Everton’s 3-0 victory over Leeds United was the best display the fans have seen in the last five years, when the Toffees thrashed Manchester City 4-0 back in January 2017
- Everton defeated Leeds United 3-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon
- Boss Frank Lampard claimed his first Premier League victory with his new club
- The Toffees ended a run of six league games without a victory following the win
Frank Lampard had finished shaking hands with players and officials when he turned and marched purposefully towards the Gwladys Street Stand.
This had been the best display Everton’s fans had seen at Goodison Park since Manchester City were skewered 4-0 in January 2017, one filled with goals, hard running and commitment, and Lampard was determined to tap into the energy that was surging around the stadium.
So he clapped his hands and shook his right fist in delight as he got closer to the 18-yard line then repeated the action as he walked across the penalty area. The gesture was a spark for those behind the goal, who roared with delight and gave him their noisy approval.
A rampant Everton secured a 3-0 win at home against Leeds United on Saturday afternoon
Watching it all unfold, it was impossible not to see a bond forming. Not since the days of David Moyes has a manager got such a reaction from Evertonians and how they have missed having that rapport. Yes, it is early days but the significance of this moment should not be underestimated.
The locals have bought into Lampard in a way they never did with Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva, Rafa Benitez and even Carlo Ancelotti.
The tone was sent as Everton tore into Leeds from the first minute, when young Anthony Gordon won a tackle.
It meant a fixture that had been causing great anxiety was transformed into a day to savour and it showed that — on this evidence — there is no chance of Everton being relegated if this is what the future looks like under Lampard.
Toffees midfielder Anthony Gordon, 20, was a standout performer for his side on the day
True, Leeds were abject and this joyless offering — two strikes from Rodrigo that hit the bar aside — had Marcelo Bielsa rocking on his haunches in dismay. He tried to change things with a shock half-time substitution of Raphinha but they were never given a hope of settling by the relentless pressing of those in blue.
‘I’ve said many times that we are at our best when we are aggressive and on the front foot,’ Gordon, Everton’s shining light, explained. ‘That is what the fans respond to and that is when we play our best football.
‘I know what Goodison is like and I know that if I am aggressive early, the fans will get right behind us. We started positively and kept it up.
‘A great day with an incredible atmosphere — it was definitely what we needed and deserved. I’m buzzing.’
Manager Frank Lampard was delighted with the performance of his players after the victory
Gordon is only 20 but he has been excellent this season, a boyhood Blue who has done all he can to help to change the situation. He was given a standing ovation when he was substituted late on, and Lampard joined in the applause on the sidelines.
‘I didn’t notice that, I was too busy focusing on everything else,’ said Gordon. ‘I feel the trust he has got in me. He is an unbelievable manager and he has surprised me, really, with how good he is tactically.
‘There is a perception that tactics come from foreign managers and them being geniuses but we need to start giving recognition to the young English managers, such as the gaffer. He is a tactical genius and I am thriving off that. I’m learning from him every day.’
The victory on Saturday was Lampard’s first as Everton manager in the Premier League
That education has involved daily discussions with Lampard and Gordon is determined to squeeze out every last piece of information to accelerate his development.
‘I knew exactly how good a player he was — he is one of the best midfielders the Premier League has ever seen,’ said Gordon. ‘I was dying to work with him. Results and performances like this show what we can do. Let’s see how we can progress from here.’