Leeds’ Luis Sinisterra keeps Everton and Frank Lampard waiting for win

It’s not the first time Anthony Gordon has demonstrated precisely why Frank Lampard is so desperate to keep him at Everton.

Gordon’s goal was not quite enough to hand Lampard’s side a first Premier League victory of the season. But a much-coveted Chelsea winger was key in securing a hard-earned point on an exhilarating and exciting night where his teammates had to be wise to contain a Leeds side much improved by Jesse Marsch this season.

With Luis Sinisterra scoring an eye-catching equalizer and Jack Harrison’s second-half wing play never allowing Everton to relax, a fierce but fragile Leeds bristled with threat while retaining a decided vulnerability to counterattacks.

“I thought it was less entertaining than it could have been because Everton played to slow play,” said Marsch who did not entirely dismiss suggestions that Dan James could join Tottenham on Thursday night. “But in general I think it was a step forward for us. I like our team.

Lampard was unrepentant. “It was always going to be a scrap; we had to stand up to Leeds,” he said before stressing that Gordon “is a top player – and he is our player. It’s too late to sell it now.

Lampard’s quest for victory led to a pre-match switch from a 3-4-3 formation to a 4-3-3 with three wingers up front in Gordon, Dwight McNeil and Demarai Grey.

The visitors had hoped to include Neal Maupay but Lampard’s new striker, who arrived £15m from Brighton last Friday, was unavailable as the Premier League failed to process the necessary paperwork to approve his signing on time. Bank Holiday Monday was cited as the reason, but Everton were unimpressed. “Who has more holidays? asked Lampard.

No matter; it took 17 minutes for Gordon to remind Elland Road that wingers can score too. The 21-year-old’s second goal in two games was a very good one, involving a beautifully weighted, assured low shot from under Illan Meslier after Gordon entered the box to meet Alex Iwobi’s fine pass with the kind of blind race. Lampard has built his career.

Anthony Gordon's fine finish puts Everton ahead
Anthony Gordon’s fine finish gives Everton the lead. Photo: Tony McArdle/Everton FC/Getty Images

Gordon’s price can only have increased following a goal he initiated from the left. Although Sinisterra – the Colombia international and former Feyenoord winger starting his first league game for Leeds – tried to intercept the ball, his interference simply dropped it for McNeil to play Iwobi.

Diego Llorente won’t mind seeing replays of what happened next. The defender looked well placed to restrict Iwobi’s room for maneuver but, instead, he got his feet into a horrific tangle and looked mortified when Meslier was beaten.

Having benefited from Llorente’s latest wobble, Everton decided the best way to hold on to their lead was to frustrate Leeds and slow the tempo by defending deep and losing time on the street, practiced in particular by Jordan Pickford.

Indeed, the moment Pickford rushed out of his area to contest a loose ball with Rodrigo and the pair’s accidental collision resulted in the latter dislocating a shoulder, Leeds’ early and pressing aggression had gave way to a kind of growing irritation with their guests. . This freed James Tarkowski from the benefit of the doubt when he was treated for a head injury.

Although Brenden Aaronson nearly changed the mood early in the second half, Pickford proved equal with the United States international’s powerful right-footed shot.

The England goalkeeper’s superb full save allowed Patrick Bamford, recently recovered from a groin problem, to start warming up as Elland Road’s decibel level soared and improvement by Nathan Patterson was intriguingly battling with Harrison.

Aaronson has done very well since his £25m move from RB Salzburg, but the £21m Sinisterra seems another smart buy. He underlined his potential by meeting Aaronson’s signature smart ball and, after lighting the ball on his left foot, shooting low past a blind Pickford. Hats off to the excellent Joe Gelhardt – in place of Rodrigo – for a decoy run that put the Everton defense out of position.

As the temperature rose, Gordon and Rasmus Kristensen faced off in a heated altercation, prompting a minor melee that was later reflected in technical zone exchanges.

Eventually things calmed down, the protagonists were warned and, shortly after, Gray was denied an offside strike.

Minutes after seeing the ever hugely influential Gelhardt curve a wide boost, Marsch ruthlessly and bewilderingly replaced his replacement with Bamford. But, although the convalescing striker looks sharp, he has been limited to half chances.

Leeds’ Luis Sinisterra keeps Everton and Frank Lampard waiting for win

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