Everton scored three goals in a dramatic second half against Crystal Palace to escape relegation at Goodison Park on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
In the first half of the thrilling Premier League encounter, it was looking like Everton would add to their 20 Premier League defeats for this season as Crystal Palace took an early lead in the 21st minute through the boots of Jean-Philippe Mateta.
To make matters worst for Everton which needed at least a draw to keep the hope of surviving relegation alive, Crystal Palace doubled their lead in the 36th minute courtesy of Jordan Ayaw.
At this point, it was looking like a dead-end for coach Frank Lampard and his boys but still, Everton supporters at the stadium decided not to leave Goodison Park. They continued to shout, sing and do all they could to remind the players on the pitch that they were still with them.
Unfortunately, the first half ended 2-0 and the Everton players thought they would return for the second half to meet an empty stadium but to their surprise, the whole ground was still packed to the brim.
Coach Frank Lampard started the second half by taking out André Gomes and introducing Dele Alli in the 46th minute of the game. The substitution became an instant success as Everton got one goal back in the 54th minute, thanks to Michael Keane.
From there, the fight-back energy of the Everton players was renewed and continued to disturb the defense of Crystal Palace. To ensure that the fire kept burning, coach Lampard replaced Anthony Gordon with Demarai Gray in the 61st minute.
Just like in the first instance, the coach’s decision paid off big time as Richarlison scored the game-changing equalizer in the 75th minute. The goal ignited a wilder mode at the homestand and propel the players to go for more.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin stepped up and gave the fans, the coaching crew, and everyone associated with the club a reason to believe when he scored the winner in the 85th minute.
After the goal, Crystal Palace continued to fight back but could not do much. Hence, Everton escaped relegation with a 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Watch Everton vs Crystal Palace highlights below
Frank Lampard reacts to the triumph
After the intense Premier League game between Everton and Crystal Palace, coach Frank Lampard acknowledged that the support from the fans got his players through.
If Everton had failed to beat Crystals Palace on Thursday and also fail to beat Arsenal on May 22, they would have gone on relegation for the first time in the history of the club.
While acknowledging that though the club’s fans celebrated their escape like a UEFA Champions League qualification, they deserve to celebrate that much because of how the club executed the escape.
“What we’ve just seen, it’s Premier League safety, it’s not Champions League. But what it means to the club and the circumstances they were given in. The character of this club, the fans, players, just got us through. The spirit of the club was immense”, the English tactician said.
“There are a lot of people who work so hard for that, the players, the board, the fans, my staff. It’s a huge night for Everton and now we want to take that forward.”
On what he told his players during the half-time break, Lampard said: “If you’re honest you have to fake it, act a bit. Not show your feelings. You have to turn people and inspire them. Dele Alli came on and was amazing.
“My point was it’s not the tactical change, it’s the emotions and the character. Can you energize the crowd and score an early goal? Then it’s the energy, the players deserve immense credit.
“If we don’t get that first goal, it’s difficult to win. I expected Burnley to get something. That goal was crucial, once it went in you felt the players, and the night, there was something special there. The crowd reacted, and we created a special night in Everton’s history.
“We needed the fans tonight and at 2-0, it was easy to expect the worst. But they’ve been doing it for a long time, since the Chelsea game. After the Burnley defeat, it was difficult. Again, the atmosphere was on another level, and it was great to see them on the pitch. We don’t condone it but it was in such good faith.
“They want success and when they see a team giving it they react instantly. Those moments were priceless. Relegation battles are tough and an experience in their own right, the support I’ve had from the owner, chairman, Denise [Barrett-Baxendale], and what the fans have brought in is hard to do.”
🗣 “The character of this club, fans, players just dragged us through.”— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 19, 2022
Frank Lampard has praised everyone related to Everton for inspiring his side to an incredible come back to earn his side Premier League safety. pic.twitter.com/i0IGSF8Sxi
As it stands, Everton’s last Premier League game of the 2021-2022 season against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on May 22 at 16:00 is inconsequential because they have already survived relegation. But they would want to finish the difficult season on a high by stunning Arsenal away from home.