Frank Lampard says the outcome of Everton’s Premier League meeting with West Ham United on Sunday didn’t reflect the quality of his team’s performance.
Everton reacted strongly after going one goal behind in the first half and equalised when Mason Holgate cracked in a deflected effort shortly after the restart.
Manager Lampard’s side created openings either side of Holgate’s strike. But it was Jarrod Bowen of West Ham who scored the decisive goal, turning home on the rebound after Jordan Pickford saved from Michail Antonio.
Michael Keane saw red following a second bookable offence with 25 minutes remaining and Everton – who lost Donny van de Beek to injury in the warm-up – couldn’t muster a second leveller.
It is as you were towards the bottom of the Premier League standings, then, with Watford and Burnley both beaten this weekend.
Everton go to Burnley on Wednesday before a first game at Goodison Park since the last-gasp victory over Newcastle United when Manchester United visit next Saturday.
“We deserved more, at 1-1 I fancied us to be the stronger team and push to score the second,” said Lampard.
“There were so many positives, in terms of how we approached the game against a good team.
“We certainly deserved a point.
“Everything is going against us: decisions, moments in games, red cards.
“I can’t fault the players’ character or their play. There were mistakes, maybe, but West Ham made mistakes, too, and it didn’t fall our way.
“The performance was really positive and we have 10 more games to perform like that.
“We kept going and had a couple of half chances and the spirit and resilience of the team was really good.
“What I saw showed the character of the group.
“If our luck turns and we keep on the path we showed today and against Newcastle, I have a really strong belief we will be okay.”
Aaron Creswell scored a 25-yard free-kick to give West Ham the lead 13 minutes before half-time.
The left-back’s strike was sandwiched by opportunities for Richarlison. The Brazilian skipped round Lukasz Fabianski following an Alex Iwobi through ball but was denied a shot by defender Ryan Fredericks.
A Jordan Pickford punt released Richarlison on 40 minutes but the forward’s effort zipped over the bar.
“We work on it [clinical finishing] a lot in training, but you can’t replicate that moment in the game,” said Lampard.
“Every player and every team will miss some chances, you just have to work and stay strong in the thought process – we will have to keep finding opportunities and that turn [in fortune] will come.
“Finishing and goalscoring is the result of talent and work on the training ground.
“The work doesn’t always transfer onto the pitch, it’s not for us at the moment.
“We created the best chances, enough chances to score two or or three goals.
“It’s not easy to take positives when you have no points but we have to take positives from the performance.”
Lampard was forced into a rejig on the cusp of kick-off when Dutchman Van de Beek sustained a thigh issue.
Holgate was drafted in to operate at the base of midfield and produced a proficient performance, featuring a rasping strike that took a diversion off Pablo Fornals on its way into the net.
West Ham responded with Bowen’s goal for a fifth straight home win.
“Mason has played centre-back since I’ve been here and I asked him to go into midfield against Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek, which is a different environment," added Lampard.
“I thought he did it really well and grew into the game. That is the character and personality we need.
“West Ham are a very strong team, a few years ago they were fighting relegation, but they built and stuck together and recruited and the club moved on.
“Everton is a club with a huge history and huge fanbase and we are working to get through this.
“The fans can know myself and the players are giving everything.
“They did that today and if they do that for 10 more games I am very confident.”