Everton defeated Crystal Palace 3-2 to secure their Premier League membership for another season, leaving manager Frank Lampard in tears.
's dramatic 3-2 win overCrystal Palace
, in which they came back from being down two goals to win the Premier League title, "one of the best moments of my footballing life."
Everton went into Thursday's game at
knowing that a win would give them a 69th straight season of English top-flight football. Only Arsenal (with 97 seasons to go) can beat that record, but Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew scored before halftime to put Everton behind.
But for the first time in Everton's Premier League history, on their 75th try, they came back from being down two goals at halftime to win the game. Michael Keane,Richarlison
, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the goals that helped them do this. Lampard's team can no longer be caught by Leeds United or Burnley for the last relegation spot. On Sunday, they will play away at
, who are trying to get into the top four.
Even though Lampard won more major trophies as a player for
, Everton manager David Moyes says the win over Crystal Palace was the best moment of his career. He told BBC Sport, "It is one of the best things that has ever happened to me in football." "I've been very lucky to have great times, especially as a player and coach at Chelsea.
"But when you feel the sadness and hopelessness that relegation brings, it's a different story. You need to dig in. You lose games, fight to get something done, and then lose more games. People think you should fly up the table, but that's not how it works.
"Coming in here three and a half months ago with my amazing staff, positive people who work so hard, and trying to change things, get a reaction from the players and the fans, and feel unity when it looked like it was split. This club is unique, and I'm proud to be Everton's manager tonight."
Everton has now gotten 15 points back from being behind in the Premier League this season. Only Liverpool (17) has gotten more points back from being behind, and 38% of Everton's points in 2021-22 have come from games where they were behind.
Lampard, who took over for Rafael Benitez at the end of January, celebrated the latest comeback win with Everton fans, his backroom staff, and the club board.
"I thought I might cry at full-time; I thought I might just jump out of my body," he said. "No one can say anything bad about the parties at the end. But you haven't won anything is an easy thing to say. You know what? Come work at this club for a few months and see how hard it is to stay in this league and how much it means to the people who work there.
"See how they played when we were down 2-0 at halftime, playing badly, and scoring a ridiculous second goal. Then see how they fought back. See how happy and excited the fans are on the field. They helped us cross the finish line; they were more than a 12th man. But the players also have a lot to be proud of. An amazing night."
He also said, "I'm speechless, and I have so many thanks to give because so many people have worked so hard for that, to get us to where we are today. That is, the players, fans, board, and my staff. It was a big night for Everton, and now we want to keep going."
Dele Alli, who has been struggling since coming from Tottenham in the January transfer window, made a big difference when he came on at halftime. "When Dele came on, he was great. "On his own, he changed the game," Lampard said. "We had already changed the system, but I wanted to say a few things.
"Changing the game had nothing to do with changing the rules. It was always going to come down to the players, their personalities, and their desire to get the crowd involved and make something happen.
"I don't deserve all the credit. I didn't think of any new ways to use magic. We went straight, but it didn't matter in this situation. We counted on the players, though."
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