There’s the final whistle and Pickford will be the most relieved player on the pitch after his heroics late on. It’s Chelsea deservedly winning 2-0, as the Toffees still have a long way to go before European football can be secured.
90+4’ - Pickford again! Mason Mount tries a shot from distance and punched away.
90’ - Tom Davies is every one of us right now, going through Alonso’s legs from behind to earn a yellow card.
86’ - Davies dispossessed, Havertz finds Werner 1-on-1 and Pickford saves very well, rebound falls to N’Golo Kante and Pickford is brilliant again, saving his shot too!
80’ - Werner does very well to shoulder Godfrey off a long ball but can’t beat Pickford at the near post. Corner is headed straight to the goalie.
76’ - Ancelotti makes his last change with Bernard on for Andre Gomes. All or nothing for Carlo here.
74’ - Everton looking much more aggressive now in a 4-3-3 with Richy-DCL-King the front line.
Digne’s corner skims by a number of heads and is cleared, but Everton keep the ball. Now King wins a corner on the other side.
Digne takes again.. into the six-yard box and goes through Mendy’s hands, goalie adjudged to have been fouled.
70’ - Kurt Zouma is down, looked to have tweaked his knee. Long delay here.
Josh King is now on for Sigurdsson.
64’ - Penalty. Through ball for Havertz behind the backline and Pickford is out like a flash. He’s beaten and pulls his man down, ref David Coote has no hesitation.
Jorginho does his run-up and jink, Pickford goes the wrong way and it’s 2-0 Chelsea.
60’ - Chelsea continuing to pile on the pressure, CHO takes a shot from the left and Pickford pushes it over. Corner is cleared.
Everton have a chance to attack with Holgate charging forward and finding Richy free on the right, but his cross is overhit and the moment is lost.
58’ - James finds himself in space between Digne & Gomes, and fires off a shot, wide.
Everton are back in the 4-4-2 diamond, with Richy on the right against Zouma and DCL on the left against Christiansen.
56’ - Ancelotti has seen enough, Tom Davies is coming on now.
Davies immediately finds Sig who feeds Richy, wide! Best chance of the game for the Blues there, Richarlison just couldn’t wrap his foot around the ball enough.
54’ - Havertz has the ball in the net again. Beautifully controlled and tucked into the far post from a CHO pass, but the referee blows right away for handball, looked like he had used his arm. VAR confirms the decision, it was very close to the ‘t-shirt line’.
51’ - Digne in the book too, takes out James who was trying to get past him. Freekick from a dangerous spot, corner of the box. Iwobi and Sigurdsson in the wall, with a big gap between them that Alonso curls the ball through, and Pickford tips over, even though the ball was over. Better safe than sorry I suppose.
50’ - Better energy from the Blues to start the second half, pressing with more intent and playing with more intensity in general.
46’ - Second half underway. No changes that we see. Boy wouldn’t Ancelotti love to have Chelsea’s bench!
Halftime, Chelsea lead 1-0.
The hosts have controlled the game but Everton are unfortunate to be behind after defending well and playing a disciplined game without the ball.
The back three is not working on the right, with Holgate and Iwobi both struggling with runners behind them. Expect to go back to a back four in the second half, especially since Seamus Coleman is not on the bench to replace Holgate who has been booked too.
45+1’ - Good move for the Blues there, with Digne crossing into the box. Mendy parries it away from an attacking DCL, it falls to Gomes who takes a low shot from outside the box and Mendy can save comfortably.
42’ - SAVE! Christensen finds Alonso streaking free behind the backline, his shot is deflected by Keane and going away from Pickford who somehow stretches to push the ball onto the post and out for a corner, which is cleared. Whew.
41’ - CHO runs away from Iwobi and drifts inside to shoot, but blocked again by Keane.
39’ - Allan wins the ball in the middle and Everton can break, but Richarlison can’t keep the ball away from Christensen and the chance is lost.
35’ - Gomes giveaway allows Werner to find Havertz, Keane does well to block his shot.
32’ - Chelsea score, it’s an unfortunate Godfrey own goal. Hudson-Odoi does well switching wings and finds Marcos Alonso who feeds Kai Havertz running into the box.. his shot deflects off Godfrey and wrong-foots Pickford who looked to have that covered too. Ooof.
28’ - Jorginho brings Richarlison down just outside the box, the Brazilian was quickest to a loose ball.
Both Digne and Sigurdsson standing over it, the Frenchman takes, off the wall and first corner for the Toffees.
Digne will take the corner from the right, Zouma heads clear and it comes back into the box, no Everton player can make solid contact and it’s cleared.
26’ - Digne gets a cross into the box, and DCL can only get a faint touch on it, with Gomes in the area too but the midfielder can’t react quickly enough to pounce.
23’ - Blues coming out of their defensive shell now, with both Gomes and Sigurdsson getting involved.
21’ - Everton hold the ball for the first time in the Chelsea defensive third, and Alex Iwobi has a chance to cross but it’s straight at the goalie.
Callum Hudson-Odoi does well running through the Everton left channel, but the cross is wanting and Pickford gathers. Second time he’s been able to do that.
17’ - Mason Holgate rashly tugs back Werner even though Michael Keane was covering behind him, and is in Chris Kavanagh’s book. Alonso floats it into the box, Pickford into the melee and punches clear, Jorginho hits the rebound over.
15’ - Reece James runs away from Allan, and then wins a corner off Godfrey. Takes it himself, cleared and Jorginho’s grasscutter from the edge of the box is just wide, and Jordan Pickford did not move, no chance for him there.
10’ - All Chelsea so far as they pass the ball around looking for weaknesses in the Everton structure.
5’ - Timo Werner wins a corner off Ben Godfrey on the Everton left. Taken short, Werner has a chance for a first-time shot but it’s ballooned way over.
1’ - Underway at Stamford Bridge, Everton in their third kit, the ‘seafoam green’.
The lineups are out, and as feared, Abdoulaye Doucoure is indeed out. Looks like a 4-4-2 again with Sigurdsson up top, Iwobi on the right and Gomes on the left. Davies back on the bench is encouraging, but no James, Coleman or Olsen.
Pickford, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Allan, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Virginia, Tyrer, King, Nkounkou, Bernard, Davies, Broadhead, John, Onyango
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Havertz, Hudson-Odoi; Werner.
Subs: Kepa, Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Chilwell, Kante, Mount, Ziyech, Pulisic, Giroud
Everton travel to London to take on Chelsea today, looking to leapfrog their fellow Blues in the table. Carlo Ancelotti did not have a happy return to Stamford Bridge late last season as the Toffees were outclassed, but then exacted his revenge earlier this season as Everton beat Frank Lampard’s side.
Lampard is long gone now and Thomas Tuchel has taken over the reins at Chelsea, and is yet undefeated in that role. He has corrected the ship since that time and seen his side march back up the table to fourth place, one point ahead of Everton who do have a game in hand.
Ancelotti has struggled with consistency from his side with injuries to key players constantly plaguing his plans. Social media was rife over the weekend with rumours that Abdoulaye Doucoure is the latest to have now picked up a knock, and apparently it’s a stress fracture that could keep him out for six or more weeks. Allan has just come back from a long layoff while the quartet of James Rodriguez, Tom Davies, Seamus Coleman and Robin Olsen are still doubtful to play today.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 27
Date and start time: Monday, March 8th at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m ET / 6:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: Stamford Bridge, London, England, United Kingdom
Capacity: 41.837 [Behind closed doors]
Weather: 43°F/6°C, light rain, 54% chance of precipitation, 11 mph winds
How to Watch/Listen
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Radio: evertontv, BBC Radio 5 Live
Gamethread: Live blog above starting one hour before game time
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The Toffees won a narrow 1-0 decision at Goodison Park thanks to a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty in December. Everton’s last trip to Stamford Bridge is best forgotten as the hosts romped to a 4-0 win, the worst defeat of Ancelotti’s time at the Toffees so far.
Everton have had a miserable record at most of the top six sides, and Chelsea is no difference - the Toffees last won there was in November 1994, but in a season where records like these are being broken, there’s no reason not to believe tonight.