Sunday, December 17, 2006
As with last weekend, Everton have been beaten by a fantastic goal, entirely unstoppable.
It all started so well, with Arteta, Osman and Neville all back in the side, we looked a much improved side to the one that capitulated so at Fratton Park last Saturday. Victor Anichebe made his first Premiership start at the expense of lacklustre Beattie who was substituted at half time last weekend. This surely signals the end of Beattie's Everton career now, if we can get four or five million pounds for him in January, we should sell. We wouldn't be short of numbers with Johnson, Anichebe, McFadden and Vaughan all waiting in the wings. Back to the match, it was Anichebe who seemed to be causing problems early on, with Chelsea missingthe injured Terry, a makeshift back line of Hilario, Bouhlarouz and Carvalho looked shaky.
Johnson was unlucky not be awarded a penalty after being shoved over by Bouhlarouz, the referee in an awful position could not give it. Only 10 minutes later, Everton did get their penalty as Bouhlarouz again was at fault, this time holding back the lively Anichebe with both arms. Arteta stepped up and duly converted. One-nil to the Toffees and so the score remained at half time with Mourinho disappearing down the tunnel before the whistle had even been blown.
Sky pulled out a quite phenomenal quote in the interval, Everton haven't been beaten at home when leading at half time for seven and a half years.
I think they jinxed it, for in the second half, a much improved Chelsea looked rampant early on. They profited from a bit of luck as Ballack's (otherwise anonymous) free kick from a needless Carsley handball was pushed on to the post by Howard, only for it to come back off and go in off his back. Now in the ascendency, Chelsea continued to push on. A quick Everton break saw them win a corner, which led to another and then a third - the practice seemed to be good for Arteta who placed a wonderful ball on to the head of Yobo to make it 2-1. It felt too good to be true and with nine minutes to play, Frank Lampard obviously agreed as he scored a well struck goal from distance finding himself in acres of space. Hopes of another Everton goal proved too optimistic as the lack of fitness began to show in Arteta and Osman, the former having had a marvellous game and a man of the match performance in the eyes of many. A draw was on the cards with three minutes to go and it would have been a just result for both teams, however Drogba chested down a flick-on, turned on a sixpence and volleyed home a stunning long-range effort to snatch the three points for Chelsea.
Beaten again by a goal of the season candidate, Everton were mightily unlucky. Especially considering the perfectly valid penalty shout early on.
Positives to take from the match:
- Performance of Anichebe, did more than Beattie has managed since March. Already showing signs of a partnership with Johnson.
- Lescott's performance, once again he looked top class.
- Arteta's return to fitness, the Spaniard makes us tick and we've missed him these last few games.
Tags: everton | chelsea | drogba
Can't be generous at all to Chelsea, mind. Can't stand 'em. They have no joy in their game. Explained further at www.everythingsnotlost.wordpress.com
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