Everton vs Leeds: The Toffees snapped their six-game winless skid in resounding fashion, as they hammered the hapless Whites 3-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday.
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Seamus Coleman and Michael Keane scored scrappy goals in the first half and Richarlison (with a little unknowing help from teammate Anthony Gordon) made it 3-0 late in the second half. Saturday represented a first Premier League victory for new manager Frank Lampard, and could very well be looked back upon as a turning point in an otherwise wasted season.
Everton (22 points) remain 16th in the Premier League table, but the gap to the relegation zone is now five points. Leeds (23 points) are just above them in 15th.
Everton vs Leeds final score, stats, results
Final score: Everton 3, Leeds 0
Goal scorers: Everton (Coleman 10′, Keane 23′, Gordon 78′), Leeds (None)
Shots: Everton 21, Leeds 7
Shots on target: Everton 10, Leeds 0
Possession: Everton 42%, Leeds 58%
3 things we learned – Everton vs Leeds
1. A new lease on life: It was as if someone had finally entered the Everton locker room and informed the team, “You actually can be relegated, it will happen if you’re in the bottom-three at season’s end,” and the players, mystified as they were, knew what was required of them. The energy on display from Everton in the opening 15 minutes was, in a word, jarring. Jarring for the way that apathy and indifference ruled their season for the first 21 games, when performances like the one on Saturday were somewhere within them. It’s only the first step of dozens and dozens still ahead, but a measure of credit must go to Lampard, who needed less than two weeks to galvanize the squad and get the raucous Everton fans back onside. Goodison was as raucous as (and long before) the Toffees were dominant.
2. More like Van de Back: With the necessary caveat that Saturday’s game was indeed just one game, Donny van de Beek looked like a player that Manchester United would have spent $65 million to sign — a player capable of running the midfield for a club much bigger than Everton. With all due respect to Everton, he wouldn’t be at a club of Everton’s size if things hadn’t gone tragically wrong (thus far) at Old Trafford. Van de Beek was tidy in possession, carrying the ball forward in transition and often the one in the right spot to sweep up second balls — typically a strength for Leeds, but on Saturday the ball seemed to find a blue shirt every time.
3. Another no-show for Leeds: They’ll probably be fine in terms of the relegation battle, because Burnley, Watford and Norwich have been objectively terrible for much of the season and that doesn’t look like changing overnight, but that’s the only good thing that can be said for Leeds after 23 games. The foundation that was laid last season has been ripped up and smashed to pieces. The likelihood of Marcelo Bielsa between now and next August continues to rise with each sorry showing like Saturday’s, and that’s when true uncertainty begins — are they a perennial top-half side, or an annual relegation scrapper? A year ago, that question would have sounded preposterous.
Man of the Match: Richarlison – It was rather strange when Barcelona tried to sign the Brazilian for $100 million-plus, but he’s been in fine form of late with three goals and an assist (which was effectively his goal on Saturday) in his last six Premier League appearances.