Everton twice came from behind to claim a hard-earned, deserved point at Selhurst Park.
Oumar Niasse underlined his worth to the Blues by creating one goal and scoring another in this pulsating, action-packed draw on a wet afternoon in south London.
All four goals were netted before the break in David Unsworth’s fifth match in charge of the Blues.
Everton trailed within 60 seconds when James McArthur pounced from close-range - a lead which lasted just six minutes when Leighton Baines clinically converted from the spot following Scott Dann’s foul on Niasse.
Zaha was in the right place at the right time to restore Palace’s advantage but Niasse struck right on the stroke of half-time to extend Everton’s 23-year unbeaten run at Selhurst Park, a sequence which stretches back to October 1994.
After a 13-day break due the latest batch of international fixtures, Everton kicked off at a wet and cold Selhurst Park displaying three changes to the team that started in the 3-2 win against Watford.
Attacker Ademola Lookman was given his first Premier League start of the campaign by Unsworth. Aaron Lennon, the Blues player upended for Baines’ match-winning penalty against Watford, also came in to the team, as did Morgan Schneiderlin in central midfield.
Wayne Rooney and Tom Davies moved to the bench, while rookie Beni Baningime ended his run of four successive appearances and was not included in the matchday squad.
As the rain poured down at Selhurst Park, Everton could not have got off to a worse start, falling behind in the opening minute.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who had shrugged off a back injury to play for Palace, wriggled free on the edge of the box and brought a smart save out of Jordan Pickford. The rebound landed perfectly for McArthur and the Scot volleyed in first time to give the Eagles an early advantage.
Everton’s response was swift as the Blues soon bagged the equaliser.
Niasse powered into the area and was sent to ground by Palace skipper Dann. Referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot and up stepped Baines, Everton’s Mr Reliable, to dispatch the penalty. The Blues’ left-back opted for the same corner he chose against a Watford a fortnight earlier - the 25th successful spot-kick of his Toffees career.
The speed of the contest didn’t relent after a start which had brought about two goals inside the opening six minutes.
Both sides continued to play on the front foot, and the direct running of Niasse almost culminated in another Blues goal, this time for the Senegal striker himself. He cut in from the left, twisted past Joel Ward and Yohan Cabaye, then forced veteran goalkeeper Julian Speroni into a low save - a more-than-decent stop given the greasy playing conditions.
Back came Palace. Jeffrey Schlupp hit a wayward effort over the bar and Pickford denied McArthur from scoring his second of the afternoon when he clutched the midfielder’s drive from long distance. A fantastic show of energy from Lennon also halted a rapid counter-attack which, at one stage, had Everton outnumbered two to one on halfway.
The Eagles got themselves ahead for the second time in the game on 35 minutes. Full-back Ward sent over a low cross from the right, which Pickford and Jagielka were unable to cut out, and Zaha timed his run to tap in from four yards out.
A half-volley from Lookman flew narrowly over the bar as Everton sought a second leveller in the lead-up to the break. And just as the fourth official signalled two minutes of additional time, Niasse made his most significant contribution of an action-packed first half.
Gana, in typically tenacious fashion, snapped at the heels of Dann to nick possession after Speroni’s loose pass out from the back, Sigurdsson played a slide-rule pass and Niasse kept his cool to make it 2-2 at the interval. That’s six for the season in all competitions for the former Lokomotiv Moscow man.
The Blues reappeared after the break with two alterations in personnel. Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies were introduced in place of Lookman and Schneiderlin in straight swaps from a positional sense.
Calvert-Lewin’s first touch was to bring an instinctive reflex save out of Speroni. The Blues had restarted with plenty of intent and after Baines and Sigurdsson carved out the chance, the England Under-20 World Cup winner was thwarted by the Palace keeper from his crisp left-footed attempt.
The second half followed the same open pattern to that of the opening 45 minutes. Palace weren’t too far away from retaking the lead for a third occasion when Dann, who’d been at fault for Everton’s two goals, headed narrowly wide from a corner.
Mamadou Sakho was fortunate to get away with just a booking after Calvert-Lewin had a run on goal halted by a blatant two-handed tug on his shirt by the former Liverpool defender. There was also a yellow card brandished in the direction of Toffees midfielder Davies, his fifth of the season meaning he will be suspended for the trip to Southampton next week.
The hosts went close to retaking the lead with 10 minutes left when Zaha robbed Keane of the ball and played in Christian Benteke but Jagielka did just enough to put off the substitute as the Belgian striker fired wide.
And Everton had a late chance themselves when Kenny did well to whip in a sumptuous cross from the right which was headed over by substitute Sandro.
Seconds later, Palace broke down the other end and Benteke blasted a crisp volley from the edge of the area that was met by a clean punch from Pickford.
It was a frantic finish to a lively encounter as the Blues held on for a well-earned point.