Everton manager Frank Lampard rued an early red card in his side’s see-saw 3-2 loss to Brentford at Goodison Park on Sunday, but said their Premier League survival hopes remain in their own hands.
Everton took an early lead and looked in complete control of the game until a red card for 19-year-old centre back Jarrad Branthwaite on 18 minutes turned the fixture in the favour of the visitors.
Lampard felt his side should have had a penalty in the passage of play ahead of the sending off when Richarlison had his shirt pulled in the Brentford box, but visitors expertly cashed in on their numerical advantage.
“It’s pretty simple. We had control of the game. We looked like we would score more goals and win the game. The red card changes everything,” Lampard told BBC Sport.
“The first 20 minutes felt comfortable. The crowd were flying. No complaints about the players. (But) you can’t play with 10-men for 70 minutes in the Premier League and expect much more.
“Maybe Richarlison should go down more easily with the shirt pull but no complaints about the red card, it is a mistake by Jarrad.”
Everton are two points above Burnley in the third relegation position with both teams having two fixtures remaining.
Lampard’s side are also one point ahead of Leeds United, whose last game of the campaign is at Brentford, where they must win to stand a chance of leapfrogging the Merseyside club given their vastly inferior goal-difference.
Next up for Everton is a home game against Crystal Palace on Thursday, before they visit Arsenal on Sunday.
“Hopefully Michael Keane, who was sick overnight, comes back. We have three centre-halves out and it’s very hard to sustain results like that.
“We will fight until the end no matter what bodies we have left. We just have to rest a bit, stay positive, it’s in our hands and we’ll go again.”