What Frank Lampard and Anthony Gordon did during angry scenes in Everton away end

Townsend Appreciation

Andros Townsend returned to the Everton starting line-up on Sunday afternoon and was back in familiar surroundings at Selhurst Park. The winger left Crystal Palace to make the move to Merseyside in the summer having spent five years with the club.

And it was clear to see from the beginning of the match that those in the stands had not forgotten the hard work he had dedicated to the Eagles. When Everton had finished their warm-up and jogged back towards the tunnel, the winger was met with warm applause from those fans sat around that corner of the ground.

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His mind was clearly on the task at hand with his new side as he didn’t seem to respond all that much to the appreciation. He kept his eyes straight ahead as he went back to the away dressing room to prepare to help his side in their FA Cup tie.

Unfortunately, his afternoon was brought to an early end, however. Everyone in the ground, and watching on at home, will be wishing Townsend a speedy recovery from what looked like a painful injury.

confusing VAR

The early stages of the match on Sunday, once again, saw Everton actually start on the front foot. That’s becoming something of a theme over recent weeks before, more often than not, they have crumbled after a setback at some point later in the match.

However, during those opening minutes the Blues were on the front foot and looking to press Crystal Palace into as many mistakes as possible. Pressing high and full of energy, the hosts were struggling to work their way out of defence.

One particular early incident saw the Eagles defense work themselves into trouble which Richarlison looked to take advantage of, nicking possession and bursting into the box and onto goal. Marc Guehi then slid in to make a challenge on the Brazilian, bringing him down in the process.

While it was clear for those watching from home that a VAR check was taking place, which showed the Palace defender winning the ball before connecting with the Everton man, there was no such clarity for those in the stands. There was an awkward wait with confusion among everyone in the stands before play was resumed without any indication over any check or not.

This is a constant issue with the VAR system as it currently stands. Surely those in the ground deserve better knowledge of such important moments in the context of a game.

Doucoure stays

Unfortunately, Everton’s loss of momentum in Sunday’s game almost coincided with a serious injury to one of their players. Townsend went down near the corner flag under no challenge early in the first half, right in front of the traveling support on that side of the pitch.

It was clear to see from the start that there was a lot of concern over the winger, who looked in a lot of pain after his studs had been caught in the turf as he tumbled to the floor. A lot of his teammates all went over to see what they could do to comfort him, before a host of medical professionals set to work in trying to help.

As the rest of the squad walked away to let the physios and doctors crowd around Townsend, Abdoulaye Docuoure stayed next to his teammate as he received treatment. Perhaps he was offering some support and comfort from a familiar voice and showing solidarity.

The winger eventually was carried off the side of the pitch rather than using a stretcher, receiving a warm ovation from all four corners of the stadium as he made his way out of the ground.

Red card claims

Palace fans might have had appreciation for Townsend throughout the game, but they certainly didn’t for Andre Gomes at one point in the first half. While the score was still 0-0, the match was a hotly contested one, especially in the middle of the pitch.

One incident shortly before the opening goal of the goal, with Palace already getting to grips with more of the match, saw Everton’s Portuguese midfielder come up against Conor Gallagher in the middle of the pitch. As the Palace man went for a header, the Blues star raised his boot to try and volley the ball away.

The high foot did make some connection with his opponent’s face sending him down to the floor and conceding a free kick. Instantly, that led to a large number of members in the home crowd calling for the Everton man to be shown a red card.

That was never going to happen, with the incident being a completely accidental one. Gomes got a talking to by referee Stuart Attwell before the incident was dismissed without much else of a fuss.

Post-game anger

By the end of the match, the anger and the frustration from the Everton fans was palpable. They had made a long trip down to Selhurst Park on a Sunday, with many leaving their homes in the small hours of the morning to make sure they were in their seat on time.

What they got in return was another hugely disappointing performance from their players, despite those in the away end being in great voice to provide encouragement for their players at the beginning of the match. And they let their stars know exactly what they thought when the final whistle came.

In stark contrast to the scenes following the Newcastle match a few days previously, those players who went over to applaud the away end were met with understandable anger from those who had chosen to still be in their seats. By that stage, some had already left to try and beat the traffic.

A couple of players went straight over to the tunnel, while many gave the away end a wide berth when addressing them. Frank Lampard and Anthony Gordon were among the last over to that end of the pitch, going closer than most to the supporters as they applauded.

All in all, those angry scenes following matches have been all-too-common throughout this season.

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