'I thought I might cry': Lampard close to tears as Everton secure PL status
- Everton's comeback victory against Crystal Palace left Frank Lampard close to tears
- Everton were facing the very real prospect of relegation
- However, a second half comeback in a 3-2 victory secured their PL status
Threatened with relegation in the latter half of the season, Everton sealed their spot in the Premier League in a stunning 3-2 comeback victory over Crystal Palace on Thursday, sending supporters into a frenzy.
The win, which prevented Everton from getting relegated for a third time in their illustrious history, left manager Frank Lampard close to tears.
Speaking to BBC Sport after the match, the 43-year-old said, "It is one of the greatest moments of my footballing life and career."
"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," Lampard explained.
Indeed, after an illustrious career as a player at Chelsea, Lampard had a perhaps troubled spell as a manager for the Blues, but none of those experiences prepared him for the relegation battle that he faced after joining Everton.
"You need to dig in. You lose games, you fight to do something and then you lose another game. This club is special and I am proud to be manager of Everton on this night," an ecstatic Lampard continued.
"I thought I might cry [at full-time], I thought I might jump out of my body. Nobody can question the celebrations at the end. It is easy to say 'but you haven't won anything'. Come and work at this club for a few months and see the difficulties and what it means to people to stay in this league," the 43-year-old concluded, thanking all Evertonians, player and fan alike, for their support.
Although the night ended in celebration for the Merseyside club, it had begun in a very disheartening fashion.
Despite being at home, Everton found themselves 2-0 down against Palace by the 34th minute, courtesy of goals by Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew.
However, an inspired fightback for a Premier League spot saw Lampard's men score thrice in the space of 30 minutes in the second half to clinch the match 3-2. While Michael Keane opened the scoring for Everton in the 54th minute, 75th and 85th minute goals by Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin respectively secured their spot in top-flight English football.