Chelsea 2-2 Everton: Late Simms strike stuns Potter's Blues
Ellis Simms stunned Chelsea with a late leveller as the striker's first Premier League goal gave Everton a dramatic 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Joao Felix had opened the scoring with his second goal in the competition since arriving at Stamford Bridge in January, with Chelsea looking good to brush off opponents who had offered very little going forward.
Everton surprisingly got level when Abdoulaye Doucoure nodded in from a corner, but a penalty from Kai Havertz restored Chelsea's lead.
A home win looked all but assured, yet Everton grabbed an 89th-minute equaliser when substitute Simms strode through and beat Kepa Arrizabalaga, halting Chelsea's three-game winning run.
Mateo Kovacic smashed an early shot wide, and Havertz planted a header off target from a corner when he might have expected to test Jordan Pickford.
Joao Felix was proving a pest to Everton. Although much of what he was trying was not coming off, he looked up for this one while coming in for some heavy treatment.
Everton, in their striking away kit, were rarely pretty in pink. They looked to be relying on getting a set-piece in a dangerous area and defending like mad, by fair means or even foul.
Their luck ran out in the 52nd minute when Joao Felix fired across Pickford from 16 yards and in off the foot of the left post.
Christian Pulisic had the ball in the Everton net again moments later, but Joao Felix had been offside in the build-up so the strike was disallowed.
Everton's leveller came in the 69th minute, predictably from a corner, when James Tarkowski's header towards goal was helped over the line by Doucoure.
The Toffees came unstuck in the 73rd minute when Ben Godfrey and Seamus Coleman combined to send Reece James to ground, referee Darren England pointing to the penalty spot.
Havertz stared down Pickford and beat the goalkeeper from 12 yards. Chelsea maybe thought that was enough, but substitute Simms had other ideas, scoring a memorable goal after Doucoure chested the ball into his path.
What does it mean? Everton celebrate, even though wait goes on
Everton have not won in their last 28 league visits to Chelsea (L15 D13), last taking all three points in November 1994. Yet this will feel like a win to them, and like a defeat to Graham Potter's Chelsea team who were set to move two points behind sixth-placed Liverpool until the late drama.
After wins against Leeds United, Borussia Dortmund and Leicester City, this was a reminder of Chelsea's weakness. They had 69.2 per cent of possession and 20 shots to Everton's 12, but despite being the better side for long stretches they lacked a focal point to their attack and paid a high price.
Simms off the mark
Everton could not manage a shot on target in the first half and have failed to score before the break in 20 of their 28 Premier League games this season. They seized their best second-half opportunities though, and Simms capitalised on his big opening.
He had a loan spell at Sunderland earlier in the season, scoring goals in the Championship for the Black Cats, and the 22-year-old showed he can do it at a higher level too. Chelsea switched off, and Simms will want to kick on from here.
Doucoure doubles up
With his goal plus an assist for Simms, Doucoure's effort means he has been involved in five Premier League goals against Chelsea (2 goals, 3 assists), only managing more against Manchester United (6).
He scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for the third time, also doing so against Bournemouth (January 2020) and Manchester United (February 2021).
Key Opta Stats: Havertz on form
- Havertz, Chelsea's top scorer in all competitions this season with nine goals, has scored in three consecutive games for the Blues for the second time, previously doing so in March 2022.
- Everton scored twice in a Premier League away game against Chelsea for the first time since a 3-3 draw in January 2016. The Toffees had netted just once in six visits to Stamford Bridge before this.
- Four of Everton's seven Premier League goals under Dyche have come from set piece situations (2x corner, 1x free kick, 1x penalty). Since his first game in charge, only Arsenal and Brentford (5 each) have more.
- Simms' goal means Everton have now had 13 different goalscorers in the competition this season, with only Arsenal, Chelsea and Leeds (14 each) having more.
Chelsea return to action on April 1 when they host Aston Villa in the Premier League. Everton have to wait until April 3 for their next game, a home clash with Tottenham.