We witnessed perhaps the greatest comeback in the illustrious history of Everton Football Club last night, as the Toffees scored three second-half goals to escape relegation after being seemingly on the brink after a dreadful first-half performance that saw them head to the dressing room down a pair of poorly-conceded goals. If there ever was a half of football that encapsulated the season then the first forty-five minutes against Crystal Palace was it.
Comeback for the Ages
Everton had never come back to win a Premier League game in which they trailed by two goals at halftime, but they sure picked a good time to break that duck.
Everton have not come from 2+ goals down at half-time to win a league game since against Derby in April 1977 (L 0-2 HT, W 3-2 FT). #EFC— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) May 19, 2022
Never Give Up
This has been an absolutely horrific season for Everton, and although there many things that must be questioned (The Board, the recruitment, the lack of quality, etc.), the recently-discovered fighting spirit is not one of them. Armed with a never-say-die attitude and the voices of 40,000 eager Evertonians, Frank Lampard’s men pulled off an unprecedented comeback and stole a victory from the jaws of defeat. It’s not the first time their resilience has come in handy.
15 - Everton have now gained 15 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season; only Liverpool (17) have recovered more. Overall, 38% of Everton's points this season have come in games in which they had fallen behind. Risen. pic.twitter.com/BRI2QmXBdR— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 19, 2022
Until Everton’s crushing defeat at Turf Moor in which he notched twice from the penalty spot, Richarlison had only scored 4 Premier League goals all season; not nearly enough considering the lengthy absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin. However, the Brazilian really turned it on when Everton needed him most, scoring six and assisting one in the last nine games of the season. As of earlier this month (and may still be true), no Premier League player had scored more goals in the past five years to directly impact the result of a match than Richarlison. Big game player.
Richarlison’s last 4 home games in the Premier League:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 19, 2022
⚽️ vs Leicester City
⚽️ vs Chelsea
⚽️ ️ vs Brentford
⚽️ vs Crystal Palace
Everton go level! pic.twitter.com/hYN96zV79p
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s aerial prowess was no secret across the Premier League last season, but apparently some people, notably Palace’s back-line, forgot. The Everton #9 won FIFTEEN headers across the 90 minutes, and none more important than when he latched onto the end Demarai Gray’s inch-perfect cross and planted his diving header past a helpless Jack Butland. Let’s pray for his consistent fitness next season.
19 - Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored 19 headers in the Premier League, with only Harry Kane (21) netting more in the competition since the Everton striker's debut. Forceful. pic.twitter.com/vCGIQXWp2D— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 19, 2022
The Toffees’ victory over Palace means that with a four-point cushion above Leeds and Burnley with only one game remaining, Everton have officially escaped what looked likely to be the club’s first relegation since 1951. The victory was poetically the club’s 1,878th in the English top-flight and capped off a resurrection run that saw Lampard’s men take 14 points out of the last 24 available after taking just 7 out of the previous 39.
As someone who will be traveling to Liverpool in the Autumn, I’m absolutely ecstatic that I’ll be watching Premier League football at Goodison Park in a few months' time, and hopefully, next year won’t be anywhere near as heart-wrenching!