Everton’s hopes of maintaining their Premier League status was given a big boost today, as the Toffees secured a 1-0 win over Chelsea at Goodison Park.
The Toffees support understood just how big a game this was for their relegation threatened side, and it was no surprise to see Everton start at a million miles an hour in what was a cauldron like atmosphere at Goodison Park.
However, once they weathered the initial surge, Chelsea began to get their foot on the ball and take the sting out of the game, and despite all of Everton’s endeavor they were unable to create much in the way of clear cut chances.
Just after the half-time break though and Everton would finally get the chance they craved. Usually reliable Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta was caught in possession at the edge of the area by Richarlison, before the Brazilian took full advantage by slotting past Edouard Mendy.
Everton would have their goalkeeper to thank for keeping the scoreline the same just before the hour mark, with the England international pulling off two brilliant saves. Firstly, Pickford scrambled across his line to deny Azpilicueta after Mason Mount’s effort had come off the post, then just moments later the 28-year-old bravely took a close range Antonio Rudiger flush in the face.
In injury time Pickford would pull off yet another crucial stop by denying Mateo Kovacic and Everton held on to secure a massive three points. The Toffees remain in the relegation zone after today’s win, but at least their future remains in their own hands with the Merseyside outfit two points behind Leeds and Burnley who have both played a game more.
Speaking afterwards Everton manager Frank Lampard felt everyone at the club – including the raucous home fans – played a huge role in today’s win.
“Seven minutes added on was a bit of a surprise!” Lampard told Sky Sports.
“Difficult. They are always a team that will put you under pressure late on. We did brilliantly. The team, stadium, the fans were man of the match today. From the drive in to the support, which we need. Thanks to them.
— Everton (@Everton) May 1, 2022
“The fans are in the middle of this. I am pleased the players could see on the way in what it means to the fans. They know that and understand it. They got behind us, were nicely aggressive, this place has to be a hard place to come. Results have been good here at Goodison before I came, we have to maintain that.
“We have to fight for points, we are in the relegation zone and we have to go with that same spirit every game.
“They [the players] have to show they care. I like that. They don’t have to go over the line but have to show they care, the fans want to see that. I prodded them a bit before the game because the situation is clear. We need to perform with that level in all our remaining games. That needs to keep coming in and if it doesn’t we have to sort it out.
“Jordan made great saves. they are Chelsea and will have chances but we had chances as well. Jordan is such a great lad, he is England’s number one and that is the reason why.
“That is top level goalkeeping, I a happy with him and all the players and all the subs who came on.”