Richarlison makes Palace pay the penalty as Everton go top

Richarlison’s penalty, awarded after referee Kevin Friend used the pitchside monitor, helped Everton keep up their perfect record this season with a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s fifth goal of the campaign put the Toffees ahead early on in the capital, but Cheikhou Kouyate responded for Roy Hodgson’s men.

It seemed the first half would finish all square until Joel Ward was penalised for handball after the video assistant referee let Friend make the decision.

Brazilian attacker Richarlison gratefully accepted the spot-kick duties and made no mistake from 12 yards to ensure Carlo Ancelotti watched his team clinch a third straight Premier League victory to keep them at the summit.

A minute’s silence occurred before kick-off in memory of Sergeant Matt Ratana, who was killed on Friday whilst on duty in Croydon.

Hodgson had handed a Premier League debut to Ebere Eze and he looked bright, but with their first attack of the game Everton went ahead.

Colombian superstar James Rodriguez sprinkled his quality on a fine move with a wonderful pass into Seamus Coleman and the captain cut back for Calvert-Lewin to net after 10 minutes.

Toffees boss Ancelotti would have been delighted, though less thrilled with their marking in the 26th minute which led to Palace equalising.

Good work by Andros Townsend forced a corner and from the set-piece, an inswinger to the back post, Kouyate got between Michael Keane and Richarlison to head home his second goal for the club.

It was deserved for the Eagles and yet they were almost immediately pegged back when VAR had to look at a handball incident involving Joel Ward on the half-hour mark.

Richarlison’s cross had hit the Palace full-back on the shirt sleeve and it was not deemed a spot-kick, but it was only a brief let-off for Hodgson’s men.

Seven minutes later and another brilliant Rodriguez pass was headed by Lucas Digne onto Ward’s hand in the penalty area.

While Anthony Taylor could not make up his mind in Stockley Park, onfield referee Friend pointed to the spot after using the pitchside monitor and Richarlison fired into the corner to put Everton back in front with 40 on the clock.

Calvert-Lewin should have grabbed his sixth goal of the season and put the game to bed in the 51st minute, but his effort from Rodriguez’s corner sailed wide.

This was Ward’s 250th appearance for Palace and it was proving to be one to forget after he was cautioned for a late challenge on Richarlison.

As the heavens opened for a second time in south London, the hosts upped the ante and Wilfried Zaha and Eze had shots blocked.

Eze was replaced by Michy Batshuayi with 15 minutes left and Hodgson also introduced Christian Benteke, but it was to no avail.

Ancelotti’s side stood firm to build more momentum after a fifth straight win this season.

Next up for Everton is a midweek home clash with West Ham in the Carabao Cup while Palace visit Chelsea next weekend.