Chelsea Logo Chelsea 3 - 1 Everton
Half-time: 1 - 0
Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 – Game 36
Saturday 1 May 1999
Stamford Bridge, London
Att: 34,909
« Charlton Athletic (h) Ref: Dermott Gallagher West Ham United (h) »
1998-99 Fixtures & Results League Position: 15th Premiership Results & Table
Chelsea: Zola (25', 81'), Petrescu (60')
EVERTON: Jeffers (69')
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used
Chelsea: De Goey, Ferrer, Desailly, Leboeuf (71' Lambourde), Le Saux, Petrescu (60' Goldbaek), Wise, Poyet, Morris (82' Babayaro), Zola, Forssell. Hitchcock, Flo.
EVERTON: Myhre; Weir, Short, Dunne (46' Degn), Unsworth, Ball; Barmby, Ward (71' Cadamarteri), Hutchison; Campbell, Jeffers.
Unavailable: Gemmill, Materazzi (suspended); Dacourt, Bilic, Branch, Collins, Cleland, Farley, Williamson, Parkinson (injured); Watson (rested).
Gerrard, Bakayoko, Phelan.
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
EVERTON: Ward (5'), Short (79')

Michael Kenrick  Pensioners' Charity Day
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH The smiling Sardinian puts Chelsea back on track
by Steve Curry
THE SUNDAY TIMES Chelsea call the tune
by Brian Glanville
Zola rekindles the blue flame
by Ronald Atkin
THE INDEPENDENT Chelsea need a spell in finishing school
by Graham Snowdon
THE TIMES Vialli's recipe lacks zest to taste success
by Alyson Rudd
THE EVERTONIAN Link to the Daily Post Match Report

THE GUARDIAN Link to Football Unlimited Match Report
THE OBSERVER Link to Football Unlimited Match Report
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

 Pensioners' Charity Day
Michael Kenrick, with player comments from Erling Saevik
Make no bones about it: this was a diabolical performance by Everton. At times, it was like a training match for Chelsea, at other times a testimonial. The lack of spirit and motivation in the Everton ranks was shameful. The defensive incompetence was embarrassing. They backed off way too far in a pathetic Smith-inspired effort to defend the solitary point with which they arrived.

Fear of possession filled the entire team but it was unnecessary; Everton were quite unable to retain possession for any appreciable time, or use it with any intelligence or guile. It was an utterly supine performance. Jeffers was the only one who seemed to show any natural ability going forward. He did this especially well for his goal, which completely transfixed de Goey.

  • Myhre 6 - Has now established himself as Norway's #1. After 5 games for Norway he's only let in 1 goal (vs Georgia last wednesday). Today, Myhre did OK. He made one or two mistakes but also saved a number of clear Chelsea chances. Nice to see him throw the ball out on three occasions.
  • Weir 4 - He is actually quite decent one-on-one. Not many gets past him. If he only could position himself! He was playing right back wasn't he? Hell, could have fooled me. Chelsea were given so much space down the flanks (mostly the right, but also the left side) that if they had had someone like Kanchelskis playing for them in his form of 95/96 then surely we would now have looked back on the worst result ever. Chelsea were pretty useless at finishing today.
  • Short 5 - Not too bad, but in the end got too much to do. Wasn't allowed to run the ball out of defence either as our midfield didn't create any space to run into. He's OK in the air.
  • Unsworth 6 - Looked okay for most of the game. A couple of important tackles, good in the air although he let Zola in front of him for their first. Did hoof it in the direction of the strikers at times. What would make it (more) effective however was if our midfield could support the strikers somewhat more. Then we'd have a few options.
  • Dunne 5 - For those who want to see more of our youth side in the first team, maybe that's not such a good idea after all. If Dunne is one of our best at that level, then surely the others won't stand out either. He looks at best average.
  • Ball 6 - In the first half Chelsea got a bit too much space down his flank. It got better in the second half, although I'm not sure if that was because Ball got better or because they simply had all the space in the world down the other flank and therefore didn't bother with Ball's side. Ball is pretty solid and shouldn't let us down.
  • Hutchison 5 - Pass and stand still seemed to be the general idea for our midfield today. Poor old Germany - they really are bad these days... Exposed himself at times with a bad touch (which actually is his good side) and useless passing. Obviously up against much better players in Poyet, Wise and Morris (who possibly has the best touch of any current English player).
  • Ward 4 - Didn't see him, so I can't comment any further.
  • Barmby 5 - He ran around a lot, as usual. Didn't really achieve much. Great chance near the end, which a goal-poacher would have buried, but he smacked it well within reach of the giant de Goey. 
  • Campbell 6 - Not very good. Ball bounced off him quite a few times and might have given us a glimpse of what he'll be like next season, after we've used all the money we haven't got to sign him...
  • Jeffers 7 - Hmm. He reminds me a lot of Branchy. Except that he's got a better touch and a better pair of shooting boots. Didn't get the service he deserved from midfield but still looked a class act in the making. How long can we hold onto him then ?
  • Degn 5 - Came on for Dunne wasn't it ? Well he didn't do much. Seemed to play right wing-back, but his crosses were useless at knee-height.
  • Cadamarteri 5 - Yeh he was on. Usual headless-chicken stuff. Next!

 The smiling Sardinian puts Chelsea back on track
Steve Curry, Electronic Telegraph
CHELSEA can do no more than win their remaining matches. In terms of a step at a time this was a quantum leap as Everton succumbed to the irresistible skill of smiling Sardinian Gianfranco Zola.

A delightful headed goal in the first half, an exquisite free-kick in the second with a goal from Dan Petrescu in between kept Chelsea on course for a place in the Champions' League.

Everton were a disappointing second best, seeking only to salvage a point but never seeming remotely likely to take anything from their visit to Stamford Bridge.

Three successive draws when victories were what was needed had resulted in a situation where Chelsea were reliant on Manchester United and Arsenal stumbling, and stumbling rather badly, for the Londoners to have a chance of winning a title that had looked like a distinct possibility earlier in the year.

Mikael Forssell, the young Finn still raw to Premiership football, led the attack yesterday, Gustavo Poyet and Ed De Goey had survived fitness tests earlier in the day, and Dennis Wise, sent off in the goalless December meeting between these sides, wore the captain's armband.

Everton began the game needing one goal to avoid equalling their lowest total for a season of 35, thanks largely to the nine they have scored in their last three games, six of those from the on-loan Kevin Campbell, whose sale last summer contributed to Nottingham Forest's demise. The Merseyside visitors began inauspiciously with Mitch Ward cautioned for a nasty challenge on Wise, never a wise thing to do, but it did not take Chelsea long to begin dominating the game with Graeme Le Saux, back after suspension conspicuous down the left flank.

Poyet flicked his first centre over the crossbar, claiming he had been nudged from behind and it was from this flank that most of what Chelsea produced emanated.

A lovely reverse ball from Poyet gave the England full-back another chance to centre intelligently and Wise was there to keep the high ball down well only for it clip Craig Short and deflect over.

Everton were having to defend stoically but were doing it quite well in central defence through Short and David Unsworth, frustrating Chelsea though Thomas Myhre had to position himself well to take a 20-yarder from Jody Morris shoulder high.

Such pressure was difficult to sustain and in the 26th minute Chelsea took the lead with what was a simple goal and one which will have Everton asking questions of their marking.

Ward lost possession to Poyet in midfield but it was an exchange of passes between Le Saux and Forssell that enabled Le Saux freedom down the left flank. This time his centre was inch-perfect for Zola, who buried it with an impressive header.

Chelsea should have wrapped it up when Petrescu, superbly put through by Wise, having his shot blocked by the legs of the alert and reactive Myhre.

Chelsea had chances enough to wrap the game up in the second half, while a crowd of 34,907 waited for Everton to really make a challenge. David Unsworth cleared off the line from Forssell and Petrescu completly missed a fine headed chance from a teasing Zola centre.

In the 59th minute, however, Chelsea appeared to have achieved their objective comfortably. Frank Leboeuf, one of few Premiership defenders who look comfortable coming out of defence, drove a fine shot at Everton's goal which Myhre was grateful just to beat out.

Unfortunately for him, it fell to Zola and his ball back into the middle was turned in by Petrescu, his last touch before being substituted.

It was perhaps typical of Chelsea that they should then make things difficult for themselves. Francis Jeffers, fresh from his week with England, picked up the ball 30 yards from goal, carried it forward without challenge and with De Goey stranded on the edge of his area, slipped it past him to give Everton a glimmer of hope.

That disappeared in the 80th minute when Short conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area and Zola, with almost lazy abandon, curled the ball into the top right-hand corner.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

 Chelsea call the tune
by Brian Glanville, The Sunday Times
WALTER Smith, Everton's dejected manager, put it well enough: "Basically, we got what we deserved. We were second in all the aspects of the game. We never acquitted ourselves well in any department, defensively, attacking-wise, possession of the ball . . ."

It was only too true. Chelsea, to the delight of player-manager Gianluca Vialli, who modestly declined even to sit on the bench - he told us the old story that if he doesn't start again, he would rather not participate at all - simply overwhelmed their mediocre opponents. The wonder of it was that Everton could actually come back into the game, reducing the score to 2-1, which, frankly, was the stuff of science fiction. But we are all well aware of the perversity of football itself; that a team which totally controls the game and cannot turn that dominance into goals is always in danger of conceding an undeserved goal, probably an equaliser.

This was the case with Chelsea. Vialli was able to say at the end: "As a manager, this is why you hope for the reaction from the players after a couple of difficult weeks." He made the analogy with the recent disappointing match here against Leicester when Chelsea, seemingly in command, gave away a couple of late goals, were held to a draw and largely threw away whatever chance they had of the Championship.

Today, he said: "The sense of relief was when the third goal went in. We were in control of the match. We were the side that was creating chances and playing well."

With Vialli deciding to be a non-participant, and Tore Andre Flo being kept on the bench, having scored twice for Norway in midweek before going down with a sore throat, there was a chance for Finnish teenager Mikael Forssell to start, and indeed to impress.

Vialli was properly pleased with him: "I think he did exceptionally well. He worked really hard. He had a couple of chances when he was a bit unlucky."

Everton, of course, have their own precocious teenager up front in Francis Jeffers, an 18-year-old who sat on the England bench in Budapest on Wednesday, though he did not make the field. He did nothing at all in the first half - though it must be said that his more experienced striking colleague, Kevin Campbell, did virtually nothing throughout the match.

In the second half, Jeffers missed an excellent chance when, put clear by Mitch Ward, he surprisingly allowed Frank Leboeuf to catch him with a dramatic saving tackle.

Subsequently, he shot wide of the left-hand post. Midway through the second half, against all logic, probability and expectation, he came in from an inside-right position to shoot left-footed between a strangely statuesque Ed de Goey and the right-hand Chelsea post. Vialli exonerated his goalkeeper, blaming the goal on the fact that, at this stage, his centre-back Leboeuf was injured. That might have facilitated Jeffers's run, but the shot itself scarcely seemed irresistible.

In theory it put Everton back in a game which should long have been out of their reach. Chelsea were embarrassingly superior to their mediocre opponents. Their football was sophisticated, swift, original and exciting. Gianfranco Zola was at his elusive, creative best. He well deserved the third Chelsea goal when, with one of his characteristic right-footed curling free kicks, he shot into the top right-hand corner of the Everton goal.

Throughout the game, Chelsea's attack had impressive support from the adventurous Uruguayan, Gustavo Poyet, while Dennis Wise and little Jody Morris, that precious rarity, an actual Chelsea development, kept the wheels briskly turning.

Chelsea could well have gone ahead after just nine minutes when Wise started a move carried on by Graeme Le Saux and Zola which ended with Wise driving in Le Saux's left-flank cross, only for David Unsworth to deflect the ball over the bar.

It seemed only a matter of time before Chelsea took a richly deserved lead, but it did not come until the 27th minute. Then Morris found Le Saux and Zola, insufficiently attended, headed in his left-wing cross.

Everton went in at the break a single goal down when there might have been three or four. And yet they might have equalised five minutes or so into the second half. Jeffers had a glorious chance made for him by Ward, but Leboeuf was there, surprisingly given his past difficulties against quick players, with a splendid saving tackle.

The next player to clear off the Everton line was Craig Short, after the lively Forssell had got the better of the Toffees' goalkeeper, Thomas Myhre. An inswinging cross from the right by Zola was so nearly converted by Dan Petrescu. But finally, Chelsea got the second goal they had been threatening for so long. Leboeuf thundered upfield for a strong right-footed shot which Myhre blocked but could not hold. Zola put it on a plate for Petrescu.

That should have been that, but midway through the half, Jeffers scored his goal and, emotionally at least, put Everton back in the picture. Not that things changed substantially. Chelsea were still calling the tune. Poyet sent Forssell through, but Myhre resourcefully saved with his feet. Then Zola, after 81 minutes, scored the third goal, to give the scoreline a certain rationality.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 Zola rekindles the blue flame
by Ronald Atkin, The Independent on Sunday
Chelsea's manager Gianluca Vialli might have written off his team's Premiership chances but the way they tore apart Everton indicated that they don't think they are out of it just yet. It was impressive, with Everton's recent run of three wins in a row just a memory and relegation still a statistical, if remote, possibility.

Chelsea's domination was constructed around the skills and intransigence of the three smallest men on the pitch - Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Wise and Jody Morris. They took an early, throttling grip on midfield and ensured Everton were rarely permitted a look-in.

Zola was in plundering form amid a profligate Chelsea, his two goals lifting his total for the season to 15, two clear of Tore Andre Flo, who was kept on the bench after his midweek exertions for Norway. The inability of others, Dan Petrescu in particular, to finish off the stream of opportunities, was the only thing which kept Everton from a hiding, as their manager, Walter Smith, conceded afterwards. What would have been a record fourth straight win never looked like happening, he said.

The Zola-Wise-Morris triangle ensured that plenty of early ball was provided for Graeme Le Saux, whose runs down the left were spoiled only by a tendency to put too much welly into his crosses.

But the gravest early threat to Everton was self-inflicted. Craig Short was caught in possession by Mikael Forssell but Zola frittered the advantage when he overran the ball as he closed in on goal.

Within a minute the little Italian showed how rare a fault that had been as he conjured a Wise pass on to his left foot before bending just wide of the far post. Then it was Wise's turn to be just off the mark when his drive caught an Everton boot and was deflected over the bar.

Soon after, an offside flag silenced the jubilation as Zola netted but a Chelsea goal was inevitable and it arrived in the 25th minute. Le Saux exchanged passes with Forssell as he careered down the left and this time his centre was perfectly weighted for Zola to head home. Chelsea then should have wrapped it up within two minutes but Petrescu boobed. Excellent work by Morris set up Wise for a glorious through ball but Petrescu permitted Thomas Myhre time to pull off a smothering save.

Don Hutchison, the midweek goal hero for Scotland in Germany, worked hard to get things together but he lacked support, and the only shot of note came from Francis Jeffers, poorly directed beyond the far post.

Everton's defenders managed to keep them alive just before half-time as first Richard Dunne got in a crucial tackle to block Zola and then David Weir headed off the line. But they had a real let-off eight minutes into the second half. Zola's precise centre found Petrescu alone in front of goal but he failed even to make contact with his attempted header.

Perhaps frustrated with the failure of others to get a goal, Franck Leboeuf sprinted forward for a thunderous effort which Myhre beat aside. Unfortunately for him, the ball rolled straight to Zola out on the left. He returned it where Petrescu stretched to prod it home. Overstretched, in fact, because he came off with what seemed to be a groin strain.

With 20 minutes to go, Everton scored. Out of the blue, so to speak. There seemed little threat when Jeffers picked up the ball just inside Chelsea's half but he strode through to strike a low left-footer which left Ed De Goey embarrassingly stranded.

Everton were briefly roused but Zola put them in their place eight minutes from the end, striking a free-kick sweetly into the top left-hand corner of Myhre's net. While agreeing that his team had dominated, Vialli said, "I was really relieved to see that go in because of the slips we have made lately in the last few minutes."

As for the title, he said the crucial factor was that Chelsea were chasing two very good teams. "One of them may slip up but not both of them I think. But we will try to keep the pressure on them."

Report © The Independent

 Chelsea need a spell in finishing school
by Graham Snowdon, The Independent
"I'm still not happy," complained the Chelsea fan on the Underground, having just watched his side run rings around Everton. "Don't get me wrong; it's all good, fancy stuff. It's just that we need to be more ruthless. We never take anyone to Sketchley's, y'know?"

Success may have spoiled some of Chelsea's supporters but if there was a small blot on an otherwise exceptional performance from the home side, it was a reluctance to take their chances. This was a mis-match in which Chelsea might have registered double figures, but in the end were grateful for Gianfranco Zola's superb late free-kick which secured the points.

"It was a very pleasing performance, quite outstanding," Gianluca Vialli, the Chelsea player-manager, said. Despite the mathematical permutations, the title, he agreed, was now off limits. "We will get there next season," he promised, reassuringly.

Zola and Gustavo Poyet were Everton's principal tormentors, with the Uruguayan quick to push forward at any opportunity. Yet Chelsea's approach play was at times as frustrating as it was breathtaking.

To describe Everton as poor in the first half would have been an injustice as they barely touched the ball, let alone had the opportunity to give it away. Often it seemed like their white-shirted players had vanished into the crowd soaking up the afternoon sun and Chelsea accepted the opportunity to create some dazzle of their own.

The visitors had begun with three centre-halves at the heart of a five-man defence. That Zola, at 5ft 6in the joint-smallest player (along with Dennis Wise) on the field, was able to rise unmarked to head home Chelsea's opening goal pretty much summed up the effectiveness of that strategy. It was a beautifully worked move, Poyet's one-two with Graeme Le Saux releasing the Englishman, whose cross dissected Craig Short and David Unsworth as Zola stole in.

Everton reverted to 4-4-2 but could find no antidote to the dominance of Wise and Jody Morris in midfield. That it took Chelsea an hour to score their second goal was the biggest surprise. Franck Leboeuf's drive was parried by Thomas Myhre but the rebound fell straight to Zola, whose centre was met by Dan Petrescu.

It was left to Francis Jeffers, Everton's one bright note on an otherwise grim afternoon, to briefly haul his side back into the match with a powerful low shot which caught everyone off guard, not least Ed De Goey in the Chelsea goal.

Danny Cadamarteri came on to bolster the Everton attack and, with the score at 2-1, the home side had to endure a nervous 10 minutes before Zola's free-kick settled matters.

Report © The Independent

 Vialli's recipe lacks zest to taste success
by Alyson Rudd, The Times
PRESUMABLY, Delia Smith woke one morning and wondered what the point was of pontificating about garlic emulsions and balsamic vinegar when the art of boiling an egg had been all but forgotten.

Gianluca Vialli has not yet had that vision. For sure, Chelsea can purée and pestle, sweat and simmer, they can add just the right amount of coriander and produce al dente veg while half-asleep - but, as for buttering bread or frying an egg, they appear to have lost the art.

It is still possible that Chelsea's goal difference, when compared with the other teams in the top four, could haunt them. Had Arsenal, Manchester United or Leeds United faced an Everton side in such a compliant mood, they would have scored at least six or seven and hit the woodwork several times for good measure. Chelsea's greatest margin of victory in the FA Carling Premiership this season has been by just three goals, yet they are a side who can produce more intricate and penetrative football than all of their rivals.

"Great things come to those who wait," Vialli said in his programme notes, while Ken Bates, the Chelsea chairman, asked of the team: "For pity's sake, shoot. Shoot, shoot, shoot."

Chelsea have flair and individual skill but honour caution. On countless occasions against Everton, a promising break was slowed down - the foot was rested on the ball, options were weighed up - and Zola seemed intent on unnecessary pirouettes.

There is nothing wrong with Vialli's basic philosophy. He knows that skill is not enough and he has forged Chelsea into an extremely fit and well-organised side. He knows, too, that mistakes must be eradicated and that calls for precision.

However, to win in a season where the competition is particularly strong, an element of risk has to be involved. On Wednesday, Chelsea face Leeds in a match that will probably decide which of the two sides play in the Champions' League next season. It may be that the winner takes all, but do not expect Chelsea to throw all they have at the Yorkshire side.

Everton missed Dacourt badly, but even a blindfolded Chelsea would have run rings around them. Poyet, who can boss and bustle, had neither the need nor the desire to engage in anything other than elegant one-touch passing. Le Saux, in particular, capitalised on the freedom on offer and, although he had to bide his time before crossing into the area, he still produced the perfect ball for Zola to sneak in and score with a header.

Petrescu made it 2-0 despite being slow to react when Myhre parried Leboeuf's long-range strike, but stirred just in time to connect when Zola prodded the ball back into the area. Zola carefully placed a free kick for the third but, before that, Jeffers had embarked on a carefree run to beat De Goey. The Chelsea defence looked seemed bemused.Being carefree is not something they indulge in.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 RESULTS  (Game 36)
Saturday 1 May 1999
Charlton Athletic     0-0  Blackburn Rovers         20,043
Chelsea               3-1  Everton                  34,909
Zola 25,80, Petrescu 59    Jeffers 68               
Coventry City         2-1  Wimbledon                21,200
Huckerby 16, Whelan 29     Hartson 74              
Liverpool             3-2  Tottenham Hotspur        44,007
Redknapp pen:49, Ince 76,  Carragher og:12, Iversen 35
McManaman 78,                                       
Manchester United     2-1  Aston Villa              55,189
Watson og:20, Beckham 46   Joachim 33              
Newcastle United      1-1  Middlesbrough            36,784
Shearer pen:62             Mustoe 59               
Nottingham Forest     2-0  Sheffield Wednesday      20,480
Porfirio 14, Rogers 17                              
Southampton           2-1  Leicester City           15,228
Marsden 37, Beattie 74     Marshall 17             
Sunday 2 May 1999
Arsenal               1-0  Derby County             37,323
Anelka 15
Wednesday 5 May 1999
Chelsea               1-0  Leeds United             34,762
Poyet 67
Leicester City        2-0  Derby County             20,535
Sinclair 28                Sturridge 18, Beck 60
Liverpool                  Manchester United        44,702
Redknapp pen:70, Ince 88   Yorke 22, Irwin pen:57
Tottenham Hotspur     1-3  Arsenal                  36,019
Anderton 42                Petit 15, Anelka 33, Kanu 85

 LEAGUE TABLE (after 5 May 1999 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Arsenal                      36   21   12    3   58   16   42   75 <ECL
Manchester United            35   20   12    3   78   36   42   72 <ECL
Chelsea                      36   19   14    3   53   27   26   71 <ECL
Leeds United                 36   17   12    7   59   32   27   63
Aston Villa                  36   15   10   11   48   41    7   55
West Ham United              36   15    9   12   42   47   -5   54
Liverpool                    36   14    9   13   65   48   17   51
Middlesbrough                36   12   15    9   48   49   -1   51
Derby County                 36   13   12   11   39   43   -4   51
Tottenham Hotspur            36   11   13   12   44   46   -2   46 <Uefa
Leicester City               36   11   13   12   38   45   -7   46
Newcastle United             36   11   12   13   47   52   -5   45 <Uefa
Wimbledon                    36   10   12   14   40   58  -18   42 <Safe
Sheffield Wednesday          36   11    7   18   39   42   -3   40
Everton                      36   10   10   16   36   45   -9   40
Coventry City                36   11    7   18   37   49  -12   40
Southampton                  36    9    8   19   33   64  -31   35
Blackburn Rovers             35    7   12   16   36   49  -13   33
Charlton Athletic            36    7   12   17   37   52  -15   33
Nottingham Forest            36    5    9   22   32   68  -36   24 <Div 1
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© Michael Kenrick 1999
Last updated: 5 May 1999