Liverpool (AFP) – Frank Lampard said Everton’s players need to match the passion of their supporters if they are to avoid relegation from the Premier League after beating Chelsea 1-0 on Sunday to give their survival hopes a huge boost.
The Toffees have not fallen out of the top flight since 1954 and could face financial ruin if they do not dig themselves out of trouble.
Burnley’s run of 10 points from a possible 12 since sacking Sean Dyche has plunged Lampard’s men into the bottom three.
But they closed to within two points of both Burnley and Leeds, with a game in hand to come, thanks to a third consecutive 1-0 home win.
“The team, stadium, the fans were man-of-the match today,” said Lampard.
“They have to show they care. 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.”
Defeat leaves Chelsea still with work to do if they are to secure a top-four finish and Champions League football next season.
The Blues’ advantage over fifth could be cut to five points by the end of the day if Arsenal avoid defeat at West Ham.
Richarlison pounced on an error from Cesar Azpilicueta one minute into the second half to give the home side and an anxious crowd at Goodison Park something to cling onto.
But they needed Jordan Pickford to show why he is England number one with a series of stunning saves to get over the line.
“The way we gave this goal away was absolutely unnecessarily,” said Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel. “If we keep on giving goals away it ends up in the results we have had recently.”
After a tense first 45 minutes, Richarlison gave Everton the hope they needed with a cool finish after Azpilicueta slipped on the edge of his own box.
The Brazilian then teed up Vitaliy Mykolenko for what should have been a second moments later.
Instead, the home side had to withstand wave upon wave of Chelsea attack.
Mason Mount’s shot came back off the inside of one post onto another before Pickford sprinted across his line to repel Azpilicueta’s follow-up effort.
From the resulting corner, Pickford was brave to block Antonio Rudiger’s powerful strike with his face.
The nerves of the home support were shredded during seven minutes of added on time, during which Pickford came to his side’s rescue again to deny Mateo Kovacic, but they held out to spark wild scenes of celebration at full-time.
“I am a very passionate person and it means the world to us to get the result today,” said Pickford.
“Our character and team spirit drove us on today and with the fans behind us like they were it was incredible.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Women’s World Cup, Euro 2024 & Gold Cup
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $40/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, Women’s World Cup & Gold Cup
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $12.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & FA Cup
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & Brasileirāo