Everton earns vital 1-0 win over Chelsea as fans of the relegation-threatened Toffees set charged atmosphere for visitors

Everton manager Frank Lampard said the fans’ support was crucial to the relegation-threatened club in an important 1-0 Premier League victory over Chelsea on Sunday. 

“The fans were the man of the match today, from the drive in to the support, which we need with where we are,” Lampard told Sky Sports.

Everton’s fans had promised a feisty atmosphere ahead of their must-win clash with Chelsea at Goodison Park and from fireworks outside the visitors’ hotel in the middle of the night to a raucous greeting for the home team’s bus, they brought it.

“If it’s us against the world, that’s fine. Let’s have a siege mentality for these final games — because it’s that sort of spirit that can and will get us out of this,” a statement from the Everton Fans Forum said this week.

With the club facing their first relegation since 1954 having started the day five points from safety, fans greeted the team bus in their hundreds along Goodison Road, lighting flares that turned the air blue.

Everton fans were fired up for their team’s match with Chelsea, setting off fireworks outside the Blues’ hotel and creating a big atmosphere outside Goodison before the game.(AP: Jon Super)

“We have to stay level-headed because there are a lot of points to play for and we are still in the relegation zone. We have to go with that same spirit in every game.”

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Everton earned their win thanks to a Richarlison goal, but also had goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to thank for getting all three points.

Mason Mount struck both posts from a single shot and Pickford saved brilliantly twice from Kai Havertz and Antonio Rudiger as Everton clung on.

“Chelsea are a team that is always going to put you under pressure in the latter stages of the game, especially considering it is 1-0. We did brilliantly, we dug in, the team, the whole stadium,” Lampard said.

“Jordan made great saves. He is such a great lad, he is England’s number one and that is the reason why. That is top-level goalkeeping.”

His team acknowledged that the win was only step one on the way to Premier League survival.

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Richarlison could face Football Association action after picking up a lit blue flare during his goal celebrations and throwing it back into the stand.

Everton is two points behind both Burnley and Leeds United but has a game in hand and five matches still to play

In other results, Arsenal remained in fourth place after Gabriel’s header secured a 2-1 win at West Ham to stay two points ahead of north London rival Spurs, who beat Leicester 3-1 on Sunday through Son Heung-min’s double.

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Son is now on a career-high 19 Premier League goals in a season, only three behind Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot.

Before scoring against Leicester, Son provided the opener in the 22nd minute by delivering a corner for the unmarked Harry Kane to head into the bottom corner to end a five-game goalless run.

Chelsea looks well-placed to qualify for the Champions League despite now being only three points ahead of Arsenal with four games remaining despite the loss to Everton. 

Reuters/AP

Reference-www.abc.net.au

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