Lampard Wants 'Massive' Everton Response

Frank Lampard says Everton must summon another “massive effort” when Crystal Palace visit Goodison Park for a critical Premier League fixture on Thursday.

Everton host Palace with the Club’s top-flight status for next season still in the balance following defeat by Brentford on Sunday.

Lampard’s team remain in a position to author their own fate, however, with two more points required to all but guarantee survival, thanks to a far superior goal difference to Leeds United, one position back in 17th.

Everton seemed set to put the survival fight to bed when a lightening start against Brentford was rewarded with a goal for Dominic Calvert-Lewin after 10 minutes.

The contest flipped entirely – and, it would transpire, decisively – around the 18-minute mark, when Richarlison was refused a penalty despite a shirt pull from Kristoffer Ajer.

In the next act, Jarrad Branthwaite impeded an escaping Ivan Toney, the Everton defender sent off and leaving the hosts to play more than three quarters of the game with 10 men.

And Brentford ultimately made their man advantage count, scoring twice after half-time to consign Everton to a first home defeat in five matches.

“We were brilliant for the period of 11v11 and it felt like more goals would come, we should have scored more against a really good side,” said Lampard.

“It is really hard to say anything [critical] to the players after that – playing 70 minutes in the Premier League with one man down is a really big ask.

Frank Lampard
I can’t say that [anything was wrong], everyone needs to understand that, then rest and go again, with the same desire – and with 11 men.

“Brentford are a quality team and can move the ball and the effort from the players was amazing.

“It is hard for the players to react quickly, there is time for a day off tomorrow, to come away from it – because the effort was massive and they will need another massive effort on Thursday.

“They are giving everything and have been for long time... I don’t think it will be hard for them to respond, it is what they have done for the last period.

“Everyone understands the game today, if we’d been 11v11 and gone 1-0 up and lost 3-2, you could ask me why it went wrong, tactically and individually.

“I can’t say that [anything was wrong], everyone needs to understand that, then rest and go again, with the same desire – and with 11 men.”

The two-point margin separating Everton and 18th-placed Burnley remains unchanged after the Lancashire side lost 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur earlier on Sunday.

Leeds struck late to rescue a point at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, but manager Jesse March’s team are one point and one place behind Everton, with one game fewer to play.

The scenario for Everton, then, is uncomplicated. Beat Palace and a 69th straight season of top-flight football is guaranteed. Even a draw with the South London team would position Everton firmly in the box seat going into the final day, with Leeds knowing only victory at Brentford would give them a chance of usurping Lampard’s side in the table.

There was nevertheless frustration for Lampard and his players, and the Club’s supporters – who were again magnificent, staging a spine-tingling coach reception and providing unyielding back from beginning to end – over the manner in which a chance to secure survival disappeared.

Specifically, Everton felt very hard done by over the non-penalty award for Richarlison. Had Michael Oliver, the referee, pointed to the spot, the VAR would not have overturned the decision, according to the Premier League.

“Referees and VARs have one of the toughest jobs, but the reality is we have been on the bad end of a lot of decisions this season,” said Lampard, who also saw striker Salomon Rondon sent off for a mistimed tackle four minutes after his 84th-minute introduction.

“That is hard – I have to represent the Club and the fans who come here, and those small margins can affect our position.

“A penalty for the shirt pull means maybe 2-0 and 11 men and, I think, we all know how that game goes [in those circumstances].

“I am not going to tell anyone to feel any different from how we feel.

“Down is normal, we wanted to win and stay in the league – everybody saw the team’s intent from first minute until last.

“The Club, the fans and the players gave everything, and we have to give everything again on Thursday.”

Crystal Palace will come to L4 following four unbeaten games and aiming for the three points that would lift them into the Premier League’s top half.

“You respect a team of great quality in Palace,” added Lampard. They don’t have much to play for, certainly not like us, and they can perform even better [given freedom of pressure], but you have to analyse them as they are.

“If we focus and approach the game as we did today, we will give ourselves a very good chance.”