Sunday, January 30, 2011

Everton 1 - 1 Chelsea


Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park in a game that failed to take off until well into the second have, with both goals coming within 30 minutes of the full-time whistle.

Louis Saha kept up appearances against Chelsea once again scoring against the London outfit, but substitute Soloman Kalou equalised for the visitors with a great strike from just inside the Everton area.

The first-half was a drab affair with neither team posing any danger to each other. Marouanne Fellaini began the first real threat of the match relieving the ball from Ashley Cole and putting Seamus Coleman through onto Petr Cech, but the Chelsea keeper did well to stop the young Irishman’s shot. Both teams were passing well, but couldn’t finish off their moves and led to a frustrating 45 minutes for the spectators who were possibly expected a more clinical display of football.

The lacking in spectacle carried on from the start of the second-half with neither team finding any consistency. However, the fans were treated to a goal on the 62nd minute when a Leighton Baines corner from the right met Louis Saha’s head who carried on with his haunting of Chelsea with his 11th goal against the club. Just over 10 minutes later the visitors struck back with an exceptional counter-attack from an Everton chance that should have made it 2-0 to the home side. The ball was played out of the Chelsea area and was played up-field eventually finding substitute Soloman Kalou, who blasted the ball past Tim Howard and into the corner of the net. Both teams had efforts that could have brought them winners, but neither could penetrate each other’s defences with both goalkeepers staying strong till the end.

It took until the 11th minute for the action to heat up with Everton playing some attractive passing football, Baines found Diniyar Bilyaletiniov on the left side of the Chelsea box who lofted the ball towards goal, but Seamus Coleman couldn’t head it on target.

The Russian midfielder was in the mix again just minutes later as he was found in the box with no man on him, but his shot was too weak to test Petr Cech properly.

John Terry was the first visitor to scare Everton when a Florent Malouda corner came in and Terry met it with his head with the ball just going over and out for a goal-kick.

The first real chance of the game went o Everton when Marouanne Fellaini caught Ashley Cole out in possession and quickly put Coleman through on Cech, but the goalkeeper did well to save the young midfielder’s shot.

Bilyaletiniov had another chance with a free header in the box, however the Everton man couldn’t challenge the visitor’s ‘keeper, nodding it straight into his hands.

Chelsea had an honest chance in the 31st minute after Ramires placed a through ball in for Nicolas Anelka whose powerful shot bulleted off of Tim Howard.

Malouda got himself in the action again with a shot far out that tested Everton’s American ‘keeper, who put it out for a corner with a strong save.

As the first-half drew to a close, it was evident that both teams had played an even game in the first 45 minutes, which was reflected in the possession count. Neither side had finished many moves and it had made for inconsistent phases of play.However, before the teams went in for their half-time break, Mikel Arteta had time to scare Cech and Chelsea with a long range effort that scampered past the outside of the post.

Everton were also there to kick-start the second-half when Coleman took the ball from a stray pass from Chelsea captain John Terry, leading to the young Irishman to put the ball in the away side’s box for Lois Saha stood at the far post to volley the ball into the oncoming Ramires who blocked it out for a corner.

Fellaini got close soon after with a powerful header from an Arteta free-kick which Petr Cech managed to get a hand to and put it behind.

The Lois Saha curse on Chelsea continued in this game with the Frenchman scoring his 11th goal against the West London club. An in swinging corner from Leighton Baines found the striker in the middle of the box who darted away from his marker John Terry to create a free header that Cech was powerless to save.

After a great chance for Coleman was wasted from close range, Chelsea were immediately on the counter-attack when they got their equalising goal. The ball was quickly out of the visitor’s box and a succession of perfect passes through across the pitch led to recently brought on Soloman Kalou who struck it well from the angle and into the corner of Howard’s net.

Ramires could have made it 2-1 for Ancelotti’s side with a cracking effort with his right-foot that seemed to be heading in the opposite corner of Kalou’s goal, but the swerving shot smashed against the post and out for a goal-kick to the relief of the home fans.Jermain Beckford was brought on in the dying minutes and was immediately contributing to the action with a excellent volley after Ivanovic misjudged the ball into the path of the former Leeds man, the shot came quickly toward Cech’s top corner, but the ‘keeper was able to make a great save, turning the ball out for a corner.

The score-line remained the same till the end and now both will have to stick it out again back at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.

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