Football: Everton ruin Pardew's perfect start at Palace

Romelu Lukaku (left) of Everton is challenged by Damien Delaney of Crystal Palace during their English Premier League soccer match at Selhurst Park, London Jan 31, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Romelu Lukaku (left) of Everton is challenged by Damien Delaney of Crystal Palace during their English Premier League soccer match at Selhurst Park, London Jan 31, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Everton ended Alan Pardew's unbeaten start as Crystal Palace manager as a second minute goal from Romelu Lukaku set up a 1-0 victory at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Palace, who had won four straight matches under the former Newcastle handler, saw their streak snapped as the Toffees won their first league match in seven outings.

The two teams came into the match level on points after Pardew won his first pair of league games and two in the FA Cup while Everton were without a win in eight matches in all competitions.

However, Everton got off to a dream start just two minutes into the match when Belgian striker Lukaku bundled home the ball after good work down the flank by Steven Naismith who caused chaos in the area with a low cross.

Midweek signing Jordan Mutch, who arrived from QPR, was forced into an immediate debut when Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh was carried off on 26 minutes covered in blood after a nasty clash of heads with Seamus Coleman.

Former Bordeaux and Arsenal striker Chamakh was making his first appearance in six weeks but appeared to have broken his nose.

Palace pushed hard throughout the remainder of the first half and created several chances including a goal-line clearance from Phil Jagielka who just kept Dwight Gayle's header from crossing the line with Spanish 'keeper Joel Robles beaten.

The game balanced out after the break as Roberto Martinez's men battled hard to keep Palace at bay and it took a couple of fine saves from home 'keeper Julian Speroni late on to prevent Everton from putting the match to bed earlier on.

The win lifts Everton up to 12th and seven points above the relegation zone while Palace remain one place below them and four points above the drop zone.