Chelsea 2-2 Everton: Ellis Simms strikes late on to frustrate Graham Potter’s side
Chelsea‘s momentum was halted heading into the international break as Ellis Simms struck late on to give Everton a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
The pressure has been eased on Graham Potter in recent weeks, and with a Champions League quarter-final to come next month, the priority for the rest of the season is very much not the Premier League.
But this result will be frustrating, with Chelsea just a few minutes away from making it four wins in a row. Joao Felix gave Chelsea a second-half lead, and although Abdoulaye Doucoure equalised for the Toffees, Kai Havertz swiftly restored the lead from the penalty spot. However, Simms proved too strong for Kalidou Koulibaly and then produced the finish to earn Everton a crucial point.
Chelsea dominated for much of the first-half, but it was a familiar tale for the hosts. A quick start did not bring a goal, the finishing was wasteful and they had nothing to show for plenty of bright build-up.
Havertz had a decent chance with a header and Felix was a constant threat, but the Toffees successfully slowed things down and made it to half-time level.
Felix got the goal his performance deserved after the break, as Ben Chilwell’s cross was cleared to him just inside the box and he dragged an effort into the far corner, with the help of the inside of the post.
Christian Pulisic had the ball in the net shortly after that strike as Chelsea threatened to really take control, but the offside flag was swiftly raised and it was Everton who found the next goal.
To the surprise of nobody, it came from a set-piece. James Tarkowski got up well at the back post from a corner, Doucoure flicked a header over Kepa Arrizabalaga and Havertz could not get back in time to clear it off the line.
Everton were not on terms for long. Reece James drove into the box, was brought down by a combination of Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey and the referee pointed to the spot, a decision VAR eventually confirmed. Jordan Pickford did his best to put Havertz off, but the Everton goalkeeper was sent the wrong way as the penalty was cooly dispatched.
Simms was brought on with ten minutes remaining and he proved to be the hero for Everton, scoring his first goal for the club. He drove past Koulibaly and, when clean through on goal, produced a finish that squirmed under Kepa to give the Toffees a huge boost in their bid for Premier League survival.