Last minute instructions
The midfield battle was always going to be a key factor for Everton against Leeds United – and it was very promising to see them win that particular fight comfortably.
Donny van de Beek was handed his full debut and slotted in alongside Allan with the pair looking fantastic both in and out of possession throughout the 90 minutes.
They were dogged, energetic, determined and powerful when winning the ball back – and they were creative, consistent and accurate with it at their own feet.
Perhaps some late instructions from Frank Lampard had something to do with that.
The manager has been seen taking a very hands-on approach to the warm-up sessions so far in his Goodison Park tenure – and Saturday afternoon was no different.
VERDICT: Everton becomes horrible paradise once again as half time moment shows Frank Lampard effect
ANALYSIS: Frank Lampard unleashes £28m secret weapon as midfield absence speaks volumes
Lampard could be seen pulling both Allan and Van de Beek in for some individual private conversations as they were taking part in drills before kick-off – seemingly giving them some late tips ahead of the match.
They may well have paid off!
Holgate almost takes a hit
The good feeling that almost instantly washed over the stadium throughout the first half was great to see.
Everton came out of the blocks firing with purpose and they were fully deserving of their two-goal lead when it came.
Meanwhile, at the back, the only thing the defense had to really worry about were two long-range efforts from Rodrigo – both of which crashed back off the crossbar.
For Mason Holgate, though, he nearly had to worry about something else!
As a break in play emerged in the match, with Jordan Pickford waiting to take a free kick inside his own box, the centre-back was turned toward his goalkeeper to talk about something.
The ball was on the half-way line, but was booted back toward where the free kick was set to be taken… right where Holgate happened to be standing.
He got a shock when he turned around only to almost be hit in the face by the ball, shortly after being kicked in the face by an acrobatic attempt from Luke Ayling.
Hey was in the wars.
*RATE THE EVERTON PLAYERS FOR THE WIN OVER LEEDS:
Shot, shot, shot
This was undoubtedly an exciting attacking performance from Everton and the stats certainly backed that up.
On too many occasions this term Blues fans have been left uninspired by their side and the way they have set up, often sitting too deep and allowing teams to attack them.
That was far from the case on Saturday, though.
Everton’s 10 shots on target was the most they had managed in any Premier League game this season, with their figure of seven in the first half managing to beat their totals from 20 of their 21 previous matches in the competition.
In fact, the impressive numbers go even further.
Sky Sports statistician Matt Cheetham revealed on Twitter: “That’s the first time Everton have recorded 20+ shots and 10+ shots on target in a PL game since 2013 – some 314 games ago.”
Picking out individual performances from Saturday’s win is tricky, because everyone in an Everton shirt performed at a very high level throughout the 90 minutes.
However, many did pick up on the display of Alex Iwobi in particular.
The former Arsenal man hasn’t had the best of times since his move to Goodison Park, but the victory over Leeds went right to the top as one of his best performances for the club.
Fans showed him appreciation throughout the game with the Gwladys Street loudly singing his name, while both Seamus Coleman and Lampard made points of doing the same after the full-time whistle.
In a video widely shared around social media, Coleman can be seen saying, ‘good for you, lad’, in a quiet conversation with his team-mate on the pitch after full-time.
Meanwhile, Lampard saved a huge embrace for Iwobi, who was beaming with joy after what was a brilliant performance both individually and collectively as a team.
The Blues boss later spoke about wanting the winger to have confidence in his own abilities, and fingers crossed moments like these can help achieve that.
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Cold Van de Beek
Another player who drew a lot of plaudits for his display was, of course, Van de Beek.
The on-loan Manchester United midfielder was making his first Everton start against Leeds after impressing from the bench against Newcastle United, and he wasted no time in showing why Lampard was so keen to bring him to Goodison.
After the game the Dutch international was at the center of the celebrations and the appreciation from fans, but not before he needed a bit of help from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Van de Beek swapped his shirt with one of the Leeds players shortly after the full-time whistle, but quickly realized that he’d still be out on the pitch topless in some chilly conditions for a few minutes.
Not wanting to put on the shirt of an opponent, the midfielder quickly asked Calvert-Lewin if he would pass him the coat he was wearing – which the striker duly obliged with.
Later on, the England international would give his shirt into the crowd and have to go topless himself, but he didn’t seem to feel the cold all that much.