kick-off, but the change looked to have had the desired effect.

However, Onana came off the bench to nod home from an 84th-minute corner to snatch the point which lifted the Toffees out of the bottom three.

Defeat would have been calamitous for Sean Dyche’s side but the draw at least ensured Palace, with just two league wins in their last 14 matches, were denied a victory which would have pulled them eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Glasner said he was looking forward to working with a talented squad and this display, without the stardust provided by the injured duo of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, will have given him some encouragement.

Assistant managers Paddy McCarthy and Ray Lewington took charge for the game after Hodgson, who was hospitalised after falling ill at training on Thursday, confirmed his decision to step down earlier in the day.

Their futures have yet to be decided as no announcement has been made on Glasner’s backroom staff but if this was their last involvement they at least did their former boss proud with an organised performance after days of uncertainty.

Everton will feel this was a missed opportunity but they were far from their best and the returning Abdoulaye Doucoure, making only his second appearance in 12 matches after injury, looked rusty – none more so than when he somehow failed to convert from six yards.

But in terms of missed opportunities, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, in particular, was culpable with headers in either half which he would have buried at the height of his powers but a lack of confidence saw his goalless run stretch to 19 games.

A nondescript first half ended with the home side being booed off after failing to register a shot on target, with Doucoure’s volley wide and Calvert-Lewin’s header from Dwight McNeil’s cross off target.

The visitors’ Odsonne Edouard had shot straight at Jordan Pickford and Jean-Philippe Mateta’s header was cleared off the line by Ashley Young.

Things improved slightly after the break and it required Pickford to charge down a Tyrick Mitchell effort with his chest and opposite number Sam Johnstone to parry James Tarkowski’s goalbound header.

The mess Doucoure made of trying to divert Idrissa Gana Gueye’s miscued drive from the loose ball suggested it was not to be Everton’s night.

And that seemed to be the case when Mateta held off Jarrad Branthwaite to tee up Ayew to strike an angled drive past Pickford for only his third goal of the season.

Another Calvert-Lewin header went wide and James Garner’s shot was parried before Onana rose above Johnstone to head home McNeil’s corner, but Everton’s winless run was extended to eight league matches and they remain in trouble pending the imminent outcome of their appeal against a 10-point deduction for breaching profit and sustainability rules.

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