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Everton's Pickford praised for world-class saves in win over Chelsea

Everton's Pickford praised for world-class saves in win over Chelsea

Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton v Chelsea - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - May 1, 2022 Everton's Jordan Pickford in action as Chelsea's Mason Mount shoots at goal REUTERS/Phil Noble

Everton's Jordan Pickford showed exactly why he is England's first-choice goalkeeper after a number of outstanding saves to earn his relegation-threatened club a 1-0 Premier League win over Chelsea on Sunday (May 1), skipper Seamus Coleman said.

Everton sealed their victory thanks to forward Richarlison's goal but had Pickford to thank too, after the 28-year-old made a goal line save to deny Cesar Azpilicuta - an effort that some pundits described as the save of the season.

"That save he came back off the line and parried out was world class, and we see that on a daily basis in training, and that's why he's England's number one - some of the saves were world class," Coleman said.

Pickford later blocked Antonio Rudiger's goal-bound effort with his face before keeping a shot from Ruben Loftus-Cheek out in front of a roaring Goodison Park crowd.

"My face isn't too bad ... I've had worse than that before," Pickford said. "It's what I'm there for, to make saves, to help the team.

"It was a big team effort and it was all about getting a big three points for us as players, the fans and the club. I really enjoyed it. Everyone battles for each other."

Former Everton midfielder Leon Osman said Pickford's save to deny Azpilicuta had kept their top-flight dreams alive.

Everton are 18th, two points adrift of Leeds United, who have played a game more.

"That save was incredible. Pickford has been criticised in the past because he has a tendency to do something rash," Osman told the BBC.

"But not today. It was arguably his best-ever game for Everton in Everton's most important game of the season."

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp called it the save of the season.

"It was magnificent. We've given Pickford a lot of stick in the past, but he was brilliant," Redknapp said.

Source: Reuters/zl

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