Everton’s hopes for survival were significantly boosted on Saturday evening when they were twice able to come from behind in order to steal a point against an in-form Chelsea. Graham Potter’s side entered the game having won their previous two league matches against Leeds and Leicester, as well as their UCL second-leg against Borussia Dortmund but were unable to find victory against Sean Dyche’s resilient Toffees. Second-half goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ellis Simms were enough to earn an invaluable point on a day in which relegation rivals Leeds, Southampton, and Leicester all picked up points as well. Here are 5 Telling Stats from Everton’s dramatic draw at Stamford Bridge.
1. Newest of Numerous Contributors
It’s no secret that Everton have desperately lacked a reliable goalscorer all season long due to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s extended absence. However, that has allowed a whole host of players to step up and try to deliver for the Toffees. Although the Blues have only scored a joint third-fewest 21 goals in the Premier League this season, they have come from 13 different players. Only league leaders Arsenal and their pursuers Manchester City have had more unique scorers, with 14 each. From memory, Everton’s scorers have been Demarai Gray, the departed Anthony Gordon, Alex Iwobi, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Dwight McNeil, Ellis Simms, Neal Maupay, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Amadou Onana, Conor Coady, James Tarkowski, Seamus Coleman, and Yerry Mina (who I nearly forgot just then). Now, there’s no way for me to prove I didn’t look that up, but you’ll have to take my word for it. I have a good memory!
Ellis Simms became the 13th different goalscorer for Everton this season with his 89th minute equaliser— Alan Myers (@ALANMYERSMEDIA) March 18, 2023
2. Refined on the Road
Everton’s dismal away form has been a poignant talking point over the past season and a half. The Toffees have only won 3 of their last 33 away matches in the Premier League dating back to the beginning of last season. Although Sean Dyche is yet to win an away game as Everton boss, it seems as if things may be slowly improving on that front. Heading into the Nottingham Forest match, the team had only scored more than one goal in a road fixture once this season; the victory at St. Mary’s. However, they have been able to do so in each of the last two away matches, turning what would have been detrimental defeats into precious points.
3. Improbable Innovator
Ellis Simms’ first Premier League goal was a thing of beauty that came completely out of the blue. Although the 22-year-old has shown glimpses of quality in his limited game time so far this season, it’s safe to say that not many were expecting him to make such an impact on the game upon his introduction in the 79th minute. The substitution proved to be a masterstroke by Sean Dyche, as the Everton Academy Graduate collected Abdoulaye Doucoure’s through-ball before making €38 million center-back Kalidou Koulibaly look silly en route to a cool finish past Kepa just a minute from time. Although the statistic below regarding the former Sunderland loanee’s kit number isn’t relevant from an analytical point of view, I think it’s a great indicator of the miraculousness of Ellis Simms scoring a goal not only of so much importance but also of such high quality.
Ellis Simms scored his first #EFC goal wearing the number 50 shirt. He is the highest-numbered player to score a goal for Everton:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) March 18, 2023
50 - Ellis Simms vs Chelsea (March 2023)
38 - Victor Anichebe vs West Brom (May 2006)
38 - Matthew Pennington vs Liverpool (April 2017)
4. Menacing Malian
As I discussed in depth in my article about Amadou Onana under Dyche, Abdoulaye Doucoure has been a man possessed since Dyche re-introduced him to the Starting XI. Despite being in the final months of his contract with the club, the 30-year-old has spearheaded Everton’s push for survival by executing a pivotal role in the team with aplomb. The Mali international has been the most advanced of Everton’s center-mid trio, which has lent well to his ability to press like a second striker when out of possession and his ability to be an attacking threat from midfield. That threat continued on Saturday when Doucoure contributed directly to both Everton goals having scored the first and assisted the second, and his importance to the team’s recent uptick in form cannot be questioned at this point.
Abdoulaye Doucoure scored Everton's first equaliser against Chelsea and assisted the second equaliser. He was the first #EFC player to score and assist in a Premier League game since Richarlison against Brentford in May 2022.— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) March 18, 2023
5. Bridge Bogey
Despite the result on Saturday being objectively positive for Everton’s current situation, the fact remains that the club has not achieved victory in this fixture in nearly 30 years. That streak should have been snapped in 2016 when John Terry’s 98th-minute equalizer for Chelsea was very clearly offside, but not-so-uncommon PGMOL errors aside, the Toffees have been historically dreadful at Stamford Bridge. I view this point even more favorably as a result though because despite Chelsea having quite the down-season thus far, I fully expected a loss coming into the game due to Everton’s tendency to crumble when the lights are the brightest.
Chelsea's last 27 Premier League games against Everton at Stamford Bridge:— William Hill (@WilliamHill) March 18, 2023
They have not lost since 1994. ✊