90+6’ - What a showing for the under-strength Toffees as they come away from London with a point.
90’ - Rafa’s last change will be another teenager, with Tyler Onyango coming on for Gordon with at least five minutes added on.
Kenny’s freekick met by Keane and Mendy gathers, but the defender is down holding his face and the clock keeps ticking.
88’ - Dobbin with a half-chance as he twists and turns in the box but the ball runs away from him.
86’ - Barkley takes a corner, Branthwaite heads it away and Dobbin wins a freekick to kill more clock.
85’ - The Everton away support have outsung the home crowd all night long and are doung a great job buoying the Everton players as they collapse into a low block.
80’ - Chelsea win a corner, swung out and Thiago Silva with a great header that Pickford matches with a better save! The ensuing corner is headed towards goal and again the goalie saves!
77’ - Now Everton win a corner that Mendy drops into a melee, Dobbin goes down going for the ball and Oliver immediately points for a foul the other way and books the teenager for diving! Yikes, looks like the right decision too.
75’- Gordon wins a freekick off James who is lucky not to be booked. Takes the freekick himself, lofted into the box and GOAL!!! Saul lets it go over his head and big Jarrad Branthwaite stretchessss just enough to get a toe on the ball and in at the far post! 1-1 at the Bridge!
70’ - Everton attack on a four-on-four, lose the ball and Chelsea get their goal. Mason Mount was completely wide open as Godfrey lost his man, and the Chelsea player beats Pickford at the near post. It was coming all game long really.
Jean-Philippe Gbamin has come on for Andre Gomes.
68’ - Audible boos for Barkley every time he touches the ball from the away support.
Godfrey charges forward after an interception, plays a one-two with Doucoure and looks to have been fouled but referee Michael Oliver isn’t interested.
64’ - Gomes fouls Pulisic, is booked. Barkley and Saul are coming on for the hosts, Alonso and Loftus-Cheek off.
61’ - Branthwaite unfortunate to concede a freekick when he looked to have won the ball. James’ freekick is met by Rudiger but he can’t direct it on goal.
James trips and goes sliding into Pickford who is coming for a rebound. The goalie got to it first and wins the freekick.
59’ - Branthwaite intercepts a pass and starts off on a break, hacked down by Jorginho who goes into the box now.
Lewis Dobbin is about to come on. It’ll be Simms coming off, with the striker yet to play a full game since returning from injury.
56’ - Now Godfrey gets his boot to a ricochet outside the box, a comfortable save for Mendy though.
Godfrey fouls James, his freekick into the box is a low one that eventually comes to Azpilicueta who hits it high.
53’ - No one behind him but Kenny for some reason turns Jorginho’s cross out for a corner that the Blues clear and can counter.
Great run for Iwobi and then he makes the wrong decision, passing to a covered Simms instead of a wide open Doucoure who could have been one-on-one on the goalie.
51’- Mount’s shot from distance deflects off Kenny and Pickford does very well to push it out for a corner. Corner goes off Loftus-Cheek’s back and just over the goal with Pickford scrambling.
48’ - Ziyech rolls his ankle and looks like he is in pain. The rat Ross Barkley gets a hostile reception from the away fans as he starts his warmup.
46’ - Second half underway, no changes for either side.
Halftime Thoughts - Everton got pretty much what they would have wanted, kept their defensive shape in the first half and held the hosts scoreless.
45+2’ - There’s the halftime whistle, it’s all one-way traffic but still 0-0 at the Bridge.
45’ - Doucoure with a lovely steal and counter, takes on and beats at least three different Chelsea players and draws a yellow card for Loftus-Cheek. Good work from the big midfielder.
Gordon freekick into the box, cleared all the way back to Pickford. There will be two minutes added on.
43’ - A shot! A shot on goal! It’s a tame effort from Gordon after a nicely-worked counter attack that Mendy gathers easily, but it’s exactly what the Blues are looking to do today.
36’ - Chelsea corner cleared twice by Simms. Ball not really away though and rudiger plays in Mount one-on-one with Pickford who does brilliantly to stop the shot with his foot!
34’ - Ziyech plays a one-two with Pulisic but drags his shot just wide of the far post.
30’ - Mount meets an Alonso cutback but his shot dribbles towards Pickford.
26’ - Everton are (mostly) maintaining their shape and discipline but with Chelsea’s possession, movement and passing, it’s only a matter of time before the home side score.
21’ - Holgate wins the ball but his back leg comes sliding in to hack Ziyech down and he is in the book.
18’ - The Everton fans at the ground are in full voice appreciating the efforts of the boys in white today even as Keane bundles Pulisic to the ground.
Same distance away, more central this time. Alonso takes it quickly, off the wall, falls to James whose shot is just over. 72% possession for the hosts.
16’ - Gomes fouls his man about thirty yards out. James curls it around the wall but Pickford is there and parries it away. The rebound is back into the box and falls to Jorginho but the goalie can gather.
12’ - Holgate muffs his clearance and Ziyech fires at the far post, Pickford parries away for a corner that Gordon clears.
A minute later Holgate goes in late on Pulisic and brings him down. Booking coming up for him with his next foul.
11’ - Ziyech sells Holgate down the river with a beautiful dummy, Pulisic tries to get fancy with a backheel in the box to meet the cross but Pickford gathers. Somehow, still 0-0.
10’ - Everton win a freekick in the middle. Gordon lofts it into the box, Branthwaite meets it, but he’s offside.
8’ - Mason Mount now slides in between Godfrey and Branthwaite and slices his shot wide of the far post. Incredibly it’s still 0-0.
6’ - Reece James through on goal on the Everton left and he hammers his shot wide with only Jordan Pickford to beat. Toffees lucky to not be behind already.
1’ - Underway at the Bridge.
It’s certainly an interesting lineup for Everton. Looks like Demarai Gray and Salomon Rondon have picked up injuries too and Allan and Seamus Coleman are only on the bench. Note, seven subs and that includes two goalies.
Gray, Rondon, Fabian Delph and Cenk Tosun all out today - could be new injuries or they are also under COVID protocols, will wait to hear the word on them. Benitez evaded the question during his pre-match comments.
Tuchel taking no chances, naming as close to a full strength lineup as he can to take on Everton’s scrubs. Looks like Romelu Lukaku, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell are all the Chelsea COVID positives.
There’s no sugarcoating it. Everton are abject right now, and with an injury list the length of a forearm, it’s difficult to see the Toffees getting any sort of result against a dominant Chelsea side that could possibly rest a number of regulars while missing another few players due to COVID positives. Rafa Benitez should be shaking in his neatly-polished shoes right now because there is every chance that his former employers can run up the score well past the 4-0 that Carlo Ancelotti conceded in March 2020 when also visiting his one-time stomping ground.
At least a positive that could come out of this game is that some youngsters will get some playing time and experience the big stage of the Premier League... oh who are we kidding, Benitez will start Salomon Rondon in the name of playing a half-hearted press and the Toffees will leave so much uncovered acreage between the midfield and defence that the hosts might even debate planting some winter rye which should be ready to harvest too before Everton get their next win.
Already we can proclaim that Everton’s ‘Man’ of the Match will be the brave (and possibly foolhardy) travelling support who will be subjected to 90+ minutes of torturous football along with merciless taunts from a daunting home crowd in the name of supporting the Toffees.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 17
Date and start time: Thursday, December 16th at 11:45 a.m. PT / 2:45 p.m ET / 7:45 p.m. BST
Stadium: Stamford Bridge Stadium, London, England, United Kingdom
Weather: 41°F/5°C, fog, 3% chance of precipitation, 5 mph winds
How to Watch/Listen
Radio: evertontv, Talksport 2 Radio UK
Gamethread: There will be no live blog for this game
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Everton have had a miserable run away against Chelsea, with the last time the Blues getting a league win at the Bridge in November 1994. Last season the Toffees were lucky to only lose 2-0 in March earlier this year, but Everton did win 1-0 at Goodison Park in a game where Chelsea were made to rue a number of missed chances.