Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira accused his side of losing control of the game as they let a two-goal lead slip and fell to a 3-2 defeat to Everton.
The Eagles took the first-half lead in the 21st minute through Jean-Philippe Mateta.
The French forward ended his seven-game goalscoring drought when he was left unmarked inside the area and headed Eberechi Eze’s free-kick past Jordan Pickford.
Palace doubled their lead at Goodison Road in the 36th minute through Jordan Ayew. However, Everton believed that Ayew should have been sent off for a scissor tackle on Anthony Gordan just minutes before he added Palace’s second.
Mateta knocked Seamus Coleman off the ball inside his own half and drove towards the Everton goal. His cross was cleared to Wilfried Zaha on the edge of the box, and the Ivorian’s shot bounced up for Ayew to touch past a handful of bodies on the line.
Everton pulled one back 10 minutes following the start of the second half when Mason Holgate rose above Tyrick Mitchell inside the area from a set-piece, and his knockdown allowed Michael Keane to smash a left-footed shot past Jack Butland.
Frank Lampard’s side eventually found their equaliser with 15 minutes remaining through Richarlison, who punished Palace for failing to clear their lines and bundled a shot into the far right-hand bottom corner.
With five minutes of normal time remaining, the comeback was complete when Dominic Calvert-Lewin was allowed to head Demarai Gray’s free kick out of Butland’s reach.
Everton confirmed their Premier League status for next season thanks to the three points.
“What changed is that we didn’t respect the game as well as we did in the first half,” explained Vieira of his side’s second-half collapse.
“We lost too many simple balls, and we invited too much pressure. We didn’t move the ball quickly enough, which allowed them to build momentum and confidence.
“It was about managing the game when we are winning 2-0, and we didn’t do it well enough in the second half.
“We gave them hope. When we conceded that first goal, it became really difficult for us.
“Being clinical, respecting the game, and the discipline that we had in the first half, especially in possession, we didn’t do it as well [in the second half].
“We lost control of the game by not respecting our passing game.”
There was a pitch invasion when Calvert-Lewin scored Everton’s winner, and the Everton fans have welcomed the players to the ground in their numbers in recent weeks.
When asked about the atmosphere, Vieira added: “I was not surprised at all about that – we knew that the crowd had always been behind the team.
“We knew that the atmosphere was going to be loud. We woke them up – we gave them the tools to believe that they had a chance.
“That is a part of the lack of maturity that we have, and those games will make us learn a lot.”
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.