Rafa Benitez says Everton were punished for committing too many errors in Sunday’s Premier League defeat at Crystal Palace.
Manager Benitez’s side resisted early pressure and were gaining a foothold in the game when a lapse in possession presented the hosts with their opening goal four minutes before the break.
Everton trailed 2-0 after James Tomkins turned home from a 62nd-minute corner. But Salomon Rondon scored his first goal for the Club eight minutes later to raise the possibility of a second dramatic finale inside six days.
There would be no repeat of Monday’s gripping finish against Arsenal, however. Conor Gallagher, scorer of Palace’s first goal, bent into the top corner from distance midway through five minutes of added time.
“It was a strange game, they [Crystal Palace] started well but we adjusted our positions and had more control," said Benitez.
“When we had control, we made a mistake and conceded the first goal.
"Then there was a mistake at a corner and they scored the second goal.
This video is for Season Ticket Holders, Official Members and 21/22 Hospitality Members
This content is available for free to Digital Members
Free Digital Membership will provide you with the best possible experience when logged into the website, including access to the latest digital content.
Digital members will receive a monthly newsletter and get access to exclusive videos and regular member competitions offering money can’t buy prizes.
Your Digital account will also enable you to buy any tickets on general sale, and if you’re an Official member or Season Ticket Holder, the same login will allow you to access and manage your ticketing account.
To view this content you need to be a Season Ticket Holder, Hospitality Member or Official Member.
HIGHLIGHTS: CRYSTAL PALACE 3-1 EVERTON
“We got back into the game and had two chances, then made another mistake at the end and conceded.
“You cannot make so many mistakes in the Premier League, you have to take your chances and [when you don’t], you allow the other team to take theirs.
“Coming here, we knew they would try to play and be offensive but as soon as we adapted and changed shape, we had control.
“After that we had some issues but made chances at 2-1. You need some luck and quality with the final decisions and in the final third and that makes the difference.”
Everton went to Palace aiming for back-to-back league victories for the second time this term after recovering from a goal down to defeat Arsenal.
They had their backs to the wall in the opening half hour, Jordan Pickford producing a pair of terrific saves and Palace’s sprightly forwards frustrated by a series of blocks and headers.
The home team’s outstanding player Gallagher broke through, however, and Everton went two down before Rondon’s strike provided a springboard for a late rally.
Andros Townsend was denied an equalising goal on his old stomping ground, Jeffrey Schlupp applying a vital deflection. And Vicente Guaita, Palace’s goalkeeper, saved low to his right after Anthony Gordon raced through for a shot.
Benitez had to contend with an injury to Allan – the midfielder left at home to “protect” an adductor issue – and was forced to replace Richarlison on 58 minutes with the forward unable to shake off a calf problem.
And there would be no solace in the final score, Gallagher wrapping up the points for Palace with an accurate strike from distance.
“We were pushing at 2-1 and had the chances and I was convinced we would get something but you cannot control that [missing opportunities],” said Benitez, whose side go to Chelsea on Thursday.
“Richarlison has a problem with his calf, we knew at half-time and were thinking of changing him.
“We didn’t do it, we decided to give him five minutes to see how he was going. We didn’t want him to get injured with so many games coming – and he was not affecting the game.
“You make the substitution because you know what is going on.
“Salomon was a key player for us at the end, holding up the ball and challenging.
“We know what we did and how we needed to change the shape of the team and the problems we had but, little-by-little, we were in control. We had chances but did not take them.”