Richarlison and Pickford give Toffees fighting chance in survival bid – XenBet

Richarlison’s goal and Jordan Pickford’s heroics between the posts breathed life into Everton’s Premier League survival bid as the Toffees beat Chelsea 1-0 at Goodison Park.

Burnley’s dramatic win over Watford on Saturday left Everton five points from safety with two games in hand, and despite being underdogs for the visit of Chelsea, Frank Lampard’s side rose to the challenge.

There were four more yellow cards than there were shots on target during a bruising first half, but the entertainment ramped up after the interval thanks to Richarlison’s composed opener.

Vitalii Mykolenko wasted the chance to make it 2-0 before Pickford produced two stunning saves to keep Everton in charge as they ultimately held on to a potentially vital win.

A feisty opening period produced little goal-mouth excitement, with the most gripping incident arguably being the prolonged confrontation between the two sets of players after Mason Mount fouled Yerry Mina, with Seamus Coleman and Cesar Azpilicueta booked for going head-to-head.

The lively Anthony Gordon had gone close a few moments earlier, though, shooting just wide of the bottom-right corner after cutting in off the right flank.

That was at least evidence of some Everton intent, and that – coupled with their desire to scrap – earned them the lead just after half-time, as Richarlison robbed Azpilicueta and coolly swept past Edouard Mendy after Demarai Gray set him free.

Mykolenko inexplicably shot wide from close range a few moments later, before Pickford took centre-stage.

First, he incredibly denied Azpilicueta’s rebound effort right on the line after Mount’s shot hit both posts, then blocked a point-blank Antonio Rudiger strike with his face.

Finally, he got down well right near the end to keep Mateo Kovacic’s goal-bound attempt out.

+44 – Coming into today’s match against Everton, Chelsea had only trailed for 29 minutes away from home in the Premier League this season, with Richarlison’s goal after 46 minutes today more than doubling their season total (73 minutes trailing on the road). Self-inflicted.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 1, 2022

What does it mean? Lampard gives Chelsea the Blues as Toffees bring the fireworks

Everton were not exceptional in terms of dominating or creating chances, but the spirit they displayed on Sunday was spectacular at times.

Chelsea were always going to be in for a tricky game, as demonstrated by Everton fans’ firework antics outside their hotel on Saturday night, but perhaps they were not expecting the sheer willingness to fight for virtually everything.

It was a gripping and gruelling encounter that could well have saved Everton’s season as Lampard became only the second former Chelsea manager to beat the Blues in his first Premier League match against them – Leeds United are now just two points ahead of them having played an extra game.

Pickford pick of the bunch

There were several outstanding performers for Everton, with Richarlison, Gordon and Gray all impressive in their own right, but it’s impossible to look beyond Pickford as the key figure.

The England goalkeeper made three utterly priceless saves in the second half, including one in stoppage time. Had a poorer stopper been in net, Everton surely would have lost this.

Azpilicueta infuriates

Culpable for Everton’s goal, Azpilicueta had a bad day all round. He failed to beat Pickford when Mount’s effort came back to him and more than once he got involved in needless confrontations that only seemed to energise the hosts and their fans.

Key Opta facts

– Everton have beaten Chelsea in four successive Premier League games at Goodison Park, their best winning run at home against the Blues in the league since 1973 (also four).
– Three of Chelsea’s six Premier League losses this season have come in their last six games (W2 D1), the same number of defeats the Blues suffered through their first 28 league games of the season (W17 D8 L3).
– Only Liverpool (18) and Newcastle (15) have won more Premier League points at home since Lampard’s first Everton game at Goodison Park on February 12 than the Toffees (13), winning four of those seven matches (D1 L2).
– From conceding in the 46th minute, Chelsea trailed for 44 minutes in this match, more than in their previous 17 away Premier League games this season combined (29).
– In the two Premier League meetings between Everton and Chelsea this season, Pickford has managed 14 saves, and conceded just one goal. Only Jose Sa (15 v Southampton), Martin Dubravka (15 v Liverpool) and Daniel Bachmann (16 v Spurs) have recorded more against one side in 2021-22.

What’s next?

Everton’s desperate fight resumes away to Leicester City in a week’s time, while Chelsea host Wolves the day before.

Source of the article

Author: Heidi Porter