Chelsea 3-3 Everton - Only ourselves to blame.

Well that was another two points dropped yesterday in our pursuit of the Premier League title and luckily enough Villa did us a favour and b...

Well that was another two points dropped yesterday in our pursuit of the Premier League title and luckily enough Villa did us a favour and beat Man United, which stretches our lead at the top of the League to three points. Again, it was a chance to increase our lead at the top but our defending from set plays cost us.

Chelsea, as predicted started the game with Cech, Ivanovic, Carvalho, JT, Cole, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Joe Cole, Drogba and Anelka, apart from Essien this is our strongest side we can put on the pitch in my opinion and this side should and could of been good enough to beat Everton yesterday, but to their credit, and you have to take your hat off to them, Everton played well and deserved their slice of luck yesterday.

Their weakened side did well against our boys and worked hard and grounded out the result and they have gone home the happier of the two. Let's face it, all three goals we conceded were shockers! Two from free kicks swung into the box and one from a long throw into the box and we couldn't deal with them. Our defending up till the last couple of weeks has been solid and workmen-like but yesterday was a different story when the three lapses of concentration at the back cost us big time.

It was a pretty even opening to the game, Drogba had a chance early on and shot wide and Everton looked lively and took the lead on 12 minutes. A free kick out wide right was swung into the box by the left footed dead ball specialist Leighton Baines, Saha went up with JT and a few others to head the ball. Saha got his head to it goalwards, it deflects of JT onto the post as Cech dives to make the save, it comes back off the post, hits Cech in the back and goes in. Shocking and here we go again we are all thinking.

To their credit Chelsea came out and started to play some good stuff. It was 5 mins later that we got on level terms. The ever industrious Ricardo Carvalho burst forward to intercept the ball in midfield and won the ball, he steps forward with it, lays it off to Lampard just outside the box, who with his first touch lays the ball into Drogba's path and Drogba hits it into the top corner 1-1. Great goal and superb play from Carvalho. Around the ground the chant isn't Drogba but Carvalho as all of us fans know he played a key part in the goal.

Once we were back on level terms it was all Chelsea. Everton dug in and worked to close the space down, Chelsea were knocking the ball about and time and time again got down the right wing but Ivanovic's crosses were nothing really to shout home about.

We then get in front as a ball into the box is only half cleared by Everton, Ivanovic wins it and pokes it wide left inside the box to Anelka who almost flicks the ball into the top corner. 2-1 Chelsea and now we are looking comfortable.

Late on Lampard has a Chelsea free kick on the edge of the area as Anelka is brought down as he is running at goal. I am calling for Ballack to hit it, but Lampard steps up and smacks it straight at the wall! I wish Lamps would go back to his old ways of taking free kicks and forget the Cristiano Ronaldo way!!

Anyway, we are now into injury time and Chelsea are dominating possession. Everton have a throw in as Yakubu has just come on for the injured Jo. Ball comes into the box and again is only half cleared Baines slides in to win the ball 10 yards out. The ball deflects off Carvalho's body as he is on the floor, comes to Yakubu who spins 6 yards out and strikes it into the corner. 2-2 and shocking defending by us once more!.

Second half starts with no Chelsea changes yet and we start much better this half. We are dominating play but nothing of note on the Everton goal as yet, but that all changes in the 58th minute. Ivanovic is played in down the right and this time his perfect cross to the back post is met by Drogba on the volley eight yards out and he smashes it into the corner. 3-2 Chelsea, great finish and a great cross from Ivanovic. I notice that only one person goes to congratulate Ivanovic for his cross after the goal goes in and Drogba doesn't even acknowledge the ball from him either which is weird. Maybe words had been said at half time.

So we are now in front and knocking the ball about. We are all sitting there in cold thinking now we are in front play your football Chelsea. Someone said behind me "I had a feeling it would be 4-2" as he said that I am thinking I would be happy just to win this game now.

Within minutes Everton were back on level terms and from where I was sitting in the West Stand Lower towards the Shed End I had the perfect view of our 18-yard box. As Everton are preparing to take the free kick I can see JT ushering the back four and midfield onto the 18 yard line to hold the line there. He wants to keep the penalty area free of players so Cech and come and mop up any high balls into the box. Everyone is on the 18 yard line. Suddenly Drogba comes back into the defensive line and stands 6-yards off everybody else much deeper than were JT wants the line held. I could hear JT shouting at him to push up, but he doesn't.

Cross is floated in, Saha clocks Drogba is 6 yards deeper than anyone else and pushes onto him for the cross. As a result the ball comes high over the line held by JT, Cech is caught in two minds because he wants to come and punch but Drogba is right in front of him. Ball comes over, Drogba heads the ball away straight onto the back of Saha, as this happens Cech is caught off his line and in no-mans-land and the ball loops high over him and Ivanovic into the net. SHAMBLES 3-3.

Looking at TV replays you would think that its Cech's fault but I can assure you, if Drogba had listened to JT and push up on the 18 yard box the goal would never have happened and I stand by that. Drogba was at fault and Everton take the slice of luck they are deservedly given.

Chelsea now are on the attack as the goal has given us a kick up the arse once more. We are dominating play but still not really creating anything of note until late on. Finally we get another free kick outside the box dead centre and Ballack takes it, Howard tips it over the bar for a corner but nothing comes of it.

Chelsea make changes, Malouda on for Joe Cole but he is playing behind the front two and not down the left where he was so effective against Hibbert in the Cup Final. I would of pushed up Lampard or Ballack and played Malouda out wide.

Drogba has what looks like a cross shot that Howard tips wide for another corner but again nothing comes of it. Another change for Chelsea, Carvalho off and Belletti on. Ivanovic moves next to JT in the middle and Belletti comes in at right back. It's now wave after wave of Chelsea pressure as Everton dig in. They are still working hard to close down the space.

Final change for Chelsea, Borini on for Mikel. Two mins from time Drogba slices a shot wide when it was easier to score. Holds is head in his hands as he knows he should of done better. We are into 4 minutes of injury time and we have our last chance of the game. Another ball in, this time from Borini comes to Ballack 20 yards out, all he has to do is connect with it as we have seen him to god knows how many times for Germany and its in, but what does he do, he half slices the ball and it goes inches wide of Howards left hand post. Gutted he SHOULD of scored and made himself a hero!

Final whistle goes and its two points dropped and our first goals conceded in the League since the opening day of the season. As us fans are walking out of the ground we have the feeling of another one that has got away from us. More points dropped and am gutted once more. Everton's fans are well happy as you can hear them chanting "USA...USA" as Tim Howard has obviously gone over to clap them after the game. But, I am sure if we took the chances we had in Drogba and Ballack it would of been a different story.

But Ancelotti needs to work hard in the next couple of days on our defensive work. All three goals were set plays and let's be honest they have killed us as Everton hardly created anything else. I am 100% certain that there were words afterwards between Cech, Drogba and Terry after that third goal. Don't get me wrong, Didier does more than his fair share of defensive work for the team, but yesterday he didn't listen to JT's organisation and it cost us.

With Portsmouth coming to the Bridge on Wednesday and Avram Grant keen to take more points from us we need to get together as a team and as a unit and get our title hopes back on track. For now, it remains a frustrating time for Chelsea and their fans. Let's hope we do not slip into our traditional ways that haunted us for years over the Christmas period!


Post a Comment

  1. As an Everton fan that's a pretty good synopsis of the game- certainly most of the footy was played by Chelsea however Everton weren't lucky - they deserved what they got through sheer hard work and at 0-0 could have been ahead through Jo who pulled a simple cross shot wide.

    Chelsea still look the best bet for the Premiership, whilst if we can keep going despite our injury problems we will survive as when we have even 90% of our injuries available again we're better than anyone else in the bottom half.





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