Two-goal Conor Gallagher was the hero for Crystal Palace as they saw off a lacklustre Everton side at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
Palace had the better of a first half of few chances. Jordan Ayew spurned a good early opportunity, firing straight at Jordan Pickford after a neat one-two with Odsonne Edouard. Wilfried Zaha then tested the England number one from the angle, but the keeper blocked the strike at his near post.
Everton were blunt in attack and were made to pay at the opposite end shortly before half-time. It was a completely avoidable goal, with both Seamus Coleman and Demarai Gray failing to clear before the ball fell to Ayew, who played a simple pass for Gallagher to finish from close range.
That goal was the catalyst for the match bursting into life after the break. Gallagher went close again with a header before James Tomkins doubled the hosts' lead - prodding home from inside the six-yard box after Will Hughes' cross somehow reached him at the back stick.
Everton finally started to impose themselves on the match, going close through a Gray free kick and then pulling a goal back through substitute Salomon Rondon, who stretched to finish after Abdoulaye Doucoure's shot was blocked.
Anthony Gordon should have equalised late on but saw his low shot saved by Vicente Guaita. Gallagher punished the Toffees, pouncing on a loose ball at the other end after a mindless quick free kick from Coleman, and bending an unstoppable shot into the top corner - via a kiss of the crossbar - to seal victory for Palace in stoppage time.
Here's how the players rated...
CRYSTAL PALACE PLAYER RATINGS
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Vicente Guaita (GK) - 6/10 - Could do nothing about the goal. Great late save to deny Gordon.
Joel Ward (RB) - 6/10 - Did well against Gray, keeping him him at bay. Lucky not to be punished after giving it away in the second half.
James Tomkins (CB) - 7/10 - Solid at the back and popped up to double Palace's lead, poking home from a yard out.
Marc Guehi (CB) - 7/10 - Won plenty of duels and stepped out with composed authority. Just beaten to the ball as Rondon pulled one back.
Tyrick Mitchell (LB) - 6/10 - Showed really good attacking intent, getting forward and supporting Zaha down the left. Exposed a few times after the break.
Will Hughes (CM) - 7/10 - Popped the ball about neatly. A Zidane-esque pirouette went down a treat. Gets the assist for the whipped in-swinger that reached Tomkins. Subbed.
Cheikhou Kouyate (CM) - 7/10 - Did the dirty work, winning the vast majority of his duels in the middle of the park.
Conor Gallagher (CM) - 9/10 - Another all-action display. Mucked in with good tracking and defensive work before giving Palace the lead with a simple finish. His second was anything but, curling into the top corner to seal the win in stoppage time.
Jordan Ayew (RW) - 7/10 - Always the bridesmaid. Should have scored seven minutes in, but provided the assist for Gallagher.
Odsonne Edouard (ST) - 6/10 - Some really classy touches and demonstrated his attributes whenever he had the ball. Subbed.
Wilfried Zaha (LW) - 6/10 - Got into an unnecessary scuffle with Fabian Delph. Posed an attacking threat every now and then, but it was mainly about working hard.
Jeffrey Schlupp (CM) - N/A
Christian Benteke (ST) - 6/10 - Some nice flicks and used his body well.
Nathaniel Clyne (RB) - N/A
EVERTON PLAYER RATINGS
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Jordan Pickford (GK) - 6/10 - No real chance with the goals. A couple of important saves otherwise.
Seamus Coleman (RB) - 4/10 - Awful clearance in the build-up to Gallagher's opener. Did fairly well in his battle with Zaha. At fault again with a ridiculous quickly-taken free kick deep in his own half.
Mason Holgate (CB) - 6/10 - Battled hard but overdid the physicality at times. Made plenty of recoveries.
Michael Keane (CB) - 5/10 - Not his best match, losing duels both on the ground and in the air.
Ben Godfrey (LB) - 6/10 - Attempted to bomb forward and never shied out of a tackle. Not as involved after half-time.
Andros Townsend (RM) - 6/10 - Forced into plenty of defending on his return to Selhurst Park. Not at his creative best.
Abdoulaye Doucouré (DM) - 5/10 - Nowhere near his best. The Frenchman was very loose in possession at times. Booked and completely lost his temper.
Fabian Delph (DM) - 7/10 - Got through plenty of work in midfield. Unfortunate to be subbed after winning both his tackles and making seven recoveries.
André Gomes (AM) - 6/10 - Started brightly but faded. Struggled against Palace's midfield intensity. Gave the ball away before Gallagher banged in his second.
Demarai Gray (LM) - 5/10 - Compounded Coleman's horrid clearance by giving the ball away to Ayew inside the box. Booked.
Richarlison (ST) - 4/10 - Kept very, very quiet. Subbed before the hour and did not look happy.
Salomon Rondon (ST) - 7/10 - Replaced Richarlison and scored a scrappy goal with one of his first touched.
Anthony Gordon (AM) - 6/10 - Looked dangerous and should have scored an equaliser in truth.
Source : 90min