Everton beat Chelsea 1-0 as relegation-threatened Toffees fans create a charged atmosphere for the visitors

Everton manager Frank Lampard said support from fans was crucial for the relegation-threatened club in the Premier League’s momentous 1-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.

“The fans were the man of the match today, from the start to the support, which we need where we are,” Lampard told Sky Sports.

Everton fans had promised an aggressive atmosphere ahead of the mandatory clash with Chelsea at Goodison Park and from fireworks outside the visitors’ hotel in the middle of the night to a raucous salute to the home team’s bus they brought. .

“If it’s us versus the world, fine. We’re going to have a siege mentality for these final games – because it’s that kind of spirit that can and will get us out of this,” said a statement from the Everton Fans Forum this week.

With the club facing its first relegation since 1954, having started the day at five safety points, fans greeted the team bus by the hundreds along Goodison Road, lighting flares that turned the air blue.

A statue outside Everton's stadium is shrouded in blue smoke as fans wave flags and film on their cell phones.
Everton fans were excited about their team’s match against Chelsea, setting off fireworks outside the Blues’ hotel and creating a great atmosphere outside Goodison before the game.(AP: Jon Super)

“We have to stay balanced because there are still a lot of points to go and we’re still in the relegation zone. We have to keep the same spirit in every game.”

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Everton took the win thanks to a Richarlison goal, but they also had goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to thank for taking the three points.

Mason Mount hit both posts with a single shot and Pickford saved brilliantly twice from Kai Havertz and Antonio Rudiger as Everton snagged.

“Chelsea are a team that will always put you under pressure in the final stages of the game, especially considering they are 1-0. We did it brilliantly, we entrenched the team, the whole stadium,” said Lampard.

“Jordan made great saves. He’s a great lad, he’s number one in England and that’s why. That’s a top-notch goalkeeper.”

His team recognized that victory was just the first step on the road to Premier League survival.

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Richarlison could face Football Association action after catching a lit blue flare during his goal celebrations and tossing it back into the stands.

Everton are two points behind Burnley and Leeds United but have one game in hand and five games to go.

In other results Arsenal remained fourth after Gabriel’s header secured a 2-1 victory over West Ham, putting them two points clear of north London rivals Spurs, who beat Leicester 3-x. 1 on Sunday with two goals from Son Heung-min.

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Son is now on 19 Premier League goals in a season, a career-high, just three behind Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot.

Before scoring against Leicester, Son opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, scoring a corner for the unmarked Harry Kane to head into the bottom corner to end a five-game goalless streak.

Chelsea look well positioned to qualify for the Champions League despite being just three points clear of Arsenal with four games remaining despite their defeat to Everton.

Reuters/AP

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