Limited by injuries to defence, Everton fans waited with bated breath to see how Frank Lampard would line up the Toffees with the threat of relegation looming very large over Goodison Park. The Blues started like their behinds were on fire, pressing Leeds high up and getting to every ball first all over the pitch.
That manifested itself quickly on the scoreboard as well as they poured forward hungrily, with first Seamus Coleman finishing off an excellent quick-passing move, and then Michael Keane from a corner saw the Toffees take a 2-0 lead.
Leeds have showed they are never really out of any game though, and after scoring three times in their last two away games, were unlucky to not have at least one here with Rodrigo beating Jordan Pickford twice from distance, but being foiled by the crossbar.
Marcelo Bielsa rung the changes at the break to get his side more possession and a better focal point up top, and though that saw them get more of the ball with the Blues happy to cede their area and fall back in two banks of four.
The Toffees were happy to pick off the Leeds late on as players tired, and Allan found Richarlison outside the box late on, with the forward’s shot taking a deflection off Anthony Gordon’s heel to tuck into the far post. 3-0, game over and very, very well deserved, for the players, for the fans, for Blues everywhere.
What a start from Everton that was. The fans had promised to bring their flags, banners and voices, and the players lived up to it from their end as well. That intensity we saw in the first half from every single player was something to behold.
Lampard said during his pre-match press conference that Anthony Gordon needed some work on his finishing, and it showed today. In the second minute Dominic Calvert-Lewin found him wide open in the box and the youngster took too long to settle the ball and saw his shot partly blocked.
We would be remiss in covering this game without talking about Donny van de Beek. What a class operator the Dutchman is. With the ball, without the ball, he controlled that midfield and made the Leeds side chase him. Absolutely brilliant!
Can’t say I had a single complaint about any of the much-maligned Everton players - Keane, Mason Holgate, Jonjoe Kenny, Coleman, Iwobi, every single one of them showed up in a big way today.
Simply put, if we can play like this more often, there is just no way Everton are in the relegation battle for too long.