Everton fans’ pre-match efforts emphatically pay off as unlikely lads the heroes in Leeds United victory

Everton defeated Leeds United 3-0 at Goodison Park and were given a huge boost by supporters.

The pre-match rallying cries on social media were in abundance.

The sheer number of fans who called for positivity, backing, flags, banners and, most importantly, a bearpit of an atmosphere was uncountable.

After a meek 3-1 loss at Newcastle United, Evertonians knew their duty at Goodison Park.

Fans give Frank fillip

They were well aware that negativity and tension were not required. Amid potentially being dragged into a relegation battle, supporters instead intended to create a palpable ambience from the outset.

It was going to be needed against another side teetering above the drop zone in Leeds.

Even more so given the swathe of absentees, with key players Yerry Mina, Demarai Gray, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ben Godfrey all injured.

Frank Lampard was well aware of the plans that fans had in store heading into the game.

You can well bet it featured prominently featured in his pre-match team talk.

And Everton’s troops emphatically responded.

With confidence clearly down amid just one Premier League victory in 15 games, the players got the fillip required.

From the first to the final whistle, the Toffees dominated a high-octane, relentless Leeds side and picked up a fully-deserved 3-0 victory.

Everton celebrate after Seamus Coleman’s opening goal against Leeds. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

By the time the half-time whistle went, Everton had sewn up three precious points.

They’d outplayed, outworked and outbattled a Marcelo Bielsa side renowned for all three.

Donny van de Beek was magnificent on his full debut. He ran the show in the engine room.

The Manchester United loanee provided the composure, poise, vision and drive Everton have lacked all season.

It was his piercing run that also engineered Seamus Coleman’s breakthrough in the 10th minute.

Anthony Gordon yet again was excellent. His desire alone will take him far, but he’s got the prowess that dovetails.

Is there a more improved player in the Premier League this season? It’d be tough to find one. He’ll no doubt be claiming he got a nick on Richarlison's rifling shot for the third goal.

The unlikely lads thrive

But this was also a day for the players who’ve had their detractors. The unlikely lads came to the fore.

Alex Iwobi has been much-maligned for much of his Everton career since a £35 million move from Arsenal.

In truth, there were a few grumbles when the teams came out and his name was in the starting line-up.

But after only a few minutes, it proved the right decision from Lampard. Iwobi had arguably his finest game in royal blue. Attacking-wise, he posed plenty of problems and going forward, the Nigeria international had endeavour and spirit.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Frank Lampard, Manager of Everton and Alex Iwobi of Everton celebrate following their side’s victory in the Premier League match between Everton and Leeds United at Goodison Park on February 12, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

It simply needs to be a springboard for Iwobi’s Everton career. Perhaps he’s finally found the right manager who can fulfil his potential.

Jonjoe Kenny is another who’s had his knockers. But filling in at left-back, the homegrown defender scarcely put a foot wrong.

Tasked with marking Leeds talisman Raphinha, Kenny shackled him and offered a threat going forward.

Raphinha was hooked at half-time. Kenny had won the battle.

And a word for Michael Keane, who’s too had his share of flak. His bullet header in the 23rd minute settled matters.

The vociferous atmosphere created by Evertonians resulted in exactly what they hoped for.

Confidence has surely been reinstalled into the dressing room.

Both supporters and players know what’s needed to firstly escape the mire then climb the table.