Ellis Simms scored his first Everton goal in the 89th minute at Stamford Bridge to claim a vital point in the Toffees’ relegation fight and halt Chelsea’s recent resurgence.
Chelsea had bounced back from a horrendous run of form at the start of the year by winning their last three matches in all competitions and they should have made it four in a row after twice taking the lead against Everton.
Joao Felix rolled the Blues’ first past Jordan Pickford via the post seven minutes after the break only for the hosts to allow complacency to creep into their game, resulting in Abdoulaye Doucoure glancing a header just over the line to level for the visitors in the 69th minute.
Chelsea managed to hit back through Kai Havertz seven minutes later when he converted a penalty after a foul on Reece James, but the Blues again threw it away, with Simms easily bursting past Kalidou Koulibaly before seeing his shot squirm past Kepa Arrizabalaga as the Toffees continued their spirited fight against the drop.
How Everton battled back to deny Chelsea
After appearing to be careering towards relegation under former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard at the end of January, Everton’s revival under Dyche continued in west London thanks to another impressively gritty performance.
The Toffees took just two points from their final eight Premier League games under Lampard but have earned 11 from Dyche’s first eight matches in charge, a clear demonstration of the positive impact the former Burnley boss has made.
- Chelsea made three changes to the side that won at Leicester last time out, with Reece James, Benoit Badiashile and Christian Pulisic replacing Marc Cucurella, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mykhailo Mudryk
- N’Golo Kante was named as a substitute for the Blues, marking his return to the squad after seven months out with a hamstring injury
- Everton named an unchanged side from their win over Brentford last weekend, with Demarai Gray leading the line and Ben Godfrey at left-back
Everton frustrated Chelsea throughout their Saturday evening encounter, with a defender seemingly in the way of the ball every time it went near Pickford’s goal during a first half of few clear chances.
The visitors’ resistance was finally breached by Felix after he collected Michael Keane’s weak clearance to guide the ball into the far corner but Everton’s battling qualities were on display as they fought back to level through Doucoure, who turned James Tarkowski’s header past Kepa from close range.
A rare mistake from Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey, who combined to trip James, allowed Havertz to score his third goal in as many games from the spot, but Everton were not to be denied as Simms charged into the Chelsea area and ended their three-game winning run.
The result moves Dyche’s side up to 15th and two points clear of the drop zone, while Graham Potter’s team missed the chance to close the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham and lie 10th, 11 points off the top four.
The Premier League now pauses for the international break, meaning Chelsea’s next game is at home to Aston Villa in the top flight on Saturday April 1, live on Sky Sports – kick-off 5.30pm.
The Blues then host Liverpool on Tuesday April 4, live on Sky Sports – kick-off 8pm.
Everton’s next game is at home to Tottenham in the Premier League on Monday April 3, live o Sky Sports – kick-off 8pm.
The Toffees then travel to Manchester United on Saturday April 8 – kick-off 12.30pm.
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