Sometimes one has to go a long way back into the history books to find moments of glory in a particular fixture. Whilst recent results against Chelsea have been remarkably encouraging considering the disparity in talent between the two protagonists in tomorrow's Carling Cup the general assumption can only be that Everton will be in for a tough time against the West Londoners. Tomorrow's game however represents a chance for Everton to progress at the expense of opponents who may prefer to avoid future fixture congestion and find an excuse to play their way out of the competition. We shall see both what kind of side the genial Portuguese manager puts out and just how determined they are on the night. By way of a curtain raiser I have selected six of the best Everton performances in the past to whet your appetite for the game.
1. April 1970: Everton 5 Chelsea 2 - Harry Catterick's all conquering side virtually sealed the Title with a swaggering performance against the Kings Road Stars. Howard Kendall got Everton off to a flier with a goal inside 14 seconds & before Chelsea's defence have drawn breathe Alan Ball doubles the advantage. A Joe Royle double either side of half-time puts the game well and truly in Everton's favour & Alan Whittle caps a marvellous end of season run in Blue to make it 5-0 before Dempsey & Osgood put some respectability on the scoreline in the final half hour. On the following Wednesday night a 2-0 victory over West Brom seals Everton's 7th league title.
2. August 1970: Chelsea 1 Everton 2 - fast forward just five months and Chelsea have won the FA Cup after a bruising encounter over two games with Leeds United to earn the right to contest the FA Charity Shield. Despite home advantage Chelsea are unable to hold the new Champions at bay with Alan Whittle & Howard Kendall again on the score sheet before Ian Hutchinson reduces the deficit to 2-1. Everton could even afford the luxury of a penalty miss as they claimed the Shield.
3. April 1978: Everton 6 Chelsea 0 - A famous day in Everton's history as Bob Latchford scores twice to secure a £10,000 prize from the Daily Express for scoring 30 league goals (fifty years on from the great Dixie Dean's 60 goal season). Everton close out on their Centenary Year with a magnificent performance as goals from Martin Dobson and defenders Mike Lyons, Billy Wright & Neil Robinson and a double from Latchford (the latter of the two a penalty late in the game past the legendary Peter "The Cat" Bonetti) seal a memorable day.
4. February 2010: Everton 2 Chelsea 1 - A memorable win for the Toffees as Everton finally nail their bogey side with a come-from-behind win at Goodison. Florent Malouda gives the visitors an early lead but Louis Saha strikes twice with a bullet header from a corner and a wonder strike from distance (and misses a penalty) to finally overcome the Londoners for the first time in nearly a decade. Coincidentally the next match for Everton was a home game against Manchester United - another come from behind 3-1 victory the result that day.
5. February 2011: Chelsea 1 Everton 1 (FA Cup Replay) - Everton won 4-3 on penalties. Having waited for ages to secure a victory over Chelsea amazingly Everton recorded two more the following season. After a 1-1 draw at Goodison, where Everton largely dominated, most observers gave Everton little chance of emerging from the replay with a result. Some excellent defending denied the hosts throughout the first 90 minutes before Frank Lampard finally puts the home side, deservedly, ahead half way through extra-time. Everton however have other ideas and continue to fight for their lives. With barely two minutes of injury time remaining a free-kick on the edge of the box presents Leighton Baines with one chance to put Everton back in the tie. He makes no mistake with a pin-point delivery into the top corner. We go to penalty kicks - and there's only ever going to be one winner as Everton again come back from the disappointment of a miss (by Baines of all people) as Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta, Johnny Heitinga and, amazingly, Phil Neville put the seal on a wonderful performance with conversions. Tim Howard is of course the hero too - after many memorable saves in regulation - as he saves Anelka's spot kick in the series.
6. May 2011: Everton 1 Chelsea 0 - A meaningless end-of-season fixture this may well have been but any victory over a side of Chelsea's stature is always a great achievement. To manage it with only ten men on the pitch is an even greater achievement. Seamus Coleman is sent off for two bookable offences but the ten men outplay the visitors and Jermaine Beckford scores a remarkable goal after 74 minutes running with the ball almost the length of the pitch past several opponents before beating Petr Cech with aplomb to seal an excellent performance.