Chelsea vs Everton: Simms Scores First Everton Goal to Claim Vital Point at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea’s Recent Resurgence and Doucoure’s Equalizer
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.
Kai Havertz and Simms’ Goals
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.
Dyche’s Impact on Everton
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.
Simms’s Performance and Everton’s Chance of Survival
It’s far too early to anoint Simms as Everton’s answer at No 9 but the way in which the 22-year-old announced his arrival onto the scene was a welcome boost for the goal-shy Toffees. Only Crystal Palace have scored fewer Premier League goals than Everton’s 22 this season and with Dominic Calvert-Lewin apparently unable to stay fit and Neal Maupay out of favour, Dyche has felt the need to start Demarai Gray, a winger, as his striker in recent weeks. But Simms, recalled from a productive loan spell at Sunderland in January, showed he could play a pivotal role in the closing stages of Everton’s campaign during his cameo against Chelsea.
Potter and Chelsea’s Defensive Issues
Potter was frustrated with the way in which Everton scored their goals, saying: “We’re really disappointed because we’ve dropped two points at home. There was a lot of positive things in the performance but ultimately we haven’t defended well enough. Most of the game we controlled fairly well – as much as you can at this level – but the first goal is really disappointing from a set-piece perspective and we spoke about that before the game. The second goal we haven’t attacked well enough and exposed ourselves to a big space to defend. To be cheap with the goals we conceded is frustrating.”
While Potter is finally getting a tune from his forward line following a profligate start to the year, Chelsea still lack a ruthless streak, too often failing to finish off opponents when they’re there for the taking. Potter admitted after the game that his side’s defending was sloppy and he will know Chelsea cannot afford to continue making the same mistakes if they have any hope of returning to the Champions League next season.
Upcoming Games and Super 6
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 on Sky Sports – kick-off 8pm. The Toffees then travel to Manchester United on Saturday April 8 – kick-off 12.30pm. Another Saturday, another chance to win £250,000 with Super 6. Play for free, entries by 3pm.