One man endeared himself to his fellow Everton supporters by hiding the ball from Chelsea’s Reece James during stoppage-time on Sunday.
Relegation-threatened Everton sealed a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Thomas Tuchel’s side at Goodison Park to boost their survival hopes.
Richarlison scored the only goal of the game early in the second half to leave the Toffees two points from safety in 18th place.
Everton have a game in hand over Burnley and Leeds United, who both have two points more than Frank Lampard’s side.
Richarlison may have scored the all-important winning goal, while goalkeeper Jordan Pickford produced a serious contender for the best save of the 2021-22 Premier League campaign, but one fan also played his part in Everton’s unexpected victory.
Everton fan hides ball from Chelsea’s Reece James
As the clock ticked down to full-time, the supporter got the ball and managed to hide it from James, who wanted it back to resume play.
With James looking in the opposite direction, the fan quickly hid the ball up his jumper before trying his best – but failing – to look innocent.
When James walked away, the man then took the ball out his jumper and stuck it behind the advertising hoardings.
Watch the footage here:
Where's the ball gone?! 🤷♂️— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 1, 2022
This Everton fan was doing everything in his powers to run down the clock in stoppage time ⏱ pic.twitter.com/Cx8QTMilUU
Everton needed their passionate home fans to play the role of the 12th man today and they certainly didn’t disappoint.
In his post-match interview on Sky Sports, Lampard said “Fans were the man of the match today”.
🗣 “Fans were the man of the match today.”— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 1, 2022
Frank Lampard has praised the Everton support during their 1-0 win over Chelsea today. pic.twitter.com/3JQ6v7vaRX
Let’s check out some of the best reaction to that one supporter’s stoppage-time antics:
If Everton manage to survive relegation to the Championship this month, Lampard may owe that quick-thinking fan a drink!
The Toffees end their season with matches against Leicester City (A), Watford (A), Brentford (H), Crystal Palace (H) and finally Arsenal (A).