Everton vs Crystal Palace: Roberto Martinez admits make-or-break week as Eagles deliver blow ahead of Merseyside derby

Everton let slip a lead against Crystal Palace to suffer a second 3-2 defeat to the Eagles in as many seasons

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The Independent Online

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has admitted his side are heading into a make-or-break week as they bid to get their season back on track.

Martinez watched a mini-revival come to a juddering halt at Goodison Park as Yannick Bolasie inspired Crystal Palace to repeat last season's 3-2 win in the corresponding fixture.

Palace stormed back after Romelu Lukaku's early opener with goals from Mile Jedinak, Fraizer Campbell and Bolasie before a late Leighton Baines penalty set up a grandstand finish.

The defeat was a major blow for Martinez after successive wins over West Brom and Wolfsburg, and heightened the importance of Tuesday's Capital One Cup trip to Swansea and next weekend's Merseyside derby.

 

Martinez admitted: "We've got a really busy period and we want to make sure we take advantage of that.

"There is a real competition for places in the squad and it is clear we need everyone to be ready, and those games are going to vital to see how well we can progress."

Campbell.jpg
Frazier Campbell celebrates scoring for Palace

Martinez admitted individual errors cost his side dear with goalkeeper Tim Howard at fault for allowing Campbell to head home Palace's second, before Leon Osman lost the ball to spark the move that resulted in Palace's third.

Martinez added: "I think today just shows this league is ruthless - it is a 10-month competition and every game is different and you need to be perfect.

"We were perfect for 15 minutes but we needed that two-goal cushion and probably that is the lesson we need to take - we need to be individually at the highest level to win games."

Everton 2 Crystal Palace 3 match report

Neil Warnock toasted his first win since his return to the Selhurst Park hot-seat and sang the praises of Bolasie, whom he revealed he had tried to sign when he was boss of QPR.

Warnock, who had restored Bolasie to his starting line-up in place of Wilfred Zaha, said: "When I was at QPR I wanted to sign him but (former owner) Flavio (Briatore) didn't want to spend any money at the time.

"I've seen him for quite a long time. The problem with him is he doesn't know what he's going to do next so the defenders have no chance."

PA

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