Richarlison is facing a Football Association investigation after throwing a flare off the pitch at Goodison Park following his crucial 46th-minute winner against Chelsea.
The Everton striker launched a blue flare over the Gwladys Street end after it had been thrown onto the pitch during celebrations for a goal that could prove vital for the team’s bid to avoid relegation. No action was taken against the Brazil international by referee Kevin Friend but the FA will investigate. A written warning could follow. “We will look into the matter but, as far we are concerned, Richarlison was attempting to throw it out of the ground,” said an Everton spokesperson.
Frank Lampard, who did not see the incident, was full of praise for his match-winner and his goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who produced a string of superb saves to deny Chelsea in the second half. “I prodded Richy pre-game because he always gives that sort of effort but it has to be directed in the right way, in terms of energy and output to put people under pressure,” the Everton manager said. “When he gets his chances he has to be clinical. For the level of striker he can be, he has to be clinical and he was today. But not just him, Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon had a lot of leg work to do and they all performed at a massively high level. We never switched off much and, when we did, we had a top class goalkeeper to save us.”
Everton remain third from bottom, two points adrift of Leeds and Burnley, but with a game in hand on both relegation rivals. Lampard added: “My feeling is there is a long way to go. We can control our games but we can’t control Burnley and Leeds.”
Lampard’s team received a tumultuous reception on arrival at the stadium from thousands of fans who lined Goodison Road to await the team bus. Captain Seamus Coleman admitted: “I’ve been here a long time but I’ve never been in this situation before, and I’ve never felt what I felt coming into the stadium today – the genuine passion, grown men’s faces as they sang ‘Everton’. If that doesn’t stir something in you, you might as well hang up the boots. We did that for them.”
Thomas Tuchel, the Chelsea manager, admitted he feared for the team’s Champions League qualification chances following a run of one win in four games. “I said it many weeks ago, I feel never safe and it doesn’t matter if we are in a race for the top one, two, three or four – from the last four games we have four points and that will never be enough,” said Tuchel. “At the moment we don’t get points when we play well and we lose when we don’t. It is a bad mixture.”