Premier League • England

Lampard makes Everton relegation battle admission after denying self-inflicted cause of last-gasp Wolves winner

Frank Lampard looking down

Frank Lampard was left feeling frustrated by Everton’s defeat to Wolves, after which he refused to deny they are in a relegation battle.

There was late drama upon Everton’s return to Premier League action after the World Cup break. Having initially gone 1-0 up against Wolves via Yerry Mina in the seventh minute, Everton were pegged back by Daniel Podence a quarter of an hour later.

Stunningly, Wolves then went on to win the game when Rayan Ait-Nouri scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the end of the game to deprive Everton of any points and give Julen Lopetegui a win from his first league match in charge.

Everton had enjoyed more possession than their opponents, as well as having more shots. But despite their own late push, they came away from the game – their last at Goodison Park in 2022 – empty handed.

As a result, Wolves have moved off the bottom of the table and are now just one point behind 17th-placed Everton. If Nottingham Forest can beat Manchester United on Tuesday, Lampard’s side would drop into the relegation zone.

Asked by Amazon Prime Video Sport what Everton need to do to avoid another relegation battle after finishing 16th last season, Lampard replied: “We’re in one.

“It is what it is. This is the Premier League, we’ve got to fight, be together, and that’s just a reality of where we’re at.”

Lampard: Everton were ‘desperately unlucky’

Elaborating on the game itself for Match of the Day, Lampard denied that the goal they conceded late on was because of them going for it too much at the other end.

He said: “It was a frustrating end on many fronts.

“I don’t think we were pushing too hard, I just think it was one of those goals that can happen in transition and it fell in their favour. It’s just football.”

According to the former Chelsea midfielder, Everton played better than the result they ended up getting.

He added: “We have to focus on ourselves. We were desperately unlucky and the performance didn’t warrant the result.

“Wolves had something that went their way today in terms of the game and we have to keep working for the day it goes our way.”

Everton will be trying to get back on track when they face the tough task of visiting champions Manchester City on New Year’s Eve.

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