Everton continued their unbeaten run in Premier League as they beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Goodison Park, to move to seventh in the Premier League.
The Merseysiders found themselves in a relegation battle when the Italian took over at Goodison Park in late December, but their season has transformed and they now find themselves in race for Champions League qualification.
The best part that the veteran coach has played so far to reject Barcelona’s £85m bid for his best striker Richarlison in January and the Brazilian produced a stellar performance to help Everton three points against Palace.
The hosts dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead when Bernard volleyed in Theo Walcott’s superb cross. But Crystal Palace, without a win in their last eight outings, fought back after the break and equalised, when former Liverpool man, Christian Benteke’s low strike to go under Jordan Pickford’s body.
Everton had to withstand pressure from the rejuvenated Palace but restored their lead when Richarlison ran through the Palace defence and slotted into the bottom corner.
Pickford saved superbly from Benteke’s close-range header to protect the Toffees’ lead, before Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed victory when he prodded in after Richarlison’s header had hit the crossbar.
The win leaves Everton just one point behind fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur, who have a game in hand.
Crystal Palace remain six points above the relegation zone in 14th place, but all of those below Roy Hodgson’s side now have a game in hand.
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