The Toffees began the day staring down the barrel after Burnley’s win at Watford had plunged Lampard’s ailing side even further into the relegation mire.
Despite the perilous nature of their situation, Everton produced a battling display and were well worth the lead they ground out for themselves when, early in the second period, Richarlison pounced on an error from Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
Thereafter, Everton required the heroics of their goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, to preserve their slender advantage and when, after seven minutes of agonising injury time was complete, Lampard found it hard to contain his jubilation.
‘I have so much respect for Chelsea and the fans,’ said Lampard afterwards. ‘So I hope they understand me getting excited with the win.
‘We needed it today, more than them. I have to be honest. For me, it was all about Everton today. Three points are so critical to us, when you see what it means to our fans’ lives.’
On the torturous wait for the final whistle and the combative qualities exhibited by his side, Lampard added: ‘Seven minutes added on was a bit of a surprise!
‘They are always a team that will put you under pressure late on. We did brilliantly. The team, stadium, the fans were man of the match today. From the drive in to the support, which we need. Thanks to them.
‘The fans are in the middle of this. I am pleased the players could see on the way in what it means to the fans. They know that and understand it. They got behind us, were nicely aggressive, this place has to be a hard place to come. Results have been good here at Goodison before I came, we have to maintain that.
‘We have to fight for points, we are in the relegation zone and we have to go with that same spirit every game.
‘They [the players] have to show they care. I like that. They don’t have to go over the line but have to show they care, the fans want to see that. I prodded them a bit before the game because the situation is clear. We need to perform with that level in all our remaining games. That needs to keep coming in and if it doesn’t we have to sort it out.’
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