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 Venue: Stamford Bridge, London Premiership  Saturday 6 Nov 2004; 3:00pm  
 Robben (72')   Half Time: 0-0
 Attendance: 41,965 (Fixture 12) Referee: Mike Riley

Match Summary

Alan Stubbs: Making his 100th league start
for Everton

Yobo was on the bench, where there was no sign of Duncan Ferguson (who reportedly has a thigh injury).  The line-up on the field remained the same as the one that started against Aston Villa last week, but Iain Turner took Richard Wright's place on the bench after the second choice one-time England goalie managed to injure himself during the warm-up.

Osman set up Watson with an early chance and a penalty claim in the first minute as Everton started really well, with Cahill making three excellent tackles. 

But Chelsea soon got into their stride and pushed Everton further and further back into their half, with Robben a significant threat.  Pistone then gave the ball to Lampard and a great chance for a goal that he had to block. 

Everton still managed to threaten occasionally, and a superb ball was delivered in by Kilbane creating a fantastic chance for Cahill, who's great header was well saved by Peter Cech.   Handbags soon followed when Lampard went in on Gravesen, who reacted, and a mass chest-puffing session followed:  Everton free-kick. 

Gravesen delivered another great ball in from a free-kick for Bent to put good pressure on Cech, who punched it away.  Chelsea ran down the other end and smashed a superb shot by Robben which Martyn miraculously touched onto the bar... and from the corner Hibbert blocked to save a certain goal from Gudjohnsen. 

Everton were being forced to defend in spades, with Martyn performing some heroics despite more attentions from Gudjohnsen and many, many corners conceded.  Robben was looking very useful, to say the least, firing in crosses and taking potshots at the Everton goal but it held firm through half-time... 

Kilbane got a yellow card soon after the restart for a late tackle on Carvalho.  Duff then created a great chance for Tiago who blasted it over the Everton goal.

After some great defence by Hibbert, Stubbs was in with a glorious chance, from a superbly worked Osman short corner, a certain goal... NO!! just wide.  Certainly should have scored...

On 66 min, Pistone gave away a free-kick in a dangerous position which Robben drove ferociously just a fraction wide of Martyn's goal.  Gudjohnsen then fired a great chance over the bar from short range when he would normally have buried it.. PHEW!

Then, after 72 mins of determined play from Everton, a fast break from Chelsea undid Everton down their left side, Robben escaped the attentions of Weir on Gudjohnsen's long ball and he clipped it neatly over Martyn into the Everton goal. 

Cahill got another great header in but Cech was again equal to it, stopping a certain Everton equalizer.  Gravesen then got himself booked for a silly foul, and Campbell came on for Watson. 

Weir went in the book for something as McFadden came on for Pistone, Moyes throwing caution to the wind for the last 6 mins.  Bent created a great chance for Campbell but his header went over the bar.  Everton did not give up as Moyes put all three of his attacking subs on for the last few mins with Chadwick making his first Premiership appearance of the season 4-2-4???

Excellent performance by Everton in the end, but a failure to take the golden chances cost them dear.  No fairytale advance to parity on points with the Chelsea multi-millionaires, and the unbeaten away record finally crumbles.  Cahill, Osman and Hibbert in particular were exceptional.

After the game, the outspoken Chelsea manager Jos Mourinho said: "I think that was a special game against a special opponent.  They are the tallest and strongest team I saw in England very physical, with a great attitude in terms of aggresivity and toughness it was really difficult to... to beat them."

Michael Kenrick

> Match Facts
> Match Reports

Premiership Scores
Saturday 6 Nov 2004
Aston Villa 3-0 Portsmouth
Chelsea 1-0 Everton
C Palace 0-0 Arsenal
Liverpool 0-1 Birmingham
Norwich 1-0 Blackburn
So'hampton 1-2 West Brom
Tottenham 2-3 Charlton
Sunday 7 Nov 2004
Man Utd 0-0 Man City
Middlesbro' 1-1 Bolton
Newcastle 1-4 Fulham

Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Chelsea 29
2 Arsenal 27
3 Everton 23
4 Bolton 22
5 Middlesbrough 19
6 Aston Villa 18
7 Man Utd 18
8 Liverpool 17
9 Newcastle 16
10 Portsmouth 15
11 Charlton 15
12 Fulham 14
13 Man City 13
14 Tottenham 13
15 Birmingham 12
16 Palace 12
17 West Brom 9
18 Southampton 8
19 Norwich 8
20 Blackburn 8
After 7 Nov 2004

Chelsea v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Chelsea 32
 Everton 12
 Draws 21
 Chelsea 6
 Everton 1
 Draws 5
 Last Season:

Chelsea 0-0 Everton 

Match Facts
CHELSEA (4-4-2)
Blue shirts, blue shorts, white socks
 EVERTON (4-5-1; 4-4-2; 4-3-3; 4-2-4)
White shirts, white shorts, blue socks
Duff (83' Huth)
Gudjohnsen (79' Geremi)
Tiago (57' Kezman)

Subs not used:
Cudicini, Cole

Yellow Cards: 
Robben (90')

Red Cards: —

Pistone (85' McFadden)
Watson (79' Campbell)
Osman (88' Chadwick)

Subs not used:
[Wright] Turner, Yobo

Yellow Cards:
Kilbane (52'), Gravesen (78'),
 Bent (90')

Red Cards: —

(Suspended:) Carsley
(Injured:) Ferguson, Li Tie, Wright

Match Reports
Aston Villa (H)      2004-05 Match Reports Index     Arsenal (A)
 Everton Websites
 ToffeeWeb Match Summary Match Report
 When Skies Are Grey Match Report
 Blue Kipper Match Report
 Everton Fans' Reports
 Lyndon Lloyd Everton undone by Robben strike
 Rob van Dijk Another great display
 Links to Other Media Reports
 BBC Sport Match Report
 4 the Game Match Report
 Sky Sports Match Report
 Sporting Life Match Report
 SoccerNet Match Report
 The Observer Match Report
 The Guardian Match Report
 Liverpool Echo Match Report
 Daily Post Match Report

Match Preview

It won't get the same "match of the season" billing as Manchester United vs Arsenal did a couple of weeks ago, nor will many of the pundits be talking about it as a proverbial "six pointer" in the race for the title, but this weekend's match-up at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Everton is a clash between second and third and there's nothing more satisfying than being able to say that in the first week of November!

Another significant indicator of the progress made this so far this season was the disappointment felt at the Blues' failure to beat Aston Villa last week.  The 1-1 draw at Goodison against David O' Leary's men was a sizeable let-down given the number of opportunities we had to win the game but the point earned shouldn't be sniffed at, even if it did mean that Bolton pulled within two points in fourth place and we failed to gain ground on faltering Arsenal.

Unfortunately, Everton visit Chelsea at a time when Jose Mourinho's galaxy of stars have hit their stride with a 4-1 obliteration of Blackburn on this ground a fortnight ago and a handsome 3-1 triumph at managerless West Bromwich Albion last Saturday.  The fact that they have found their shooting boots at a time when Moyes's outfit are arguably lacking a cutting edge means that David Weir and Alan Stubbs are going to have their work cut out for them, particularly in the absence of Lee Carsley.

On that score, Joseph Yobo has recovered from the head injury that ruled him out last weekend and while it is hoped that he is thrust into the midfield holding role we had earmarked for him for the Villa game, it remains to be seen whether Moyes keeps faith in Steve Watson as the fifth member of the favoured five-man midfield.

The rest of the side will remain unchanged, with Thomas Gravesen, Leon Osman, Kevin Kilbane and Tim Cahill rounding out the midfield and Marcus Bent, who has three goals in three games, again carrying the main threat in attack.

Mourinho has no new injury worries ahead of this one, not that it makes much practical difference given the size of his squad. William Gallas has recovered from a knock picked up in Moscow midweek so 24m man Didier Drogba is his only absentee.

With Everton unbeaten on the road and Chelsea yet to be defeated at home, something might give and Moyes's tactics may prove to be crucial.  While it would be nice to think that the boss will be cavalier and take the game to the Londoners, I would be surprised if he doesn't adopt the cautious approach that earned a goalless draw at Old Trafford.  Defeat would open up the possibility of the Blues falling below third place for the first time since mid-September should Bolton win.

While the prospect of drawing level with Chelsea a laughable notion before the season started is thrilling, remaining unbeaten will probably be Moyes's first goal.  For that reason, his instructions to the eleven he fields will no doubt be to put defence before attack and see if Chelsea hit their stride before entertaining plans of stealing all three points.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Stats

Sorry, no stats this week...

Steve Flanagan

Everton undone by Robben strike

Everton withstood Chelsea's expensively-assembled superiority in class for 72 minutes before finally being undone by Arjen Robben who was a constant thorn in the Blues side all afternoon. And yet had David Moyes's side had a touch more luck and composure in front of goal, they might have left Stamford Bridge with a share of the spoils. As it is, they lose their unbeaten record away from home this season but retain their reputation as one of the Premiership's toughest sides to beat.

Moyes named an unchanged line-up from last weekend, keeping Steve Watson in a five-man midfield, although he appeared to play further forward then the suspended Lee Carsley. A training-ground injury kept Duncan Ferguson out of the squad meaning that Kevin Campbell made a rare appearance on the bench.

Everton came roaring out of the gates, and Watson had an early chance inside the first minute but his cross-cum-shot was blocked by the arm of the lunging John Terry. Their early pressure soon gave way, however, to a string of Chelsea corners once the home side had assumed their expected grip on the game. The pressure almost told in the 11th minute when Alessandro Pistone slipped in the area and presented Frank Lampard with the opportunity to shoot from 20 yards but he managed to block the effort for another corner.

Moyes's gameplan was the same as it was at Old Trafford but with the benefit of a more fluid attacking unit which was exemplified by the best move of the game thus far after 16 minutes. The ball was worked out to Kevin Kilbane who delivered an inch-perfect cross that was met by Tim Cahill but Petr Cech parried his header to safety.

Five minutes later, Robben sounded his first warning when he embarrassed David Weir with a flick before thundering a half volley goalwards that Nigel Martyn tipped over the bar. From the resulting corner, the ball broke for Damien Duff whose shot was deflected across goal to Eidur Gudjohnsen but he was denied on the line by a terrific block by Tony Hibbert.

Chelsea continued to probe as the half wore on and Lampard fired over from distance while Gudjohnsen was again shut down at close range by a combination of Hibbert and Martyn was Duff's teasing cross. And Robben had the final word of the half when he fired over from 25 yards out following deft footwork on the edge of the area.

Neither side made any changes in personnel at half time and the pattern remained the same after the break with the home side pushing forward through patient build-ups and Everton hoping to catch them on the break but frustrated by the fact that they couldn't keep hold of the ball defending so deep and relying on just Marcus Bent up front.

Five minutes after the interval, Robben got in behind Hibbert for the first time but the defender did well to recover and stifle the shot before Kilbane was rightly booked for a poor challenge on Ferreira that prevented another break-away attack.

On 55 minutes, though, came Everton's best opportunity of the game. Leon Osman flighted an inch-perfect ball across goal but Alan Stubbs steered an unchallenged header the wrong side of the post with the goal gaping. It was a gilt-edged chance and he knew it.

At the other end, meanwhile, Robben whipped a direct free kick just wide of the upright and Watson made a crucial saving block to prevent Lampard's quick one-two with substitute Kezman from paying dividends. Seconds later, John Terry nodded down for Gudjohnsen but the Icelander hooked his shot high and wide when he really should have hit the target from close range.

Two minutes later, though, Everton's spririted defensive stand was broken. Carvalho cleared from his own corner flag to the halfway line where one touch sent Robben clear against Weir in what was a hopeless mis-match of pace. The defender made a last-ditch, half-hearted effort to pull the Ducthman's arm and disrupt his stride but Robben clipped the ball past Martyn to score the decisive goal.

Everton almost hit back with the perfect response when Pistone's cross found Cahill who rose to head too close to Cech.

Moyes's response was delayed but seven minutes later he introduced Kevin Campbell for Watson and the James McFadden for Pistone and the game turned on its head, with Everton controlling the ball going forward and Chelsea pulling men behind the ball. But the Blues weren't able to craft much in the way of chances in the final ten minutes, Campbell going closest with a half chance with five minutes left that he headed well over.

Although there was a certain inevitability about the result, this was by no means a foregone conclusion and Everton did enough to come away with a point, especially if Stubbs had put away that clear header or if Cahill had been able to guide either of his headers past the 'keeper. It's indicative of the enormous gulf in financial resources between these two clubs that Everton were forced to adopt a strategy of pulling all but one man behind the ball, but Moyes's side showed they are in the top three on merit with some wonderful passing football and determined defending.

Unfortunately, failing to win two weeks running has cost the Blues their cushion between themselves and fourth place meaning that Bolton can leapfrog them tomorrow should they win. Such is life in the higher echelons of the Premiership. Chelsea, meanwhile, unseat Arsenal at the top of the table with this win following the Gunners' draw at Crystal Palace.

  • Martyn 7 - Didn't have too much to do, in all honesty and was badly exposed for the goal while making a great save from Robben in the first half.
  • Hibbert 7 - Dealt with the threat of Duff well for the most part but his defensive duties prevented him from contributing as much as usual up front
  • Pistone 7 - A very solid game by the Italian
  • Weir 7 - His lack of pace didn't help for the goal and looked jittery on a couple of occasions but was solid apart from that
  • Stubbs 7 - Will be kicking himself for not putting away a second-half header but performed very well in defence
  • Watson 6 - Had to concentrate on defence which meant he couldn't contribute as much as he would have liked up front
  • Cahill 7 - Good link up play, some tough tackling and a couple of headers that would have earned hero status with more luck
  • Osman 6 - Had one of his less effective games but was productive nonetheless
  • Kilbane 8 - Had a great game, and was a part of much of what the Blues did going forward
  • Gravesen 6 - Good defensively but a little disappointing when it came to creating things going forward which the team needed
  • Bent 7 - Worked tirelessly alone up front and even chipped in defensively. Was unfortunate not to find himself with a single scoring opportunity
  • Campbell, McFadden, Chadwick - Not really involved enough to warrant a rating.

Lyndon Lloyd

Another great display

A first away defeat of the season, but nothing to get worried about.  This was a always going to be a huge test for us but being involved in a 'top-of-the-table' clash is the way forward and the lads never let us down.  Hopefully, we'll be involved in many more of these games in the near future great atmosphere at Stamford Bridge and a very good game to watch.

As expected, Chelsea had most of the play with Everton happy to sit back and keep numbers behind the ball.  That said, we looked really dangerous going forward and actually created the best clear-cut openings.  Straight from the kick-off, John Terry made in important block with his arm! from Dave Watson and later on Tim Cahill's header forced a good save out of Peter Cech.  As for Chelsea, a dozen corners, one outstanding save by Nigel Martyn to deny Arjen Robben, and two great last-ditch clearances from Tony Hibbert keep Eidar Gudjohnsen from scoring.

We might get criticised by some people for being too negative I'm sure Mourinho will find something to moan about after the game but that's simply not true.  Given the small squad we've got and lack of money, we're simply playing to our strengths.  Our back line has looked very solid most games this season but we're capable of playing some good football as well.  The midfield trio of Tommy Gravesen, Tim Cahill and Leon Osman have been brilliant so far and instrumental in our success.  Were we've seriously lacked creativity and goals, from midfield in recent years we've now got that in abundance.  Cahill has everything needed to become a great player at this level, Gravesen is playing his best football in an Everton shirt and Osman is likely to score a fair number of goals for us.  We kept Chelsea at bay with relative ease, they threatened at times but hardly really worried us.

After the break we did even better.  Tim Cahill again came close with a header and Alan Stubbs should definitely have scored with a free header from Osman's cross.  Chelsea never looked likely to score apart from a clear cut opening from Gudjohnsen which he missed by a mile.  Having spend around 200M on players in two years you would have thought they had someone able to hit the target.

Just when we thought we could get away with a draw or even more, we were beaten by a quality goal from a quality player.  If Arjen Robben can continue to produce performances like today, he might just give Chelsea that little bit extra they need to have a chance of winning the title.  A long punt up field and Weir and Stubbs were caught for pace, Robben did extremely well to finish under pressure.

Which Duncan Ferguson out injured, Moyes' options were limited. Kevin Campbell came on and nearly scored when Cech denied him from a clever ball in by Marcus Bent.  It wasn't to be.  Still, we showed the country today that we're more than just an average team temporarily occupying third spot.  We've deserved to win every game we won this season, and we've been unlucky against Spurs and Villa.  Losing at Stamford Bridge doesn't mean the wheels have come off.

Apart from Pistone, our defence looks rock solid Tony Hibbert was truly outstanding today.  Midfield is well balanced and up front Marcus Bent's form has improved dramatically over the last few weeks.  Yes, our squad is too small but with a bit of luck on the injury side there's no reason whatsoever why we shouldn't be able to stay this high up the table.  Two or three decent signings in January and we'll be looking at European football next season.

Defeated yes, but still plenty to look forward too.  Starting at Highbury on Tuesday night hopefully.

Rob van Dijk

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