Late goal from super sub Beckford denies Chelsea top spot

first_imgA late goal by second half substitute Jermaine Beckford rescued a late point for Everton against Premier League champions Chelsea st Stamford Bridge.Chelsea had led through a Didier Drogba penalty at the end of the first half, but a spirited second half display from David Moyes’s side saw them share the spoils.Carlo Ancelotti’s side missed the chance to go back to the top of the Premier League, with Manchester United’s game with Blackpool being called off.Less than a minute had been played before the visitors had their first chance through Louis Saha, who collected the ball after a slip from Branislav Ivanovic, but saw his shot parried by Petr Cech.Chelsea soon settled into the game though, as Florent Malouda skipped past a challenge from Jack Rodwell and sent an inviting cross along Tim Howard’s six yard box, but the American collected before it could reach Drogba.Malouda saw another beautiful delivery go without a final touch from Drogba as Chelsea started to dominate proceedings, first feeling they deserved a penalty as Salomon Kalou saw his deft touch hit an arm before going close again through the young Ivorian, who nearly capitalised on an error by Tim Howard, and Nicolas Anelka who saw a shot deflected over. The Frenchman went close again as he was afforded too much space on the edge of Everton’s area and shot inches wide, before Jon Obi Mikel also saw a shot deflected away from goal.Malouda was rarely out of the action and was perhaps lucky not to see at least a yellow card for retaliating to a Phil Neville foul, with the England defender also going unpunished until his second late challenge, this time on Drogba.Chelsea were in the ascendancy and John Terry nearly capped his return to action in fantastic style as he lifted the ball over Howard from a corner but saw his delightful lob cannon back off the bar.Everton were rarely able to move the ball forward but were close to creating an opening with 10 minutes of the half to play, as Seamus Coleman fired across goal, but Tim Cahill was unable to control the ball and turn to shoot.Chelsea would deservedly lead going into the break though, as five minutes before the interval, a Neville back pass lacked the momentum to carry it through to Howard, who watched Anelka collect the ball and knock it past him, before impeding the French striker’s run at goal to concede a penalty, which Drogba smashed home with ease. Everton looked rejuvenated at the start of the second half and pressed Chelsea in the opening five minutes, with their hard work culminating in a Rodwell shot that trickled wide of Cech’s left hand post.David Moyes was forced to make a change as his side was looking bright though, with the injured Saha replaced by Beckford, who tried to announce himself to the crowd with a lob from 35 yards but missed the target completely.The visitors continued their fight back though and came agonisingly close to pulling level with half an hour played, as a quick interchange between Fellaini and Baines opened up a crossing opportunity for the left back, who found Cahill, but his header hit the inside of the post and trickled agonisingly across Cech’s goal mouth.Everton continued to control the half and looked a side transformed, but could not break down the resolute central defensive pairing of the returning Terry and Ivanovic and with 20 minutes to play, it looked as though the score would stay the same.Recognising the threat of the away side, Ancelotti sacrificed Anelka with 15 minutes to play as he introduced Ramires to tighten things up defensively, and it appeared to pay off as Chelsea were able to keep the ball in Everton’s half in the closing stages. But Everton would have the final say in the game, as Baines whipped in a deep cross which was headed back across goal for Beckford, who got in front of Cech to nod home with less just four minutes to play.Source: Goal.comlast_img

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