Frank Lampard said Neal Maupay’s Everton winner against West Ham showed exactly what the Toffees have been missing – a clinical finisher.
The Frenchman netted the only goal of Sunday’s Premier League clash against the Hammers. In what was only his second Toffees appearance, he secured his new club’s first win of the Premier League season.
Maupay could have scored against Liverpool in the recent Merseyside derby but could not convert a golden chance.
Nevertheless, the 26-year-old remained determined and his winner also extended Everton’s unbeaten Premier League run to five matches.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Everton boss Lampard admitted relief that Maupay is delivering the goods. Indeed, the Merseyside club lost Richarlison in the summer amid Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury.
“We bought Neal in for that reason, he’s proven,” Lampard said. “There’ve been times this season where, with that clinical finishing, we’d have got more points.
“That’s why he’s a striker of that level, the first touch and how quickly he gets his shot away is why the goalkeeper doesn’t sniff it.
“When you don’t have goalscorers in your team you have to find different ways. We weren’t able to do that earlier in the season, but now it gives us a different dimension.”
Lampard added that “this team has to be a reflection of the fans”, with the hard work, grit and determination to win on Sunday impressing the Goodison Park faithful.
“No-one’s getting carried away, but there’s a decent feeling around the place,” the manager added.
Pundit lauds Lampard, Everton progress
Everton’s 1-0 win over West Ham came after the 0-0 draw with Liverpool and three 1-1 draws.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink claimed the first win of the season was proof that the Toffees are slowly building a good project.
“They were already going in the right direction. They didn’t get the wins in the last four matches, but they were playing well and were more solid,” the former Chelsea and Leeds United man told Sky Sports.
“So to get the win at home today before the international break is massive. He is doing something step by step really well, he’s still so far from where he wants to be, I think.
“But, it’s going in the right direction. There will be days when it’s not going well, but we can see here and they in the stadium what he’s trying to see. That’s the most important thing.”
Toffees need to continue momentum
For various reasons, Everton would both want the international break to come – but would also want to carry on.
Indeed, they will have wanted the opportunity to quickly add to their momentum by playing Southampton away from home sooner than October 1.
On the flipside, though, Everton have time to properly reflect on what went well against West Ham.
And they can cement those patterns of play in extra training sessions ahead of their return to action.
Overall, though, five results unbeaten is a good sign of progress. A concern, though, will be the fact that Everton have taken the lead in some of those draws, only to be pegged back.
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