Chelsea 2-2 Everton: Ellis Simms scores last-gasp equaliser to give Toffees valuable point
At one stage against Everton, there seemed to be so much confidence flowing through Chelsea that even Graham Potter indulged in a bit of bragging.
As a ball went up into the air and over his head as he stood in his technical area, Potter nonchalantly leaned forward a bit, dropped it and heeled the ball back into play, sending cheers throughout. the whole field.
Chelsea were in the mood and deservedly 1-0 up at the time through a fine shot from Joao Felix, who also displayed some elegant footwork at Stamford Bridge.
But Potter, naturally, is not one to get carried away.
And his rollercoaster reign at Chelsea so far would have only served to support his approach and provide plenty of reminders that little is to be taken for granted or straightforward. And so it turned out, painfully for Potter and Chelsea, once again.
Ellis Simms scored a last-gasp equalizer to give Everton a crucial point at home to Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.
The young striker displayed immense power and poise to evade defenders and slot past Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Everton had seen the teams around them secure vital points earlier in the day and knew they needed a result in west London.
Chelsea (3-4-3): Arrizabalaga 5.5; Fofana 7.5 (Chalobah 87), Koulibaly 7.5, Badiashile 7; James 6.5, Enzo 7.5, Kovacic 7.5 (Loftus-Cheek 81), Chilwell 7.5; Havertz 7, Felix 8.5 (Chukwumeka 86), Pulisic 7 (Gallagher 62, 7).
Unused Subs: Bettinelli, Kante, Mudryk, Chukwuemeka, Madueke, Cucurella
Goal scorer: Felix 52, Havertz 76p
Reserved: Koulibaly, James
Manager: Graham Potter 7.5
Everton (4-5-1): Pickford 6.5; Coleman 6 (Mykolenko 84), Keane 7.5, Tarkowski 8, Godfrey 6.5; Iwobi 6.5, Doucoure 6, Gueye 6 (Simms 79), Onana 6, McNeil 6; Gray 6.5.
unused subs: Begovic, Holgate, Mina, Mykolenko, Maupay, Davies, Coady, Garner,
Goal scorer: Doucoure 69, Simms 90
Reserved: Gueye, McNeil
Manager: Sean Dyche 6.5
Referee: Darren England 6
Everton equalized for the first time through Abdoulaye Doucoure.
And after Kai Havertz restored Chelsea’s lead again from the penalty spot, young striker Ellis Simms came off the bench to force his first Everton senior goal to give the Toffees another crucial point in their battle to overcome the fall. who celebrated long and hard in full time.
Simms certainly didn’t look like the rookie that he is the way he got past the experienced Kalidou Koulibaly and kept his cool to finish under Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The two Chelsea players involved will no doubt be disappointed that more was not done to prevent Simms from scoring his historic goal.
Everton’s point was their fifth in their last three games as they start to gain some momentum under Sean Dyche and a rare one at Chelsea, where they haven’t won since 1994.
This one was hard-earned through a combination of their challenging defending to limit Chelsea to two goals from their 20 goal attempts and 69 per cent possession, stats that will revive rumors about the Londoners’ lack of a clinical finisher.
Everton will also argue that they were worth it too for their response to falling behind twice, a situation that seemed to agitate rather than deflate them.
Instead, the feeling of deflation was all Chelsea and Potter after Everton’s late goal denied them a fourth successive win to take the international break.
Potter said: ‘We lost a bit of control for a short period of time and when we did, we conceded. Being cheap with the goals we conceded was frustrating.
‘How was the dressing room? Calm, angry, crazy, incredulous. They were the four. The boys are disappointed.
Dyche said: “We would all like to play the beautiful game, everyone including me, but you have to find ways to affect the opposition, find ways to score goals and create goals and of course defend.” That’s what we’re working on. I am very happy with the growth mindset.’
On the last-minute hero Simms, Dyche said: ‘We started him in Liverpool and he found it too difficult. He is maturing and gets his reward for working hard and fighting hard.’
For 50 minutes or so, there seemed to be only one winner.
Loan star Joao Félix gave Chelsea the lead early in the second half as Graham Potter’s side began to dominate the affair.
The Portuguese forward caused a series of problems for relegation-threatened Everton with his creativity and quick feet in attack.
Chelsea signed Félix on loan from Atlético Madrid in January, after a turbulent spell for the striker in the Spanish capital.
Chelsea pinned Everton in their own half and Dyche’s men had to work overtime to stay focused and protect their goal.
Chelsea’s midfield duo of Enzo Fernández and Mateo Kovacic had early tries, the latter, no stranger to a spectacular volley, was off target with one on this occasion.
The way the game played out was tailor-made especially for James Tarkowski, a defender who excels when it comes time with his back against the wall.
Felix denied his first display of melee defense. He was far from the last.
Encouraged by their three consecutive victories before Everton’s visit, Chelsea purred without finding that decisive and scoring decisive touch.
Felix and Havertz and even Koulibaly gasped as they delighted the crowd with displays of skill.
But what they really wanted was a goal that would have been a deserved reward, but Tarkowski, lucky to escape punishment for pushing Felix back, and company had other ideas, ensuring Everton reached half-time level.
Toffees midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure equalized from a corner for Everton, after a period of pressure against the hosts.
Kai Havertz thought he had grabbed the winning shot when he coolly slotted his penalty past Jordan Pickford between the posts.
But the visitors found a crucial equalizer on 89 minutes to renew Sean Dyche’s hopes of keeping Everton from falling.
That remained the case until Everton finally collapsed when Felix fired through Tarkowski’s legs and past Jordan Pickford into the net after Michael Keane could only partially clear.
Falling behind seemed to inspire Everton, who came close to Keane twice before Doucoure tapped Tarkowski’s drop past Kepa and over the line before Havertz could clear.
Chelsea’s response was not long in coming. Reece James was brought down first by Ben Godfrey and then by Tarkowski to earn a penalty. Havertz converted and seized the moment, taunting Pickford by sticking his tongue out at him and playfully greeting him after the keeper’s failed attempts to discourage him. the kind of celebration that Potter later suggested he would advise against.
Especially when he can come back to bite like he did against Everton, who were the ones to smile at full time thanks to a super sub moment Simms will never forget.