Crystal Palace 0 Everton 0: Honours even at Selhurst as both teams squander chances.
Palace put in a solid display in the opening game of the season but could not find the winning goal after Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off 15 minutes from time.
Selhurst Park also gave Wilfried Zaha a rousing reception when he was subbed on, following rumours, bids and transfer requests throughout the summer transfer window.
Both sides had key chances to settle the game, Gylfi Sigurdsson missed two good chances, first shooting wide from inside the Palace box in the early stages and having another effort cleared off the line by Patrick Van Aanholt just after half time.
Sieamus Coleman’s close-range effort was saved well by Vincente Guaita, who then reacted well by getting across the goal line to punch the ball out to clear the danger on 30 minutes.
Max Meyer had a good opportunity just before half time. Luka Milivojevic played a quick free kick to James McArthur who laid the ball to the German. Meyer cut inside from ten yards and pulled the trigger but his shot was well blocked over the bar from Coleman.
The resulting corners lead to opportunities for Scott Dann and Martin Kelly at the back posts, but the Everton defence managed to block and eventually clear their lines.
Jordan Ayew forced a rushing Jordan Pickford into a smart save with his feet in a one on one at the beginning of the second half following good pressure from Christian Benteke as he won back possession with a strong tackle on the half way line.
Meyer then had another chance minutes later, as Benteke and Andros Townsend linked up well and moved the ball quickly to Meyer into the box but his effort was straight at Pickford for an easy save.
Everton had another half chance on 67 minutes when Richarlison whipped in a dangerous left footed shot from the edge of the Palace area, which half the ground thought was in but just skimmed past Guaita’s post.
The game was evenly contested and both sides came to rue their missed chances. Palace could not capitalise on Schneiderlin's sending off following a late challenge on Milivojevic leading to his second bookable offence on 75 minutes.
Zaha looked lively and wanted to get on the ball in the closing stages of the match, but Palace’s efforts created no further chances to claim the three points.
Everton dominated possession for large parts of the match while the pace of the game was often slowed down by fouls, injuries, subs and wayward passes, which could be blamed on early season rustiness or the gale force winds swirling around the ground.
Man of the match – Scott Dann: The experienced defender dealt with everything thrown into the box throughout the match. He read the game superbly at times, despite not having played a lot of first team football for the last year. He looked calm and composed at the back, cleared his lines quickly when under pressure and kept the defence well organised alongside Kelly, who also had a very good game.
Reaction – A point was a fair result and both teams will be frustrated about missing clear cut chances, but it was an evenly contested game overall. It was a typical solid, structured performance from Palace which was encouraging to see, especially after conceding 4 goals against Berlin last weekend. We will all be hoping Meyer’s and Ayew’s missed chances will not signal a repeat of last years woes in front of goal at home. The reception for Zaha was outstanding and the atmosphere will hopefully play a part in improving our home form this year.