Frank Lampard praised his Everton players for a performance that “had everything” as the Toffees comfortably beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at Goodison Park.
In arguably their the best display of the campaign so far, the Blues took an early lead through Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s first goal of the season and rarely looked like surrendering their advantage.
In the second half a sweeping move from back to front resulted in Anthony Gordon tapping home Everton’s second after Vitaly Mykolenko’s shot was saved.
Substitute Dwight McNeil rounded off a thumping win with a fine third after a wonderful backheel from Alex Iwobi.
It was one of those days where every player performed well, though Conor Coady and James Tarkowski deserve a mention after particularly impressive displays at the heart of Everton’s defence.
Speaking after the match Lampard was understandably a happy man:
“I’m absolutely delighted. It was everything we needed today. We’ve been on a tough run of games which we have competed in but today had everything. It had the organisation, the aggression and real energy in the team and them some real quality goals from us against a real quality opposition.
“It was a really good afternoon for us to see players feel that confidence and to see players come into the game that haven’t been getting so many minutes and that’s great for the group.
“I talk a lot about realism and keeping ourselves in check because it can be very up and down. The thing is to try and stay stable and keep working. The squad is pretty new in places and you saw performances from some of those players today. The more they settle, we can move in a good direction. We have to keep ourselves on the ground and try and replicate the energy and the way we played and our idea like we did today.”
Calvert-Lewin’s goal and all round performance has raised hopes he could earn a recall to the England squad for next month’s World Cup, particularly as Gareth Southgate was in the crowd at Goodison.
The Toffees’ number nine was part of the Three Lions squad for Euro 2020 but has not featured for the side since last summer after an injury-ravaged 2021-22 season.
Those fitness woes are hopefully behind him now and a place on the plane to Qatar could be his reward.
Speaking of Calvert-Lewin’s international ambitions, Lampard added:
“I’m delighted for Dominic because I know how much he wants to force his way into that picture. He loves playing for his country and has been involved many times before. His injury has been a huge frustration to him.
“All I would say is I won’t pick Gareth’s team for him at all, but he does know what Dominic can do because he’s worked with him before. Dominic has to show how fit and fresh he is for Everton and today was an all-round performance of what he is, which makes him an England striker, Everton striker, Premier League striker. The rest is for Gareth to choose. But I am delighted because I see the work he puts in behind the scenes to get fit. If he can stay fit then maybe he can make a case for himself.”
Lampard also championed the cause of Everton’s Blues brothers in defence Coady and Tarkowski:
“Their performances on the pitch have taken us forward and they work well together. “Gareth will know what he can get from them and that’s pure professionalism, quality and a real desire. They have given themselves a case today with how they have played in front of Gareth.”