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‘Crazy scenes’: Iwobi, Lampard ecstatic as Everton escape relegation, Vieira kicks fan

ALEX Iwobi and Frank Lampard were over the moon last night after helping Everton avoid what would have been an embarrassing relegation from the Premier League.

Super Eagles forward Iwobi has seen a resurgence in his form in recent weeks and played all 90 minutes last night at Goodison Park when Everton came from behind to beat Palace 3-2 to guarantee safety.

Palace took a 2-0 lead going into the break, with goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Ghana striker Jordan Ayew, and it looked like Everton were doomed to taking the survival battle into the final day of the season.

However, Michael Keane, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck in the second half to turn it around dramatically and earn Everton’s biggest win of the season.

With victory, the Toffees moved four points clear of the relegation zone with only one round of games left in the season.

“Crazy scenes tonight!” Iwobi tweeted moments after the game.

And it was indeed ‘crazy’, with scores of Everton fans spilling onto the pitch to celebrate Calvert-Lewin’s 85th minute goal and holding the game up as the stewards dispersed them.

After the final whistle, even more fans invaded the pitch and there were ugly scenes, including one of them getting kicked by Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira, who was being verbally abused and taunted while making his way towards the tunnel.

Footage showed former France and Arsenal midfielder Vieira lashing out at the abusive Everton fan after initially holding back.

Lampard, who won the Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles with Chelsea as a player, described the night as ‘special’.

“It is one of the greatest moments of my footballing life and career,” he said during his post-match interview.

“I have been very fortunate to have amazing times, especially at Chelsea as a player and a coach. But when you feel the feelings and desperation of what relegation brings to the table, it is different. You need to dig in.

“What we have just seen, I know its Premier League safety, not Champions League, what it means to this club,” Lampard added.

“Anyone on the outside would say we were dead and buried at half-time but the character of this cub dragged us through. The spirit was immense, I am overwhelmed. A huge night for Everton and now we want to take that forward.

“Sometimes as a manager you have to fake it and not show your feelings. There was a small change, Dele came on and was amazing. My point was it’s the emotions and character, can you energize the crowd?

“Once that goal went in for us something felt special about the night. We have created a special night in Everton’s history.

“We needed the fans tonight. They dragged the players but they have been doing it for a long time. The fans have dragged us through, it is extraordinary what they have done. They have suffered this year because they want success.

“Those moments at the end were priceless. I came in three and half months ago and the support I have had from everyone at the club has been huge and that is within Everton. It doesn’t get the media, the interesting story is we might get relegated not that Everton has a heart and a soul. Tonight we showed we have a heart and a soul and are staying in the Premier League.”

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