How Iwobi and Doucoure inspired Everton against Crystal Palace

Alex Iwobi
The Nigeria and Mali internationals were imposing as the Toffees bounced back from a two-goal deficit to cage the Eagles

Alex Iwobi and Abdoulaye Doucoure stressed their importance to Everton in Thursday’s 3-2 comeback Premier League win over Crystal Palace.

The Nigeria and Mali internationals delivered eye-catching displays as the Toffees sealed English top-flight survival.

Although Frank Lampard’s men made a false start at Goodison Park, they made sure that the Eagles returned home empty-handed.

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After 21 minutes, Jean-Philippe Mateta fired the visitors ahead while Jordan Ayew doubled the advantage nine minutes before the half-time break.

Despite looking destined for defeat, Michael Keane reduced the deficit for Everton six minutes before the hour mark, before Richarlison restored parity for the hosts in the 75th minute.

Demarai Gray set up Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the winner with five minutes left on the clock to send the home fans into wild jubilation. 

Iwobi played from start to finish and statistics showed that he impressed against Patrick Vieira’s Eagles. 

The former Arsenal man recorded one shot, one cross, 77 touches, and 48 passes with a passing accuracy of 79.2 per cent. 

Also, he completed three dribbles, contributed one tackle, and one interception while he was fouled on three occasions.

For Doucoure, he accounted for one key pass, 51 passes and a passing accuracy of 84.3 per cent. 

Defensively, he made five total tackles and one interception. 

He was a cautioned by referee Anthony Taylor in the 82nd minute, notwithstanding, he was a thorn in the flesh of Crystal Palace's attacking players.

"It is one of the greatest moments of my footballing life and career," Lampard told BBC Sport after the full-time whistle.

"I have been very fortunate to have amazing times, especially at Chelsea as a player and a coach.

"But when you feel the feelings and desperation of what relegation brings to the table, it is different.

"You need to dig in. You lose games, you fight to do something and then you lose another game.

"This club is special and I am proud to be manager of Everton on this night."

As for Crystal Palace, they miss the chance to move into the top half. After accruing 45 points from 37 matches, they stay in 13th ahead of their last game against Manchester United.