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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Pienaar Hails 'Special' Goal

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Steven Pienaar says his dramatic equaliser in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Tottenham was ‘special’.

The South African’s 90th-minute header triggered a sensational late turnaround as the Blues overcame Clint Dempsey’s deflected opener to go fourth in the Barclays Premier League table.

That Pienaar left Spurs to rejoin the Toffees in the summer added further magic to a fairytale ending, while it was also just the second headed goal of his 13-year professional career.

The 30-year-old’s animated celebrations both after the goal and at the final whistle exemplified the emotion inside Goodison Park, and speaking after the game he said: “What can I say, the past is the past. Now I'm back at Everton and you give everything for the club you play for. That's what I do and I was just lucky to get a goal.

“To score against your former club, it meant a lot to me and to the supporters. The timing was perfect. To score in the last minute, it was a special goal.

“The last [header] I scored was for Ajax in 2001 - my first goal in Europe. Today was only my second one so I'm quite pleased with it.”

A defeat – indeed a draw – would have been harsh on Everton who were comfortably the better side for large periods of the contest.

It wasn’t the first time this season the Blues have come from behind in a game and Pienaar says praise for that must go to manager David Moyes.

“I don't think we deserved to go 1-0 down. We had a few chances that we could have scored earlier, just the final pass in the final third wasn't that good,” he said. “But we kept going, the supporters were behind us and it lifted everyone up.

“Just before they scored we had more of a hold on the game and when we conceded I think the guys still kept going because in games before we've come back from a goal down and the determination is there.

“The gaffer, the belief he has instilled in the team is immense, so the character of the players is really good and we keep going until the last minute.”

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