Premier League • England

Frank Lampard picks out major Everton improvement from last season; furious at referee mistake

Everton manager Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard admitted Everton ‘would have lost’ the 0-0 draw with Fulham if it took place last season, as the manager also unleashed his fury towards referee John Brooks.

Everton enjoyed a fast start as Demarai Gray stung the palms of Bernd Leno with a powerful shot in the sixth minute. Fulham responded though and Willian called Jordan Pickford into action two minutes later, with the Everton goalkeeper pulling off a fingertip save.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin really should have put Everton ahead in the 19th minute. Gray sent a delightful ball across goal and the striker tried to meet it, only to miss the ball completely.

Five minutes later, Fulham talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic was given a yellow card for a bad challenge on Idrissa Gueye. VAR checked it for a possible red. Ultimately though, the original decision was upheld.

Early in the second half, Willian thought he had won a penalty for Fulham when he seemed to draw contact from Gueye in the box. However, the official didn’t give a spot-kick.

Calvert-Lewin had the ball in the back of the net in the 70th minute, but he had strayed into an offside position in the build up.

The match ended 0-0 and it saw Everton go up to 14 points from 13 games.

During a post-match interview with Sky Sports (via BBC Sport), Lampard said: “It was OK from us, just OK. We had bright periods in the game but not loads. Fulham are in good form and you can feel that in the stadium.

“Every game is a different challenge, we are in a process of keeping working and improving.”

Everton ‘would have lost that game’ last season – Frank Lampard

Lampard then explained why he is seeing signs of improvement from his team. “The good news is that last year we would have lost that game – by a couple of goals,” he added. “Now we have the resilience to block things and get in front of things.”

Lampard then gave an angry response to Mitrovic avoiding a red card for his tackle on Gueye.

“It’s a red card for Aleksandar Mitrovic, a strong challenge above the ankle,” the Englishman said. “It’s a challenge you see red cards given for. We should get that decision.

“I love Mitrovic, I’m not saying there was intent but it’s frustrating. That would change the game. If the referee does his job with consistency it’s a red card. It could have injured Idrissa Gana Gueye.”

Everton man says he works ‘really hard’

In a post-match interview, Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford said: “Mitrovic is a good player and he’s going to work the backline, I had to be there to make some saves and I did that tonight.

“To get a point and a clean sheet away from home is always good, we want to get better but you can never be perfect. I made some good saves after working hard all week.

“I graft really hard and I like putting on performances. The World Cup is around the corner so I’ll keep my head focused.”

Meanwhile, Saturday’s Transfer Gossip claims Man Utd and Chelsea have found out when they can sign a £43m wing-back.