Richarlison is facing an investigation by the Football Association after throwing a flag off the field at Goodison Park following his crucial 46th-minute win against Chelsea.
The Everton forward threw a blue flash over Gwladys Street after being thrown onto the field during celebrations for a goal that could prove vital to the team’s bid to avoid relegation. No action has been taken against the Brazilian international by referee Kevin Friend, but the FA will investigate. A written notice could follow. “We will look into the matter but as far as we are concerned Richarlison was trying to get him off the ground,” an Everton spokesperson said.
Frank Lampard, who did not see the incident, praised goalkeeper and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who made a series of superb saves to deny Chelsea in the second half. “I poked Richy before the game because he always gives that kind of effort, but it has to be directed in the right way, in terms of energy and production to put people under pressure,” the Everton coach said. “When he has his chances, he has to be clinical. For the level of striker he can be, he has to be clinical and he was today. But not only he, Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon had a lot of leg work to do and they all performed at a massively high level. We never hung up much and when we did we had a first class goalie to save us.”
Everton remain third, two points behind Leeds and Burnley, but with a game less for the two relegation rivals. Lampard added: “My feeling is that there is a long way to go. We can control our games, but we cannot control Burnley and Leeds.”
Lampard’s team received a tumultuous reception upon arrival at the stadium from thousands of fans who lined up on Goodison Road to wait for the team bus. Captain Seamus Coleman admitted: “I’ve been here a long time, but I’ve never been in this situation before, and I’ve never felt what I felt walking into the stadium today – the genuine passion, grown men’s faces as they sang ‘Everton’. If that doesn’t shake something up on you, you might as well hang up your boots. We did it for them.”
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel admitted he feared for the team’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League after a four-game winning streak. “I said that many weeks ago, I never feel safe and it doesn’t matter if we are in a race for the first, two, three or four – from the last four games we have four points and that will never be enough,” Tuchel said. “Right now we don’t get points when we play well and we lose when we don’t play. It’s a bad mix.”