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Hope for Everton & Frank Lampard after stoppage time Richarlison equaliser v Leicester

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By Martin Graham | 21st Apr 2022

Everton manager Frank Lampard has expressed optimism over the rest of the season following Richarlison’s stoppage-time equaliser against Leicester City.

The Toffees were down by a goal in the fifth minute of the game after Leicester forward Harvey Barnes tapped in a loose ball in the Everton box, caused by Kelechi Iheanacho’s goalbound shot being blocked.

The match became a burden for Everton for the rest of the first half as they could not muster enough to attack the visiting Leicester defence.

They came out better in the second half but it was a story of misplaced passes and wasted chances. Goodison Park came to life in 92md minute when Richarlison, who had already spurned a number of chances, finished off a pass from Salomon Rondon to steal a point for the hosts.

The result now places Everton in 17th, four points clear of Burnley in 18th, who host 13th placed Southampton on Thursday.

Lampard, who has struggled in his second stint as a Premier League manager, chose to focus on the positives from the game, stating that anything can happen as long as his side continue to show the kind of fight they did against the Foxes in their remaining matches of the season.

“A late goal that gets you a draw feels a real positive,” the former Chelsea manager told journalists after the game.

“That is something we want to change. As the chances were coming and going towards the end of the game – Seamus (Coleman) has a good chance, Richy (Richarlison) had a good chance – you worry.”

Lampard backs players, says they do not lack desire

The former Chelsea boss also backed his players while giving an honest assessment of his time at Merseyside so far.

“Something we haven’t been able to do well enough in my time here is draw games when we are either are not playing as well as we should do – I think that was the case in the first half but not the second – and other games recently against West Ham and Burnley where are performances were good and we got nothing,” he said.

“As long as we stay in games and keep fighting in games then anything is possible. It’s a small run but it is the bounce of coming off a good result against Manchester United to get another point on the board.

“It can be an easy thing to throw at the players that they lack spirit or desire and they certainly don’t. We are not in a time for pretty patterns and an idea of our philosophy for the next two or three years, the first phase is can we fight or show character to stay in this league and they showed that tonight.”

Lampard praises Dele Alli impact on match

Richarlison scored his 50th goal for Everton in his 146th appearance for the club, but Lampard praised the impact of substitutes Rondon and Dele Alli.

Lampard especially praised the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, who has yet to start a game since making the switch to Goodison Park in January. However, his 58th-minute introduction saw some changes in Everton’s game.

The Toffees became more cohesive and expressive in attack, which helped to turn the game on Leicester’s head.

Lampard said in his post-match comments that Alli had deserved his chance in the side after being “absolutely spot on” in training over the last two weeks.

“It’s not easy to demand from players that are not playing so much to come in and show your manager you deserve a chance but he’s done that,” Lampard said.

“I was really pleased with [the part he played in the goal] and hopefully that can be a big starting point for him.

“I don’t think the story was ever going to be simple with Dele. We all know the situation when it comes to how the last two or three seasons have looked and that high, high level of player that he reached for a big period of time at Tottenham.

“So I don’t think it was a case of things being simple and sometimes you have to work and fight through things and we’re in that process with him.”

Everton have now gone two games unbeaten for the first time since October. However, they could be back in the bottom three on Sunday as Burnley take on Southampton on Thursday and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the weekend.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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