With an unbroken run in England’s top flight stretching back to 1954, Everton aren’t about to give up their status among the elite without a fight.
Their critical 1-0 win over Chelsea was a full-blooded football spectacle, with fireworks and smoke bombs playing cameo roles.
But aside from Richarlison’s winner, the leading star was Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford thanks to two second-half saves worthy of their own script.
When England’s number one somehow denied Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger in quick succession, Goodison Park rose in unison to cheer his efforts with a noise almost as loud as a goal.
That was recognition of what was at stake, by a crowd who played a massive part in a blood-and-thunder victory, which closed the gap on Leeds and Burnley to two points.
Everton started the day five points from safety as they attempted to maintain their 68-year stay in the top-flight.
Some pundits have debated whether they would be the biggest club to go down from the Premier League, given their history.
And, with Frank Lampard’s side staring relegation in the face, it was apt that Pickford used his to deny Rudiger with a point-blank save.
“Pickford’s saves have kept Everton’s dreams alive,” former Everton midfielder Leon Osman said.
“That Azpilicueta save was incredible. Pickford has been criticised in the past because he has a tendency to do something rash.”
“But not today. It was arguably his best-ever game for Everton in Everton’s most important game of the season.”
“If Everton had lost today you would have felt they were out of the Premier League and the fans knew how important this was.”