Everton manager Frank Lampard described Everton’s 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace on Thursday night as ‘one of the greatest moments of his career’.
The Toffees’ hopes of Premier League survival seemed to go up in flames at a packed Goodison Park Stadium after Palace scored twice to lead 2-0 at the break, but a spirited fight in the second half saw the hosts turn the match on its head, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring the winner, five minutes from time.
The win, which sparked huge celebrations, confirmed Everton’s Premier League status for the 2022/23 season with a match to spare.
“It is one of the greatest moments of my footballing life and career,” the Everton manager said. “I have been very fortunate to have amazing times, especially at Chelsea as a player and a coach. But when you feel the feelings and desperation of what relegation brings to the table, it is different. You need to dig in. You lose games, you fight to do something and then you lose another game. People think you should fly up the table and it is never that way.
“Coming in here three and a half months ago with my amazing staff, positive people who work so hard, and trying to affect things and getting a reaction from the players, from the fans and feeling unity when it looked split. This club is special and I am proud to be manager of Everton on this night.
“I am full of thanks tonight; thanks to the fans for taking me on board, to the board for taking me on at a difficult time when we appeared to be going in the wrong direction, and to the players. That was down to the players.”
The match had to be paused after fans stormed the pitch following Calvert-Lewin’s goal, and they stayed behind long after the final whistle celebrating their survival.
The Toffees’ last match of the season will be away at Arsenal, who are chasing a Champions League spot.
Lampard’s outfit have a chance of finishing as high as 15th, above Southampton, if they win at the Emirates.