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 By PA Sport

Crystal Palace's Scott Dann accuses Oumar Niasse of diving for penalty

Crystal Palace and Everton traded first-half goals in a 2-2 draw to each earn a point in their scrap among the bottom.
English Premier League: Oumar Niasse (90'+3) Everton 2-4 Arsenal

Scott Dann has accused Oumar Niasse of "conning'' referee Anthony Taylor to win Everton's penalty in their 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace.

The striker appeared to dive after minimal contact with Dann, and Leighton Baines' penalty brought Everton level.

Niasse went unpunished, and he also scored Everton's second equalising goal on the stroke of half-time.

He could yet face retrospective punishment over the incident, even if that will do little to ease Palace's frustration over the two dropped points.

Dann said: "He has conned the referee. I don't like to see people getting punished but also I don't like people diving to win penalties.

"[Niasse] probably knows he has conned them. If there was [contact] it was minimal. I haven't tried to tackle him; he has gone past me and you can see on the replays he has dived.

"At half-time, [Taylor] probably knew he made the wrong decision.''

In addition to winning Everton's penalty and scoring their second goal, Niasse produced an aggressive display to continue reviving his career having retained his place while Wayne Rooney was dropped.

Everton's Oumar Niasse celebrates goal against Crystal Palace
Oumar Niasse scored Everton's second goal on Saturday.

The 27-year-old's emergence comes after he long appeared to have no future under the sacked Ronald Koeman, and also after he came so close to joining Palace on loan towards the conclusion of the summer transfer window.

"People were saying that I fell down easily,'' said the Senegalese forward. "I don't know. I didn't see the video again. To get into the box, I tried to dribble the guy; he was coming into contact.

"When I felt the contact, I knew then he pushed me away.

"The contact was on my upper body but when I felt the contact I was in the box so that is it: that is all I have to do, go on the floor. It was because I was running so quick.

"I will be shocked [if I am charged with diving] because there is contact.''

Looking back at how close he came to joining Palace, Niasse added: "I was about to come here and at the end it did not happen because they know exactly what happened. I am not going to go deep inside of what exactly happened. They know.

"I am happy at Everton. That is it. I moved to come to Palace with the medical check and everything and if that didn't happen you have to understand.''

Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth has been highly influential on Niasse's improvement after first working with him while he was dropped to the club's under-23 side.

Unsworth said: "We had to start from the bottom and work up with him, build his fitness, build his confidence.

"He then got a loan move to Hull, where he scored, came back to Everton, and has become a fans' favourite. He's got that desire and work-rate, and the goals to show from it. He's a good guy.''

Palace's manager Roy Hodgson was also asked about the prospect of Niasse being retrospectively punished, and the 70-year-old said: "That doesn't do me any good. It doesn't change the result.''

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