Chelsea’s curse seems to continue in the Premier League. Still in pain, even against a friable Everton team, the Blues conceded the equalizer after regulation time on Saturday, allowing the Mersey side to grab a miraculous draw at Stamford Bridge (2 -2).
Everything had however started well for the Londoners, after a one-sided first period, devoid of any goal. In the process, lively, the Blues opened the scoring through João Félix in the 52nd minute of play, with an effective low-level recovery. But the Toffees, far from being defeated, equalized in the 69th thanks to a surprise header from Abdoulaye Doucouré.
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Still focused, Graham Potter’s players took the lead a few moments later, on a penalty easily converted by Kai Havertz. Confident, perhaps too much, the Londoners were surprised in the 89th minute by the young incoming Ellis Simms, who by deceiving Kepa from a tight angle, allowed his team to grab a more than crucial point in the race for maintenance.
Slowed down in their series of (two) victories, the Blues are still struggling to be regular, and with 38 points on the clock, stagnate in 10th place in the English championship. In great danger at the bottom of the standings, Everton (26 points) gave themselves a slight breather and recovered a decisive point, which lifted the Mersey club to 15th place in the Premier League, just three points behind the last, Southampton.
Doucouré pattern size
If it is however difficult for Sean Dyche to be delighted with the performance offered by his players, the English tactician can flatter himself with a better result than that of his predecessor, Frank Lampard. Since taking office, the new coach of the Toffees has posted a record of three wins, two draws and three defeats. A slight improvement, the key to which can be summed up by the return to the starting XI of the former Rennes player, Abdoulaye Doucouré.
Having become a rotation player under Lampard, the midfielder has regained his place with Dyche, and struggles every day to try to maintain his club. This Saturday, he first allowed his side to equalize, then offered the decisive pass on the goal of Ellis Simms. In the game: he tackled, blocked and intercepted to fill some gaps of his teammates.
An essential profile, that Graham Potter could see coming into his workforce under the guise of: N’Golo Kanté. Injured since August 14, the French midfielder returned to the ranks of Londoners this Saturday, without however coming into play. An unbreakable part of Chelsea, the 2018 world champion should allow his people to regain serenity.
An element that will undoubtedly be crucial to face Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on April 12 and 18. In the meantime, the Blues must at all costs recover from this draw, since their next two opponents in the league will be Aston Villa and Liverpool. Same story for Everton, who will have to overcome the reception of Tottenham, then a trip to Manchester United.
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