Everton’s push for European football takes hit in Crystal Palace draw

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Everton's push for European football takes hit in Crystal Palace draw

Everton midfielder James Rodriguez scored on his return from a long lay-off on Saturday against Crystal Palace but it was not enough to earn his side victory as the Londoners snatched a 1-1 draw with a late strike from Michy Batshuayi.

The Colombia international had not featured for over six weeks due to injury. After coming close to scoring in the first half he broke the deadlock in the 56th minute, slotting a Seamus Coleman cutback inside the near post to score his 100th goal in European club football.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side had a couple of opportunities to extend their lead through Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison and they paid the price for not taking them when Batshuayi pulled Palace level in the 86th minute.

The Belgium forward had been on the pitch for less than two minutes and made an instant impact when he latched on to a through ball from Jeffrey Schlupp and fired a low shot past keeper Robin Olsen.

The equaliser further dented Everton’s hopes of securing European football next season and left them eighth in the standings on 47 points.

Palace stayed 12th on 38 points.