Anthony Gordon says hearing Evertonians belting out his name in appreciation for his tireless efforts in Thursday night’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea made him feel “like a superstar”.
Gordon delivered arguably the most accomplished display of his burgeoning career as an Everton side depleted by injuries battled for a point against the reigning European champions.
The home team enjoyed the bulk of the possession at Stamford Bridge but Gordon played a vital role in relieving the pressure, defending diligently and breaking forward with speed and thrust at every opportunity.
The 20-year-old Academy graduate was instrumental in Everton’s equalising goal.
After being fouled by Reece James, he took the resulting free-kick and delivered a cross laced with pace, whip and dip. Jarrad Branthwaite applied the finishing touch from close range to spark joyous celebrations among the team and the passionate following of Evertonians in west London.
“The fans were absolutely magnificent and got behind us all through the game,” Gordon told evertontv.
“It gives me a massive push and I’m sure it does for the result of the lads as well.
“Our fanbase is one of the best in the world. And to hear them singing at the end, it’s absolutely incredible.
“They’ve sang my name a few times, but never like that. They made me feel like a superstar! It’s all I’ve dreamed of as a kid, so I’m just over the moon.”
With the Toffees missing the core of their First-Team squad and facing a side with genuine Premier League title ambitions, the odds were firmly against Everton taking a positive result back to Merseyside.
Rafa Benitez’s side, however, showed outstanding reserves of resilience and fight to stand up to the challenge posed by Chelsea.
And even when Mason Mount’s strike broke the Blues’ resistance, Everton summoned a near immediate response when Branthwaite netted to secure a crucial point.
“It was incredible [to get that result], considering what we were up against,” added Gordon. “I think we had 10 senior players out.
“A team coming to Chelsea with 10 players out, they will be real underdogs. We stuck together, we dug in and got a result, so we’re buzzing.
“I actually felt confident about the game, because I like being the underdog. We didn’t have any pressure on us.
“I thought we could play with a bit of freedom – we played together, showed a lot of character and got a result at the champions of Europe.
“It shows a lot about us as a team. We’ve had tough times and we’ve been underperforming. Performances like that can go a long way for the morale of the team and for the fans.”
Everton’s collective display was typified by Gordon’s contribution. The youngster recovered possession four times for his team, as well as embarking on three successful dribbles. Gordon also won two tackles and made three clearances.
Gordon’s competitive spirit, meanwhile, was highlighted when he stood toe-to-toe with hulking Chelsea full-back Reece James following a disagreement following a free-kick decision.
“I’m a Scouser, I’m not going to back down to anyone,” Gordon said. “That’s just my nature.”
On his defensive efforts, he added: “Working off the ball is one of the basics of football.
“Especially at Everton, that’s what the Club and the fans demand as a bare minimum. Every time I play, I can guarantee, I’ll try my very best. I might not always have a worldie game, but I’ll always try my very best.”
Gordon, who has made 14 Premier League appearances this term, also highlighted manager Benitez’s influence on the development of his all-round game.
“The manager is relentless in his coaching,” he said.
“Even when I feel like I’m getting better and consistently improving, he doesn’t let me have a day off [from working hard] – so I train every day with the same mentality because it keeps me on my toes.”
The postponement of Sunday’s match against Leicester City due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Foxes’ squad means Everton’s next game is away at Burnley on Boxing Day.
The Turf Moor contest is followed by successive Goodison Park clashes with Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion.
“I feel like this result against Chelsea could push us on," Gordon said.
“We had a lot of players out and we dug in with some young players in the side, who were unbelievable.
“That can give us a massive boost going into the next games."
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