What a win that was. The football was not pretty by any definition of the word, Everton barely created any chances worth talking about, but were able to snatch a goal and show the defensive work ethic required to grit out some points, and fully deserved all three on offer thanks to the effort the players put in roared on by the loud Goodison crowd for the early kickoff.
Anthony Gordon’s deflected shot proved to be the winner, though Jordan Pickford had to be sharp all game long to keep out Manchester United right up until the death.
Speaking after the game, manager Frank Lampard was elated with the three points.
“Very proud [of the performance]. Pressure times, where we are, that’s the reality of the situation. At Goodison we’ve been good, winning seven, and a good clean sheet. We’re getting clean sheets at home, away from home is a different aspect, but at the same time when we come together, with the fans and the players alike, then we are hard to beat here.
“It always starts with our physical output, contact and our fighting spirit, because that is what the fans demand here, and rightly so. You give them that and you give yourself a chance. We did that from minute one to minute ninety-five, and then you make your own luck, or whatever you want to call it,
“It’s not luck, Jordan Pickford makes a great save, but things have been going against us, we get a deflection for a goal, but we haven’t been getting them recently, so you fight for that.”
The home support was in full voice and backed the players all game long, and the players fed off that to put in a brave performance.
“It does start with us, obviously the crowd were great straightaway, but they could easily switch off or get tetchy if they see people not working. When you’re not playing at your best, the reality of football is you have to fight through it. You might give the ball away, you might look like you’re not at it for a second, the only way to get it back is to fly into a tackle, like we did in the build-up to the goal.
“As soon as the goal goes in my mind goes to the Dominic Calvert-Lewin tackle in midfield, or Delph, or Allan. Those little moments are it for me.
“In the position we’re in, beautiful football can come later on, I’ve got ambitions at this club to stay up, move on, play well, change some things. But in the position we’re in, fighting comes first!”
The players showed that fight today with a number of them putting in strong performances, and we’re going to need more of these kinds of showings to secure our Premier League lives.