Everton’s hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League were dented by Michy Batshuayi’s 86th-minute equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw for Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Monday.
The Toffees were made to rue a string of missed chances either side of James Rodriguez’s opener as they only narrowly closed the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to four points.
Rodriguez’s return from injury for the first time since Everton ended a two-decade wait to beat Liverpool away in the Merseyside derby in February sparked a far more enterprising performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Vicente Guaita was forced into fine saves from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison in a dominant first-half display from the home side.
Rodriguez finally broke the deadlock 11 minutes into the second-half when he fired home Seamus Coleman’s cut-back for his 100th goal in European football.
Another two fine saves from Guaita denied Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin from doubling Everton’s advantage.
And that proved vital as Everton ultimately dropped points for the seventh time in eight home games.