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Chelsea 2-2 Everton: What Were The Main Talking Points As Chelsea Throw Away The Lead Twice At Stamford Bridge?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 18 Mar 2023

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While Chelsea might have looked like they had turned a real corner since opening March, the Blues came crashing back down to earth on Saturday evening as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw at home against Everton.

Although Graham Potter’s side might have opened the scoring just seven minutes after the half-time break as Joao Felix bagged his second goal since arriving at Stamford Bridge back in January, the ex-Brighton boss saw his side suffer a major second-half collapse.

Despite Kai Havertz converting from the spot just moments after Abdoulaye Doucoure bundled over the line from close range, Chelsea were eventually left heartbroken as 21-year-old Ellis Simms made a famous cameo appearance off the bench.

Slotting past Kepa Arrizabalaga just seconds before heading into injury-time, there is no doubt that fans around west London will know that their side missed out on a golden opportunity here.

Watching their three-match winning run come to a last-gasp end in the capital, what were the main talking points from Saturday’s showdown at Stamford Bridge?

The final nail in Chelsea’s European coffin?

While Potter might have endured a rather public nightmare in west London since arriving from Brighton back in September, it had appeared that Saturday’s hosts had turned a major corner since opening March.

Putting in a stellar Champions League second-leg display earlier in the month as they punched their quarter-final ticket thanks to a 2-0 victory against German giants Borussia Dortmund, the Blues were in the midst of a three-match winning run.

Likewise, claiming back-to-back Premier League victories against Leicester and Leeds since getting March underway, there was certainly an air of optimism growing in Potter’s camp.

However, crashing back down to earth here and knowing that they were seconds away from claiming what could have been a crucial win on home soil, questions will once again be asked for Potter.

Heading into the international break on a sour note, the former Brighton boss will also know that his side faces a real possibility of entirely missing out on European football for next season.

With it looking like all of their eggs will be placed into this year’s Champions League basket, Chelsea now find just their goal difference keeping them in the top-half of the table.

A point that could turn out to be vital for Everton

Opening Sean Dyche’s tenure in charge at Goodison Park with a famous 1-0 victory at home against title contenders Arsenal on February 4th, the Toffees have certainly breathed life back into their charge for survival.

Despite opening March with back-to-back defeats against the Gunners and Aston Villa, the ex-Burnley boss has seen his side come roaring back in some style.

Putting in a rugged display on Merseyside last weekend as they claimed a 1-0 win against European outsiders Brentford, Saturday’s guests are now unbeaten in each of their last three Premier League outings.

Snatching what could turn out to be a crucial point come the end of the season, there is no doubt that Everton will head into the international break riding what has been a recent wave of momentum.

Appearing to have found a much-needed clinical edge in the final third over the past fortnight, Dyche’s side will know that stability is key when they return to Premier League duties next month.

Now holding a two-point buffer from slipping into the drop zone, Everton will know that their top-flight safety remains within their own hands.

A glimpse of Felix’s magic

Although Potter and fans around Stamford Bridge might have been left heartbroken by Simms’ last-gasp equaliser here, they should be excited by another bright display from their new attacking talisman.

Opening the scoring with a sublime finish just seven minutes after returning from the half-time interval, Felix has become an immediate hit in SW6 since arriving in the Premier League back in January.

While Saturday’s strike might have been just his second Premier League goal since securing a loan switch from Spanish heavyweights Atletico Madrid, the Portuguese international has proven to be a key part of Potter’s plans.

Causing Everton’s defence a string of issues here and clearly the man who was really spearheading Chelsea’ charge, it is no secret that the Blues are desperate to make Felix’s move a permanent one this summer.

Now starting in seven of Chelsea’s eight appearances since returning from a suspension last month, the 23-year-old has underlined his status as a fan favourite in west London.

Match Report

Chelsea: Kepa, Fofana, Koulibaly, Badiashile, James, Fernandez, Kovatic, Chilwell, Pulisic, Havertz, Felix

Subs: Gallagher, Chukwuemeka, Chalobah, Loftus-Cheek,

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Tarkowski, Godfrey, McNeil, Onana, Gueye, Doucoure, Iwobi, Gray

Subs: Simms, Mykolenko

Goals: Chelsea: Felix (52′), Havertz (76′ P) – Everton: Doucoure (69′), Simms (89′)

Yellow Cards: Chelsea: Koulibaly, James – Everton: McNeil, Gueye

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Darren England

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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