Everton v Chelsea: Pictures
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Everton moved within two points of safety with a shock 1-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday afternoon. In an incredibly feisty encounter, it was a slipup from the usually-reliable Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta that cost his side on the day.
Richarlison broke the deadlock after 47 minutes for Frank Lampard’s side, capitalising on a slip from Azpilicueta – who was the last man – and slotting beneath Edouard Mendy to send Goodison Park into a frenzy.
With so much stake for Everton, their fans rising to the occasion and Lampard facing his former side, it was always going to be a tasty 90 minutes of football. But the match surpassed expectations comfortably.
Express Sport takes a look at five key talking points from the game.
Midfield maestro Mount
Several Chelsea stars are likely to depart Stamford Bridge in the summer, and Thomas Tuchel will be keen to keep hold of Mason Mount – who has recently been linked with a departure. The England international is an integral part of the Blues side, operating in numerous different positions over the course of 90 minutes and helping the team tick.
The Sun report that Chelsea are fearful that Amount could force away from his boyhood club due to his contractual situation – which cannot be improved as it stands due to the sanctions imposed on the club. The 23-year-old is one of the lowest-paid players at the club and is attracting interest from Manchester City and Liverpool.
Mount has scored 10 and assisted nine for Chelsea this season, and although he wasn’t able to add to those tallies against Everton, he was important in the team’s ball retention and breaking through the significant numbers that Lampard’s side had behind the ball.
Everton’s top scorer Richarlison has stepped up for his club on several occasions this season. His goal on Sunday was his ninth of the campaign, and his overall performance justified why many believe the Brazilian will be saying goodbye to his teammates in the summer – relegation or not.
The 24-year-old is an ever-present pest for opposition defenders to deal with, as shown by how he forced the Azpilicueta mishap, and his unsporting attitude certainly unnerves some players. But it was his ability with the ball that caught the eye at Goodison Park.
Richarlison threatened with his pace and close control when racing down the flanks and in behind, whilst his well-taken goal also highlighted his clinical edge. Manchester United are the latest side to be linked with the forward, and if Everton do face the drop then other suitors are certain to emerge.
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Everton’s winning attitude
For some reason, it has taken for Everton to drop into the bottom three for their players to realise that they are in freefall and give it their all. For one of the first times since Lampard has taken control of the club, his team pressed in numbers and with purpose, defended like their lives depended on it and each individual left everything out on the pitch.
Their victory takes moves them within touching distance of 17th-placed Leeds, and if they capitalise on their game in hand then they will have their fait in their own hands. Everton’s performance against Chelsea will give their fans a reason to be positive with just a few games left of the campaign.
Questions have, understandably, been raised of the attitude of Chelsea of late. It would take a bizarre turn of events for the club to not finish in third place in the league, which has been the case for quite a while now.
And although it is unlikely that Tuchel or any of his players will admit it, complacency appears to be creeping into their game. Individual errors have cost the team of late, and they did again against Everton.
The Blues appear to lack the fight and grit that they have shown previously, and the fact that City and Liverpool have pulled clear of them would certainly be a disappointing justification for that. Tuchel needs to get to the bottom of their mentality woes urgently.
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Pickford consolidates England claims
Jordan Pickford has been England’s number one for the last few major tournaments, and his display against Chelsea showcased why he is the man for the occasion. Quality displays by Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope have led many to believe that Gareth Southgate may opt for a switch up between the sticks for the Three Lions at the Qatar World Cup, but Pickford consolidated his claims on Sunday.
The former Sunderland shot-stopper made two world-class stops to deny Azpilicueta and Rudiger from close range, and if either of the two had nestled into the back of the net then it would have been no surprise to see the momentum swing in favour of the away side.
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