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Chelsea 1-1 Everton: Branthwaite prevents Blues closing gap to City

SoccerNews in English Premier League 16 Dec 2021

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Chelsea missed the chance to pressurise Premier League leaders Manchester City as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton.

Amid a dominant display at Stamford Bridge, Mason Mount put the hosts in front 20 minutes from time with his seventh goal of the season.

But despite missing several key players, Everton responded just four minutes later with Jarrad Branthwaite’s maiden Premier League strike earning a share of the spoils.

Thomas Tuchel’s men now trail City by four points, as they spurned the opportunity to close the gap.

Chelsea were unbeaten in their previous 26 home Premier League matches against Everton and dominated the first half with a staggering 81.1 per cent of the possession.

But they struggled to convert that control into goals.

Reece James shot wide after latching onto Jorginho’s precise throughball, while the in-form Mount and Christian Pulisic also went close for the hosts, who had 13 shots to Everton’s two before the break.

Fresh from scoring three goals in as many league games, Mount created another great opportunity in the 36th minute and forced Jordan Pickford into a reflex save from close range.

But there was no denying Mount as Chelsea finally made the breakthrough; the midfielder latching onto James’ pass before slotting past Pickford.

Nevertheless, Everton did not trail for long as Branthwaite met Anthony Gordon’s deep free-kick with an outstretched leg to divert past Edouard Mendy.

Chelsea almost regained the lead when Thiago Silva’s header was saved well by Pickford, but they were forced to settle for a point.

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