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On This Day in Everton History: May 22nd

Beckford magic seals Everton win - and a future Toffees manager’s fate - in today’s feature

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Chelsea - Goodison Park
Jermaine Beckford scored ten goals in his only full season at Everton
Photo by Jon Buckle - PA Images via Getty Images

There’s not a great deal to look back at from an Everton perspective on May 22; with most seasons having drawn to an end by this point previously, the Blues have only played on this date once in their history.

So at least it was a pretty notable win with an unforgettable winning goal and a fascinating sub-plot. Let’s have a look back:

2011 - Beckford solo stunner sees Ancelotti soon sacked

Yes, Everton’s only fixture on this date was played on May 22, 2011, when Everton and Chelsea brought the curtain down on their Premier League campaigns in what was essentially a dead rubber at Goodison Park.

Everton had improved greatly to record just two defeats from their previous ten league games and were assured of finishing seventh. Chelsea, who had been knocked out of the FA Cup by the Blues on penalties in February and the Champions League at the quarter-final stage, had already locked up second place.

But there remained an eerie tension surrounding the London club, as current Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti saw his second season come to a fruitless end a year after an impressive league and FA Cup double.

Indeed, Chelsea were lacklustre at Goodison that day, too, even when they were awarded a numerical advantage when Seamus Coleman received a second yellow card on 52 minutes for a clumsy challenge on John Obi Mikel.

And they were made to pay with a quarter of an hour remaining when Jermaine Beckford took matters into his own hands.

From a Chelsea attack, the striker picked up a loose ball from inside Everton’s own penalty area, and simply darted forward at will. There was no stopping him. Not from Ashley Cole, Ramires, Paulo Ferreira or John Terry. And then, as he chipped the ball over him when clean through on goal, not from Petr Cech, either.

Everton v Chelsea - Premier League
Moyes got the better of Ancelotti that day
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

A beautiful final strike of the season and of Beckford’s short Everton career, the 1-0 win it secured was the final straw for Ancelotti, who failed to beat David Moyes’ men in six attempts as Chelsea boss. The Italian was supposedly sacked by the club in the Goodison corridors post-match.

Little did he know then that, less than a decade later, he’d become better acquainted with those surroundings...