English Premiership

Chelsea held by Everton

2009-12-12 19:39
Didier Drogba (file)

London - Premier League leaders Chelsea's wobbly form continued as they were held to a dramatic 3-3 draw by Everton here on Saturday.

A see-saw game at Stamford Bridge saw the lead change hands with bewildering regularity, with Chelsea overturning Petr Cech's early own-goal to forge ahead through the inspired Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka only to leak an equaliser in first-half stoppage time to Aiyegbeni Yakubu.

Drogba restored Chelsea's lead just after the interval before Louis Saha pilfered a bizarre equaliser to take the tally of goals conceded by Chelsea in their last four games to 10 - a far cry from earlier in the season when their back four was close to invincible.

But this result followed Chelsea's 2-1 defeat by Manchester City last weekend and gave hope to the chasing pack.

Everton, hardly a form team themselves, sensed the prevailing mood with their manager David Moyes deciding to field two strikers in a bid to put Chelsea's creaky defence under pressure.

It worked a treat.

Jo had already seen a curling 20-yard shot saved by Cech when, to the amazement of their travelling fans, Everton went ahead in the 12th minute.

Leighton Baines's inswinging free-kick was met by a combination of Saha and John Terry, and the ball bounced ominously towards the post.

Cech leapt to his left to save but was helpless as it struck the upright, rebounded off his back and nestled in the bottom corner.

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti looked singularly unimpressed but, while his defence might not be as rock-solid as it once was, at least his attack is still as formidable as ever.

Sure enough, within 10 minutes, Chelsea had turned a deficit into an advantage.

Both goals owed much to Saha's defensive sloppiness. First, the French striker was dispossessed by Ricardo Carvalho, who laid off to Frank Lampard on the edge of the area.

The midfielder rolled the ball into Drogba's path and the Ivorian curled a lovely shot into the top corner.

Then, in the 23rd minute, Saha's dismal attempt to clear his lines allowed Branislav Ivanovic to set up Anelka, who belted an inch-perfect shot high into the net.

The natural order restored, that should have been the cue for Chelsea to seize control. Instead, their old deficiencies resurfaced in first-half stoppage time when another set-piece caused havoc.

Baines stabbed towards goal, the ball striking the stricken Carvalho and into the path of Yakubu, who had only been on the field a matter of seconds as a substitute. The Nigerian's finish was routine.

Chelsea, apparently affronted at the concession, stepped on the accelerator just after the interval and were rewarded in the 59th minute when Drogba met Ivanovic's chipped cross with a magnificent first-time volley that flew past Tim Howard.

That, surely, was that. But no: Chelsea's lead lasted just four minutes as another free-kick caused panic in their area.

John Heitinga's chipped cross was met by Drogba, but his header cannoned off the back of Saha's skull and over Cech, who had ventured off his line.

There were late scares for Everton, with Drogba and Michael Ballack both coming close, but ultimately Chelsea's defenders did not deserve to be on the winning side.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

WRAP: Champions League

26 minutes ago

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
04 October 2014
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 16:00
Leicester City v Burnley, King Power Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Newcastle United, Liberty Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Stoke City, Stadium of Light 16:00
Hull City v Crystal Palace, The KC Stadium 16:00
Aston Villa v Manchester City, Villa Park 18:30
05 October 2014
Manchester United v Everton, Old Trafford 13:00
Chelsea v Arsenal, Stamford Bridge 15:05
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton, White Hart Lane 15:05
West Ham United v Queens Park Rangers, Boleyn Ground 17:15
18 October 2014
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 13:45
Arsenal v Hull City, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Everton v Aston Villa, Goodison Park 16:00
Crystal Palace v Chelsea, Selhurst Park 16:00
Newcastle United v Leicester City, St. James' Park 16:00
Southampton v Sunderland, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Burnley v West Ham United, Turf Moor 16:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who is the best new player in the English Premiership this season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.