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Everton 2-0 Chelsea: Abdoulaye Doucoure and Lewis Dobbin score for Toffees


7 months ago
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Everton claimed three consecutive Premier League victories for the first time since 2021 as they saw off Chelsea at Goodison Park.

Abdoulaye Doucoure and substitute Lewis Dobbin both fired home first-time efforts in the second half as Sean Dyche's side moved four points clear of the relegation zone.

It was a tight and tense first half with Jordan Pickford making decent saves to deny Enzo Fernandez's rasping shot and Cole Palmer's dipping drive from range.

Jack Harrison's acrobatic volley which flew narrowly wide was Everton's most presentable opportunity in the opening period and Dwight McNeil forced visiting goalkeeper Robert Sanchez into an excellent stop at the start of the second half.

Chelsea's attacks were breaking down in the final third and they were punished on the break as Doucoure smashed in and Dobbin smacked home in stoppage time for the in-form Toffees.

The loss is Chelsea's seventh in the league under Mauricio Pochettino this season, dropping them one place to 11th, as they were leapfrogged by neighbours Fulham's thrashing of West Ham.

Everton have galvanised superbly since their 10-point deduction and are making light work of the sanction, now winning nine of their past 13 games.

Sunday's victory made it three consecutive top-flight wins under Dyche for the first time - they previously achieved the feat in the Covid-affected 2020-21 season under Carlo Ancelotti.

The measure of improvement since Dyche was appointed at the turn of the year is clearly evident, a solid team that is now becoming difficult to beat, much like his tenure at Burnley.

Had it not been for their punishment for breaching financial rules, Everton would now be in 10th position, four points in front of Chelsea.

The hosts rode their luck at times, needing Pickford to make crucial saves in front of England manager Gareth Southgate, as the Three Lions number one kept his third consecutive clean sheet.

Everton had failed to test Sanchez in the first half but managed to keep Chelsea at bay and they were worthy of the points after Doucoure's coolly taken opener on 54 minutes and Dobbin's thumping finish in stoppage time.

But the hectic December period of games looks to be taking a toll with Ashley Young hobbling off injured and the excellent Jarrad Branthwaite being nursed through the contest after a knock to his knee.

Pochettino under pressure?

Chelsea were outrun by an inconsistent Manchester United team at Old Trafford on Wednesday and here an expensively built yet disjointed side fell to their 18th league defeat of 2023.

The Blues created plenty of opportunities but continue to be wasteful in front of goal, while at the other end they have conceded 26 in their 16 games so far.

Midfielder Palmer was a bright spark and tested Pickford early on, but his efforts at goal were wild thereafter, while substitute Nicolas Jackson should have equalised but completely missed the ball from six yards out.

Chelsea are also seeing their injury list growing, with captain Reece James lasting just 27 minutes and goalkeeper Sanchez limping off in the second half to be replaced by debutant Djordje Petrovic.

The pressure could well be increasing on boss Pochettino and they host bottom side Sheffield United on Saturday, with the Blades coming into that game following a victory over Brentford.

source: BBC