Everton rode a huge wave of fans’ support at home to tear Leeds United apart and give Frank Lampard his first Premier League win in charge of the Blues. Early goals from club captain Seamus Coleman and Michael Keane put the Toffees up by two at the break, and they never relented ensuring Marcelo Bielsa’s side didn’t have a single shot on target in the game.
Speaking later, Lampard was thrilled by the fans singing his name late on, and showed his exuberance in his comments to BBC Sport.
“It was nice, the performance was nicer. An incredible afternoon, my first home league game here.
“We know our league position, we know our opposition today, a fantastic team, What we did today was something special in terms of the performance. I’m not getting over-excited because we need to do it more. The performance today showed an attitude, aggression and work rate.
“The fans, their engagement, when they see what the players are putting into the game. What they give us. It came together. It has to be the start for us.”
When asked what his message to the players was to produce the kind of performance that we saw today, Lampard played down his part.
“Before the game I wanted to give them belief. When I see this squad, I can see the talent. Individually you go through the team, you look at the front four, there’s ability, there’s everything in there.
“And then it was about being a strong unit, can we fight, can we show for the fans. We had a plan today, you have to be very solid against Leeds, who keep on going and going.
“It was a great reaction, the fans would have enjoyed it – I certainly enjoyed it. We need to push on and use it for a base for where we want to go in the league.”
Everton’s confidence has been at an all-time low with the last couple of months run of results, but after the game Keane described a feeling of relief in the dressing room, did Lampard agree?
“Whether relieved is the right word, I understand what he’s saying. But people say we are Everton Football Club, we’re in a position we don’t want to be in. We have to understand we are there.
“So, relief is three points and the table looks slightly better this week, that may change we have to keep working at that. I’m just so proud of the performance. That first half, I haven’t seen a performance like that since... well, I haven’t been working for a year.
“But in terms of seeing the aggression, the togetherness, the tackles, and the constant pressure we put Leeds under, who are a great team like I said, that made me really happy and we need to build.”
Donny van de Beek had a good game at Newcastle and followed that up with a stellar showing in his first start for Everton while Dele Alli did well too coming on as a second half substitute, a big improvement on his first game.
“I thought Donny was great. It’s not easy with two in the midfield. To play like that at home – a bit of calm, his ability on the ball, work rate, and intelligence was great.
“I thought Dele was so active when he came on, twenty or so minutes, got straight into the action. Should have had an assist for what could have been a Rondon goal, but for a great save. There will be more from them both. They are great additions and they will get better, I believe.”
Frank Lampard applauds the Evertonians at the final whistle. pic.twitter.com/IaA3W99OP8— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) February 12, 2022
The fans rose as one to give Lampard a standing ovation, and the new manager has certainly noticed the outpouring of support he’s had from the club.
“I’ve had a lot of support since I’ve come to this club. People within the club, upstairs, and the fans, it’s humbling for me to have the fans supporting me so well. Now I need to produce, they want to see their team get better and better, and they know I will give everything for them.”