Pep Guardiola is refusing to look beyond Manchester City’s visit to Crystal Palace despite Real Madrid looming as a Selhurst Park slip-up would leave their Premier League title hopes in tatters.

A win for City in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off will move them level on points with leaders Liverpool, who head to Old Trafford for a clash with arch rivals Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

Guardiola accepts a draw or defeat would all but end their aim of claiming a fourth-successive title so even the prospect of a trip to the Spanish capital on Tuesday evening will not divert his attention.

City are also defending their Champions League crown and take on Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the quarter-final first leg but Guardiola will only start thinking about the clash after facing Palace.

“Honestly, if we were 18 points in front of second in the Premier League, I would have two eyes on Madrid but it’s not the case,” Guardiola said.

“We’re third, not far away from the top of the Premier League, but if we drop points it will be almost impossible.

“We have to win that game and after that we will have more time, not for recovery, but to prepare. So I have not had much time to see Real Madrid.

“When we have been fighting for nine or 10 months for the Premier League title, why should I be distracted now from this important game against Palace, when the distance is so close?”

Guardiola is mulling over whether to restore Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne to his starting line-up in south London after benching the pair in the 4-1 midweek victory over Aston Villa.

City will be favourites to beat a side that have claimed just two points from their last 12 and sit 14th in the table but Palace hit back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at the Etihad Stadium in mid-December.

Guardiola, who could welcome back goalkeeper Ederson this weekend but will be continue to be without defenders Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake, is aware he cannot take the threat of the Eagles lightly if City are to remain in contention for a trophy he continues to prize above all others.

“I love it,” he said. “Of the domestic trophies, it is the most important. I’m not going to say the Champions League is not nice, of course it is.

“We have it and know how it feels in our soul and we are at peace, for the fact we’ve got it. But (the Premier League) is just the nicest because it’s more difficult, there are more games, every week, two or three games.

“The Champions League, of course, is important, but it depends on something you perhaps can’t control.

“Both are incredibly important, but the Premier League proves a lot. It shows the mentality of the teams, being there all the time for many, many years.

“From my education at home or whatever, every day you have to do the best – that means a lot to me personally.”

Phil Foden took his tally for the season to 14 goals with a hat-trick against top-four hopefuls Villa and Guardiola admitted he could be in the running for Premier League player of the season.

“He’s a contender like many others, many players play a good season,” Guardiola added. “He can be a contender for sure.”

Pep Guardiola is unsure about whether to restore Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne to his Manchester City line-up at Crystal Palace on Saturday with Real Madrid looming next week.

The pair were unused substitutes in midweek as City stayed three points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool by brushing aside Aston Villa 4-1, with Phil Foden bagging a sensational hat-trick.

But as a visit to Palace at lunchtime on Saturday is followed by a mouthwatering trip to the Spanish capital to face Real on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, this season’s leading goal-scorer Haaland and key playmaker De Bruyne might be kept on ice once again this weekend.

“I don’t know yet,” Guardiola said, when asked about the prospect of Haaland and De Bruyne returning to face Palace. “Playing at 12:30pm and playing two days ago, I have to think. There are so many games.

“We play less than two and a half days after our last game. Some players recover quicker than others. A long week is completely different but a short week, you have to talk with doctors, physios and staff.

“We are used to playing every three days over many months and months. For many, many years it has happened that way.

“We play 12:30pm, it’s perfect. More time to recover for the next game in Madrid. We then play on Saturday against Chelsea in the FA Cup afterwards, it’s not fair but we are going to do it.

“We take one game at a time and don’t give up. We are not new to European competitions so the players know how to handle it, not all the time but most of the time.”

City, who could welcome back goalkeeper Ederson at Selhurst Park but are still without defenders Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake, have dropped just six points in an unbeaten 13-match league run.

But with both Liverpool and Arsenal ahead of them, Guardiola reiterated that all City can do to keep alive hopes of a fourth successive league crown is win all of their eight remaining fixtures.

“I hope so but it doesn’t solve the problem if we don’t do our job,” Guardiola said after being asked about whether he expects their title rivals to drop points.

“If we were at the top of the league it would be in our hands, that’s not the case, so what we have to do is win our games. I hope it happens but we cannot control it.

“The quality of the opponent is why we have to keep going and at the end we will realise which team is there.”

Guardiola, who said he had “no opinion” on rumours of a luxury tax being imposed on Premier League clubs to help regulate on overspending, admitted he is wary of upcoming opponents Palace.

The Eagles have taken points in six of their last 12 meetings with City, winning in December 2018 and October 2021 along with four draws – most recently coming from 2-0 down in December with goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Michael Olise.

“They’ve always been tough,” he added. “I think (manager Oliver) Glasner is doing a really good job.

“The quality is there with (Eberechi) Eze, (Jordan) Ayew and Mateta. They have good structure, strong defensively with (Joachim) Andersen leading the back five, the physicality is always there. Selhurst Park is always difficult.”

Rob Edwards wants his Luton side to use Cauley Woodrow’s dramatic late leveller as a “springboard” after the substitute scored in the final minute of stoppage time to rescue a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

The relegation-threatened Hatters were seconds away from a fifth-straight Premier League defeat when Woodrow nodded ex-Eagle Andros Townsend’s delivery past Sam Johnstone’s left post to draw Luton within three points of 17th-placed Nottingham Forest.

It seemed an unlikely result on an afternoon at Selhurst Park in which the hosts managed 21 shots to the visitors’ eight, but instead conceded in the final 15 minutes for a Premier-League leading  21st time.

Edwards said: “I wouldn’t say (that goal) was a turning point, that wouldn’t be the word I’d use.

“We’ve been performing well, obviously results have been against us lately, but that can happen against Manchester United, Liverpool, Villa.

“We played well in those games in big spells, but I wouldn’t say turning point, but hopefully springboard. I’d use that.

“Hopefully it garners a lot of belief. We’re up against it at the moment.

“I know there’s a lot of clubs suffering with injuries, but it’s hard for us with so many players missing, and then to lose two centre-backs during the game as well.

“We’ve got a lot of square pegs in round holes out there towards the end, and to find a way when we’re not our best away from home, to drag a result out, is huge.”

Woodrow had been an 81st-minute replacement for Gabriel Osho, who Edwards revealed had taken a knock to his knee, while Teden Mengi was replaced by Daiki Hashioka.

Luton remain in the relegation zone with 21 points, three fewer than 17th-placed Forest, who play Brighton on Sunday.

Palace were eight points clear of Saturday’s opponents ahead of Oliver Glasner’s third game in charge, and had plenty of chances to extend the distance between them and other relegation-threatened sides – including a late Odsonne Edouard chance that clipped the crossbar.

Austrian Glasner encouragingly found plenty of his own fingerprints across Palace’s performance until the final 30 seconds of the contest.

He said: “In this one situation we didn’t do it. We have to accept the result.

“It hurts. It really hurts today but sometimes you have to feel this hurt then you develop and learn from it, and we will learn from it to be active and keep the opposite team out of our box until the referee ends the game.”

Glasner will not be paying too much attention to Palace’s record of conceding late when the team travel to Spain for a warm-weather camp in the international break, believing dwelling on it to be detrimental to improvement.

He added: “We won’t talk too much about it.

“Sometimes it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“If you always drive a car, you’re afraid of having an accident. If you go down the stairs and you are always afraid to fall down, it will happen.”

Substitute Cauley Woodrow snatched an equaliser in the final seconds of added time as Luton drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace to hand the Hatters a crucial point in their relegation battle.

Jean-Philippe Mateta’s early opener at Selhurst Park looked to be the winner until Woodrow headed home, extending the Eagles’ Premier League-leading tally of late goals conceded in the process.

Sunny Singh Gill made history as the first British South Asian to referee a Premier League match, and was spotted signing autographs as he waited in the tunnel ahead of the second half.

The result draws Luton within three points of safety, while Palace will be ruing a huge missed opportunity to put more breathing room between themselves and the drop zone.

Singh Gill’s decision-making was tested early, when Palace protested for what they felt was a Teden Mengi handball, but the ex-prison officer – who comes from a refereeing family – waved play on.

Luton’s brightest spell of the opening period came when the Hatters won an early corner and Palace were only able to half-clear, the ball pinging around the 18-yard box where Luton came closest through a nodded effort from Ross Barkley, who needed treatment for a nose bleed after colliding with Joel Ward.

Mateta rolled an effort at Thomas Kaminski during the hosts’ first real break into Luton’s final third, not long before the Eagles took an 11th-minute lead through the Frenchman.

Mateta’s fifth league goal of the campaign followed some good work from January signing Daniel Munoz, who was able to latch on to Alfie Doughty’s loose back pass and find his team-mate just inside the six-yard box, where he opened the scoring with a backwards flick.

The Hatters had a handful of chances to reply, but it was the Eagles who applied more pressure as Ward, Jefferson Lerma and Mateta all misdirected efforts.

Singh Gill issued his first Premier League booking to Issa Kabore, who took down Lerma with a reckless challenge in the 27th minute, and showed his second yellow to Eberechi Eze for a pull on Reece Burke’s shirt.

Palace, who managed to keep the in-form Carlton Morris quiet throughout the first half, had a chance to double their lead before the break when another back pass – this time from Reece Burke – allowed Mateta to pounce and round Kaminski, but he found himself at too tight an angle and fired into the side-netting.

Eze threatened twice before the hour mark, while Luton’s best early chance after the break came via Chiedozie Ogbene, who directed a header wide of Sam Johnstone’s left post from six yards out.

Morris finally had a crack, directing a sharp volley straight at Johnstone before Daiki Hashioka sent his effort over the bar.

It was nevertheless an encouraging spell for the Hatters, who entered the afternoon having scored more goals in the final 15 minutes than every Premier League side bar Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal – while the Eagles had conceded the most in that same period.

Yet it was the Eagles who had the first big chance in the final 10 minutes of normal time through an audacious effort from Eze, who launched the ball from inside the centre circle that the scrambling Kaminski could not have stopped, but to his relief skimmed just over the crossbar.

The majority of the chances in six minutes of added time went the hosts’ way – including a crossbar-clipping effort from Odsonne Edouard – but it was Woodrow who made his count when he guided in ex-Eagle Andros Townsend’s delivery to stun Selhurst Park.

Roy Hodgson struggled to find positives after Chelsea scored twice in stoppage-time to inflict a 3-1 home loss on his Crystal Palace team.

Conor Gallagher, who spent the 2021-22 season on loan with the Eagles, struck twice to complete the comeback, becoming the first Chelsea player to score a 90th-minute winner in the Premier League since he did precisely the same at Selhurst Park in October 2022.

Beleaguered boss Hodgson, whose side are once again mired in an injury crisis and remain just five points clear of the relegation zone, initially found it difficult to discuss the brighter elements of Monday’s contest.

Hodgson said: “I’m not really in the mood if I’m being brutally honest of (highlighting) positives and trying to find things to say that would cheer me up, because I don’t know what could be said that would cheer me up.

“What can I say that will cheer the players up? I could possibly say, well, with the players we’ve got coming back and these guys doing so well, it bodes well for the future with the 14 games we have left.

“But of course we still don’t know when (Michael) Olise, (Eberechi) Eze will be back, so we might be battling through like we’ve done tonight for a few more games before we can look at a team which will threaten the opposition a bit more than we did today.”

As has been par for the Palace course in recent weeks, before kick-off fans raised banners protesting about the direction of their club, with one reading “supporters ignored and taken for granted”.

A lacklustre start from Mauricio Pochettino’s men allowed the hosts to take the lead after 30 minutes through Jefferson Lerma’s screamer, but it was cancelled out less than two minutes after the break by Gallagher, his first of the campaign.

Hodgson did not feel a lengthy delay to sort out a technical issue with the referee’s equipment had an impact on the equaliser, pointing out it had equally affected both sides.

Just as it seemed Hodgson’s side – who rank below only Sheffield United in goals conceded in the last 15 minutes of the second half of Premier League matches – seemed like they would walk away with a point, Gallagher swept Chelsea into the top half of the table.

Hodgson felt his side might have had a chance to level things until, three minutes later, Enzo Fernandez ended any doubt about the outcome.

Pochettino, meanwhile, was pleased to secure all three points ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Manchester City and the Carabao Cup final later this month, but felt there was plenty of room to improve.

He said:  “I think (Gallagher) is a player that shows great commitment to the team, always tries to compensate in every situation, in offensive and defensive situations.

“It is priceless to have a player like him. I’m so happy for him and so happy for the team, it’s a victory, we needed the three points.

“I think if you ask me if I am really happy about the performance, I’m 50/50, because we cannot approach the game and start the game the way that we started.

“That is the consistency we need to build. We need to be more consistent, we need to start the game in a different way.

“But I’m very pleased in the end because we have the three points, and now we have to prepare for Manchester City, that is going to be a good test for us, before the final. I think we are going to prepare in a very good way.”

Chelsea finished strongly to win 3-1 at Crystal Palace, with Conor Gallagher punishing his former side at Selhurst Park.

The depleted hosts, who had lost the influential Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze and Marc Guehi to injury, took the lead via a Jefferson Lerma screamer – his maiden Eagles goal.

Gallagher equalised almost immediately after a delayed start to the second half, firing home his first of the Premier League season in the 47th minute.

Just as it seemed the relegation-threatened hosts were close to securing a valuable point, Gallagher struck in his second on the stroke of normal time, moments before Enzo Fernandez ensured Chelsea would end the evening in the top half of the table.

It was difficult to predict what kind of reception Palace would receive after the 4-1 loss at rivals Brighton, after which some players and fans in the away end exchanged heated words, and the frequent appearance of protest banners in recent weeks.

And though several were raised ahead of kick-off – “supporters ignored and taken for granted”  among them – the overall mood was perhaps less sour than boss Roy Hodgson, who had pleaded with supporters to back his diminished side, might have expected.

His players responded with an encouraging start, despite the visitors enjoying the lion’s share of possession, pouncing on loose balls with promising drives into Chelsea’s final third.

Palace took the lead at the half-hour mark, shortly after Jean-Philippe Mateta had missed a chance to fire the hosts ahead,  when Lerma managed to liberate himself from a quartet of tumbling and battling bodies and patiently took a few paces forward before blasting the ball high into the net from 25 yards out.

Former Eagles loanee Gallagher, who scored the winner in the October 2022 edition of this fixture, fired wide of Dean Henderson’s left post before the break, by which the Blues had completed 420 passes but not registered a shot on target.

The second period got off to a delayed start after referee Michael Oliver experienced technical issues, the stadium singing and laughing along as Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds (Everything’s Gonna Be Alright)’ was pointedly played in the pause.

It proved to be an ironic choice when Gallagher side-footed Malo Gusto’s delivery past Henderson in the 47th minute and the away end immediately began taunting the home support with their own version of the famous reggae refrain, including an emphatic “Chelsea”.

Although a livelier and more disciplined Blues side had emerged for the second half, the hosts were not without their chances. Thiago Silva slid to deny Mateta and Daniel Munoz, in his first home start, tested goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic from a tight angle.

Ben Chilwell cringed after blasting a good chance over the crossbar, close enough to lure Henderson into a leap as Chelsea continued to apply pressure.

With just under 15 minutes remaining in normal time, Matheus Franca forced Petrovic into a good diving save, before Cole Palmer was denied by Henderson soon after.

Palace survived another Chelsea set piece and, with less than 10 minutes to go, were able to crowd substitute Raheem Sterling, nearly set up for a dangerous chance from Palmer’s cross.

Both sides pushed for more and, just as it seemed like Palace had clung on for a vital point, Palmer picked out Gallagher who, in a deja-vu moment for the home support, swept Chelsea into a 90th-minute lead.

Any hope of a late Eagles reply was dashed in added time when Fernandez took his time before firing into the top left corner. Palmer again provided the assist.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admitted there was little his side could do to stop influential Crystal Palace duo Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze after the pair lifted the hosts to a 3-2 victory at Selhurst Park.

A frenetic first 30 minutes in south London started in stunning fashion with Ben Brereton Diaz’s opener inside the first 21 seconds, cancelled out by Eze via Olise’s assist.

James McAtee quickly restored United’s lead but the sides were square at the break after Olise once again teed up Eze before he got himself on the scoresheet with the 67th-minute game-winner.

Wilder, whose side remain bottom of the Premier League, said: “We got pushed back, those two players decided a pretty tight game.

“The quality that those two players have, you’re up against minimum £50million for both of those players. You have to deal with that, that’s what the Premier League is about.

“Could have done with Olise having just a few more days off but that’s the challenges you’re up against. You want to play against the best players, and when they find those bits and moments that we’re trying to find it makes it a difficult evening.

“We do prep and we do structure and we have a game plan but I think what happens is that those boys can destroy your game plan through individual brilliance.

“You can have all the plan in the world, but those boys find a way.”

Despite injuries severely hampering their appearances together, Olise’s seventh assist for Eze moved him into joint-first with Andros Townsend and James McArthur for the most times a Palace player has assisted a single team-mate.

The victory eased pressure on Palace boss Roy Hodgson after the Eagles’ 5-0 dismantling at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, where fans in the away end raised banners protesting against the direction of their club.

Yet there were worrying scenes at Selhurst Park, with both Olise and Eze removed in the second half after they received treatment on the pitch.

The 76-year-old said he was more concerned about Eze than Olise, who had returned to his line-up for the first time in 2024 after sitting out since Palace’s Brentford victory in late December, having also missed a significant spell to start the season with a separate hamstring issue.

Hodgson said the pair “haven’t been fully assessed” but “both of them were pretty upbeat after the game, and with any luck” available to face bitter rivals Brighton on Saturday.

The Palace boss said the win and presence of the two influential players did “wonders” for his side’s confidence and added: “Hopefully we put the black mark of last week, the heavy defeat, behind us.

“I think people, if they’re looking at the team now, should be doing so with a large degree of optimism. This team and this group of players are capable of lifting Crystal Palace up into a higher position than we find ourselves in.”

Michael Olise marked his return to Crystal Palace’s starting line-up by scoring the winner in their 3-2 Premier League comeback victory over Sheffield United to ease pressure on Eagles boss Roy Hodgson.

Villarreal loanee Ben Brereton Diaz stunned the home support into silence when he netted the opener inside 21 seconds at Selhurst Park before Olise teed up Eberechi Eze for the equaliser.

James McAtee restored the Blades’ lead before Olise once again set up Eze, who squared things up inside the first half-hour of a frenetic first period to complete his brace, before Olise ensured his side would walk away with all three points after the break.

Anel Ahmedhodzic came close to salvaging a point when he clipped the crossbar late in the second half, but the Premier League bottom side ultimately walked away with nothing to show.

Hodgson’s side came into the contest having won just once in their last 10 league contests, the Palace boss brushing aside suggestions that it was a “must win”, partially pointing once again to the lengthy list of absentees in the first half of the campaign.

His ranks on Tuesday were boosted by the return of Olise, recovered from his second hamstring injury of the season and starting alongside Eze for just the fifth league contest this campaign.

Brereton Diaz opened the scoring following a delivery from Gustavo Hamer and the January signing patiently weaved his way forward from the left before sending his strike into the bottom-right corner, our of reach of the diving Dean Henderson.

The hosts had a handful of chances to reply before Olise added his third assist of the league campaign when his fine delivery from the edge of the area allowed Eze to flick the ball past Ivo Grbic for a 17th-minute equaliser.

United restored their lead three minutes later when McAtee’s effort from distance took a deflection off Marc Guehi, giving Henderson little chance as the ball spun out of his reach.

It was all square again before the half-hour mark, Eze this time taking his time after latching onto Olise’s delivery at the edge of the area, weaving his way to centre and curling a left-footed effort into the top corner.

The second half began with bad news for Chris Wilder, when Grbic’s head collided with Jean-Philippe Mateta as he came out to collect the ball and, following treatment, he was replaced by Wes Foderingham.

Palace, who had settled into the contest, took the lead for the first time in the 67th minute when Mateta’s cross bounced favourably in the direction of Olise, who made it 3-2 with a half-volley.

But those in the stands had barely finished celebrating before witnessing a worrying scene. Olise had gone down and, after consulting physios, was removed after 69 minutes in what Palace fans will pray was a precautionary measure.

A similar sentiment surely extended to Eze, who was pulled less than 10 minutes later following his own consultation.

The Blades came inches away from salvaging a point when Ahmedhodzic clipped the crossbar with a header, Henderson reacting quickly to deny Andre Brooks soon after and neither side could take advantage of 11 minutes of stoppage time.

Everton boss Sean Dyche hit out at the “slow-mo” VAR decision which saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin shown a straight red card late on in the goalless FA Cup third-round tie at Crystal Palace.

Nathaniel Clyne went down wincing following a sliding tackle by Calvert-Lewin, who appeared to catch the Palace defender’s shin with his studs.

Referee Chris Kavanagh went to review the incident on the pitchside monitor and decided the contact was enough to dismiss the Toffees striker, who was sent off for the first time in his career.

Dyche, though, was again unimpressed by the VAR intervention.

“I think slow-mo shows a different picture,” he told ITV Sport.

“If you are going to slow-mo things, then you are going to have to slow-mo the penalty on Beto or what could have been a penalty.

“(Joachim) Andersen has got his arms clearly around him, cupping his body. He goes down and it is not given.

“So if you want to slow-mo everything, then you have got to slow-mo everything – you can’t just have it one for one and one for the other.

“At the end of it is minor contact. In live time, he doesn’t give everything, then you slow it down – and everything looks worse on slow-mo, we all know that.”

Dyche said Everton would consider whether to appeal the red card, but felt his side had put up a decent display in the circumstances.

“There is a lot of satisfaction,” the Everton boss said.

“I thought we were back up to the performance levels we have shown this season, particularly away from home. Even when we went down to 10, the mentality was good.”

Crystal Palace and Everton will replay their FA Cup third-round clash after their Selhurst Park encounter ended in a goalless draw.

The Toffees were down to 10 men after Dominic Calvert-Lewin was shown red for a challenge in the 79th minute of a contest that began under a south London downpour.

Those who braved the rain took in a largely uneventful first half that ended with a single shot on target for the visitors and none for the hosts.

Palace could not capitalise on the extra-man advantage through nine minutes of stoppage time, the visitors suffering a second-half blow when Dwight McNeil was carried off on a stretcher after sustaining what appeared to be a lower-leg injury.

Both Sean Dyche and Roy Hodgson fielded strong line-ups ,with three changes for Everton and two enforced swaps for Palace with Ghana international Jordan Ayew having already departed for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Teenage summer signing Matheus Franca made his long-awaited first start the hosts in place of  Michael Olise, back on Hodgson’s injured list with a hamstring issue sustained after netting twice in the Eagles’ 3-1 victory over Brentford.

It was Ayew’s replacement, Jeffrey Schlupp, who was the first to get a shot away, ultimately a simple save for Joao Virginia inside three minutes, and there were little in the way of chances as the contest entered its 20th minute.

Arnaut Danjuma, who had previously fired into the side-netting, came closer with his second attempt which Dean Henderson managed to turn behind with a good save.

Franca later found himself the sole blue shirt amidst a sea of grey, eventually taking a big hit from James Tarkowski to earn Palace a free-kick from a dangerous central position just outside the penalty area, wasted by Eberechi Eze who skied his attempt into the Holmesdale Stand.

Palace had their best opportunity to take the lead when Eze laid off to Jefferson Lerma, who might have taken more time, instead rifling a shot just over as half-time approached.

Everton enjoyed a spell inside the Eagles’ final third after the break, but it was Palace who had the better chances to break the deadlock, first through Eze then Lerma’s nodded effort, both saved by Virginia.

Calvert-Lewin sent a low effort straight at Henderson past the hour mark and a trio of Toffees corners shortly followed, Amadou Onana coming closest on the third but nodding high.

If anyone looked closer to an opener it was Everton with the slight edge, Henderson punching away McNeil’s chipped ball, then again denying Danjuma.

Hodgson’s side were emerging from a significant injury crisis when they beat Brentford, and there were more worrying scenes for the hosts when Nathaniel Clyne went down wincing following a tackle by Calvert-Lewin, who appeared to catch the Palace defender’s shin with his studs.

Referee Chris Kavanagh consulted the pitchside monitor, deeming the contact enough to dismiss the striker before James Garner skied a good chance.

Things went from bad to worse when McNeil was forced off with what appeared to be a lower-leg injury when he landed awkwardly after jumping over his team-mate whilst defending a corner and was eventually carried off on a stretcher.

Hodgson made several late changes, but none were able to make the impact needed.

Michael Olise scored in each half as Crystal Palace ended their eight-game winless streak with a 3-1 comeback victory over Brentford at a soggy Selhurst Park.

Under-pressure Roy Hodgson’s hosts bounced back from a sorry start to an afternoon that began with Keane Lewis-Potter’s opener for the Bees inside two minutes.

Olise ensured it was all square before the 15-minute mark and Eberechi Eze added another before the break – the first time Palace have scored more than one before half-time this season.

Neal Maupay came closest to clawing one back for the visitors, rattling the crossbar as the Bees staged a late surge, but Brentford could not stop themselves from slipping to a club-record fifth straight Premier League defeat.

In his programme notes, Hodgson expressed his “disappointment and frustration” at the fact he has “never had the opportunity” to work with a full squad this season.

The Eagles edged ever-closer to full strength on Saturday, with forward Odsonne Edouard returning to the matchday squad and influential duo Olise and Eze starting alongside each other for just the third time this campaign.

Palace had already conceded more top-flight opening goals in 2023 – 25 – than any other Premier League side, and they were swift victims once more in their final encounter of the calendar year.

Mathias Jensen flicked a neat back-heel to Mads Roerslev, who whipped a cross into the six-yard box for Lewis-Potter to finish, with the goal eventually given after a lengthy delay to check a possible offside.

The sides were all square after 14 minutes when Olise arrived at the far post to meet Jordan Ayew’s cross and volleyed into the top right corner.

Jefferson Lerma tried quickly to put the hosts ahead but fired straight at Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken.

Dean Henderson bobbled but clung on to deny Lewis-Potter’s close-range effort at the other end as the Bees continued to apply pressure.

Olise got himself involved at the other end of the pitch, clearing a dangerous Lewis-Potter cross, before Nathan Collins bounced a header inches wide of Henderson’s right post.

Palace took the lead in the 39th minute, just as the half looked to have settled into a lull. Tyrick Mitchell took his time before flicking to Jean-Philippe Mateta, who in turn tapped it towards the onrushing Eze to send a strike into the bottom right corner.

Brentford swerved danger when Flekken slid in to prevent Ethan Pinnock’s backwards pass from crossing over his goal-line before half-time.

There were chances for both sides early in the second half before Olise patiently weaved through a crowd of blue shirts and fired home the Eagles’ third in the 58th minute.

Henderson punched away Saman Ghoddos’ effort to deny Brentford a quick reply, and Olise came close to a hat-trick when he sent the ball just wide of Flekken’s left post.

Brentford missed two big chances to narrow the deficit in quick succession, substitute Maupay clipping the crossbar before Yoane Wissa missed the target from six yards out.

A brilliant late save by Henderson preserved the two-goal lead before the final whistle blew on what was just the Eagles’ second home victory of the season.

Roy Hodgson revealed he feels “more than satisfied” with what his injury-plagued Crystal Palace side have achieved despite conceding a late equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Substitute Danny Welbeck nodded past home debutant Dean Henderson in the 82nd minute to cancel out Jordan Ayew’s opener and ensure the rivals’ fifth consecutive Premier League meeting at Selhurst Park ended in exactly the same scoreline.

Palace, in 15th and nine points clear of the bottom three, are now winless in seven and now the unfortunate holders of the longest winless streak in the top flight after surpassing Nottingham Forest’s six, and next travel to Stamford Bridge after Christmas.

When asked if he was feeling any extra pressure due to the Eagles’ recent run of results and subsequent slide down the table, Hodgson said: “Well, I suppose that’s football.

“If I suggest that every time a team slides down the table the manager should feel under pressure, then I suppose I should feel under pressure, but I don’t believe that the players can be doing much more than they are doing at the moment, so if that is pressure, I don’t feel it. No, not at all.

“Don’t forget the next game is Chelsea. I mean, the bottom line is we have to accept that we know what we’re capable of. We also know that even if we bring the absolute maximum of what we’re capable of, if you play a Liverpool, Man City and Brighton it’s going to be a tough ask.

“If after those three performances you can sit here as I am doing tonight and be more than satisfied with what the team has achieved, maybe that counts more than just saying ‘well, you need the three points’ because who doesn’t need the three points? That’s the bottom line.”

It was a mistake by Brighton goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen, giving the ball away to Michael Olise, that ultimately allowed the hosts to work the ball to Ayew for the opener on the stroke of half-time.

Palace were without the Ghana international for Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City after picking up a pair of bookings against Liverpool and sitting on four yellows, and was swapped in the second half for Eberechi Eze, returning from injury but, Hodgson admitted, “not really as ready as we would like.”

Roberto de Zerbi also played Welbeck longer than he expected, breaking with the original plan for him to play closer to 23 minutes rather than a full half.

He said: “I can say we lost two points. Yes, if you watched the game we lost two points but to win the game we can’t make these mistakes. In the first half we played well, but without the right energy to score and we shouldn’t have conceded the goal.

“Because we considered it another bad goal, and we didn’t score, we didn’t have too many chances, just two big chances, but we are playing with many young players and the young players need time to improve, to progress.

“The policy of Brighton is to play with many young players and we have to accept and we have to be happy, to be ready to play, to work with these young players.”

Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma left Selhurst Park on crutches after injuring his ankle.

Danny Welbeck headed home late in the second half to earn Brighton a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

A lapse by Seagulls goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen led to Jordan Ayew’s nodded opener just before the whistle blew to end an uneventful first half.

Eberechi Eze returned from injury as a second-half substitute and had a few chances to double his side’s advantage, but it was the visitors who dominated late on.

The result, which sees Palace still in search of a second league victory at home, also marked the fifth consecutive Premier League meeting the rivals have drawn 1-1 at Selhurst Park.

There was little excitement to boast in the opening stages, just a Pascal Gross effort dragged wide and a cross from Ayew – back in the starting XI for the first time since his controversial and costly sending-off against Liverpool – was easily plucked out of the air by Verbruggen as the clock ticked past 10 minutes.

Dean Henderson, making his home debut and second start for Palace in place of the injured Sam Johnstone, kept out Simon Adingra, Carlos Baleba’s attempt from the rebound sailing wide before the action largely returned to midfield, save a few runs into the rivals’ respective penalty areas calmly managed by both sides.

Kaoru Mitoma occasionally flashed down the left flank and Jean-Philippe Mateta fired straight at Verbruggen from Tyrick Mitchell’s cross and the hosts had a pair of set pieces, coming closest with the second when Michael Olise’s corner deflected off Ayew inside the six-yard box and into Verbruggen’s arms.

Billy Gilmour and Baleba did well to defend another scramble inside the 18-yard box where Chris Richards, Mateta and Olise all threatened, Jefferson Lerma trying next but unable to put a finishing touch on Olise’s feed, while Gross saw a shot saved.

Just as a goalless first half had begun to feel an inescapable act, Verbruggen, under pressure from Richards, gave the ball away as he tried to loft a pass but instead gifted an opportunity to Olise, who nodded across to Will Hughes, making his 100th Premier League start.

Hughes sent the ball back in the direction of Olise, who finely directed a cross towards the far post for Ayew to head home moments before the half-time whistle blew.

There was an uptick in pace and two second-half substitutions for Roberto De Zerbi, including Welbeck, after the restart, when Joao Pedro skied an effort and Lewis Dunk had a good chance to level soon after, rising highest to connect with Gross’ free-kick, but only able to direct his header inches wide of the far post.

A diving Henderson was able to push Gilmour’s attempt at squaring things up through a crowd, while Jack Hinshelwood was left disappointed after connecting with Gross’ cross but sending it well over the crossbar.

Hodgson introduced Eze who should have doubled his side’s lead but was hesitant and instead denied by Jan Paul van Hecke’s sliding tackle before sending another effort wide.

The Eagles desperately wanted three points but Brighton were in the driver’s seat in the closing stages, and their composure finally paid off when Welbeck beat Richards in an aerial battle and nodded into the top right corner, just evading Henderson’s fingertips.

There were chances for the Seagulls to walk away with all three points, but the hosts – including Henderson, literally, in one instance – clung on for the draw.

Substitute Kieffer Moore’s second-half stoppage-time header sealed a 2-0 victory for surging Bournemouth over a frustrated Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Marcos Senesi put the Cherries ahead in the 25th minute with a nodded effort of his own in a first half that saw Tyrick Mitchell forced off in another worrying scene for the injury-plagued hosts.

Jefferson Lerma came closest for the Eagles when he hit the upright early in the second half, but his side remain in search of just their second Premier League victory at home.

Moore, who was introduced in the 88th minute, buried any hope of splitting the points in south London and ensured his side made it 13 points from their last six league games ahead of Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford.

Palace’s first chance came when Michael Olise floated in an early free-kick from near the left touchline, where Jordan Ayew was only able to head a weak effort into the arms of Bournemouth keeper Neto.

He came closer with his second attempt, a strike from inside the penalty area that Neto was able to palm over the crossbar, before the visitors got their first break of the period, with both Adam Smith and Antoine Semenyo calling Sam Johnstone into action.

Flurries of activity in favour of the hosts ended without anything to show and the pace had slowed by midway through the half, but the visitors were ahead after 25 minutes when Luis Sinisterra rose highest to meet Ryan Christie’s corner, flicking it on to Senesi to finish.

Ayew saw another effort saved while a well-timed sliding Illia Zabarnyi tackle denied Odsonne Edouard an angle on the rebound, and soon came another worrying scene for Roy Hodgson when Mitchell was forced off and replaced by Nathaniel Clyne.

Justin Kluivert fired an effort that Johnstone saved, and it was the Cherries who remained on the front foot until half-time, when boos rang out as Palace entered the tunnel.

The crowd was encouraged when Lerma rifled an effort off the right post to start the second half, a fleeting flash of excitement, but soon the hosts were back looking for a breakthrough that rarely looked close to coming as the hour mark approached.

Lerma tried again with a volley over the crossbar before Hodgson made a double change, bringing Naouirou Ahamada on for captain Joel Ward, who on Wednesday night surpassed Wilfried Zaha for the most Premier League appearances in Palace history, and Will Hughes for Jeffrey Schlupp.

But every time they looked to test the visitors the Cherries had an answer, and, though the crowd had slowly come back into the contest, the chorus of boos loudly reprieved when Moore nodded into the bottom right to ensure Bournemouth walked away winners.

Sean Dyche praised Everton’s improved mentality away from home after he watched his side beat Crystal Palace 3-2 at Selhurst Park to make it back-to-back Premier League victories on the road.

Twice in south London Everton surrendered their lead but neither time were they deterred and they finally nicked it with a goal from Idrissa Gueye four minutes from the end.

Dyche, whose side beat West Ham at the London Stadium on their last Premier League away day, said he saw clear signs that his players are forging a mentality to win consistently away from Goodison Park.

“Obviously topsy-turvy,” said Dyche. “We started so well, with a fantastic goal. They responded with a moment we should have dealt with earlier. They get a soft penalty from our point of view.

“Then really it was a strange game after that. I don’t think anyone really gripped the first half, and second half (Palace) did. I thought they were very good. I think we had to work very hard.

“I think the mentality I’m trying to work with the players on is the belief in finding different ways of winning games, and I think we’re showing that.

“We had to do it last week against Brighton, so nearly won but got a good point. Then coming (to Palace) today.

“Away form here was a big question mark when got here. We’re beginning to change the mentality towards these games. That was on show today.”

Vitalii Mykolenko headed in Jack Harrison’s cross after only 55 seconds but Eberechi Eze, on his first start since returning from a hamstring injury, levelled from the penalty spot four minutes later.

Abdoulaye Doucoure restored Everton’s lead minutes after the break, but again Palace fought back to level when Odsonne Edouard capitalised on James Tarkowski’s error to score.

The hosts could not hold on to a point, though, as Gueye struck late to win it after latching on to Doucoure’s excellent through-ball.

Mykolenko, who had a hand in Doucoure’s goal, put in one of his best performances in an Everton shirt and Dyche said he felt the Ukrainian’s progression encapsulated his side’s improved approach in recent weeks.

“He’s beginning to mature into himself really as a player and in his Everton career,” he said. “I think he can defend, he’s beginning to show that he can go forwards, he wants to get into the right areas.

“It’s a fantastic header and he’s nearly got a brace with a lovely strike, a controlled effort at goal.”

Palace boss Roy Hodgson reflected on a match that ultimately slipped away from his side despite a gallant effort to twice recover from falling behind.

“I’m sad, I’m frustrated,” he said. “Early goals in each half, we had to come from behind twice.

“We had to work very hard to come from behind twice and put in a very good effort. We had a lot of the ball and worked hard to create those chances.

“To then concede a third goal and lose the game, that’s hard to take.”

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