REPORT | EVERTON 3-0 LEEDS UNITED
Everton stormed to an important 3-0 win over Leeds United which earned Frank Lampard his first league victory as manager.
First half goals from defenders Seamus Coleman and Michael Keane gave the Toffees the advantage at half-time before Anthony Gordon got a touch on a Richarlison shot to seal the three points.
A vociferous Goodison Park undoubtedly helped the Blues back to their feet after a near disastrous defeat at St. James’s Park earlier in the week.
From the first whistle, the Everton players relentlessly pressed their opponents with a combination of their intensity and the tumultuous atmosphere forcing errors from the Leeds players.
Having already created several chances, Frank Lampard’s side took the lead on ten minutes after a well-worked move involving Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Gordon and home debutant Donny van de Beek was eventually finished off by a close-range header from skipper Coleman.
The hosts did not let up having got in front, although they did survive a scare when a speculative 25-yard effort from Rodrigo rattled the bar of Jordan Pickford’s goal.
But they bounced back on 23 minutes when Richarlison’s closing down won a corner and Gordon’s accurate delivery was thumped home by the head of Keane.
It was the first time all season in the league that the Blues had scored twice in the first half and the atmosphere could not have been more ecstatic.
Finally, with 12 minutes remaining, a shot from the edge of the area from Richarlison flicked off the heel of Gordon, whose performance had warranted a goal, and rounded off a vital win for Everton.
It was a day full of positives with Goodison back in full voice to see the Toffees win only their second league match since September.
Jonjoe Kenny shone as a makeshift left-back while there’s almost no argument that Alex Iwobi did not put in his best 90 minutes since arriving from Arsenal in summer 2019.
Van de Beek won match of the match in his first start for the club after an imperious performance and Calvert-Lewin showed signs of his former self, being a constant nuisance in the air to the Leeds defenders.
The day was almost capped off in the final minutes when Dele delivered an outstanding, pinpoint pass that found fellow substitute Salomon Rondon, but the Venezuelan’s fierce volley was somehow parried over the bar by goalkeeper Illan Meslier.
Nevertheless, it was a clear indication of what the January arrival from Tottenham has in his locker.
Lampard had orchestrated a commanding display and won a crucial three points against a fellow struggler, and this will have undoubtedly made supporters more confident that the side will have enough to beat the drop this season.
If the atmosphere at Goodison remains at that volume for the rest of the season, it’s hard to imagine any side will look forward to making the trip there.