Chelsea 3-3 Everton: Rescued by the rats

Date published: Saturday 16th January 2016 6:01

John Terry scored in the eighth minute of stoppage time to salvage a 3-3 draw for Chelsea against Everton.

Chelsea had fallen behind thanks to their captain, whose comedic own goal gave Everton the lead on 50 minutes. Kevin Mirallas doubled the lead for the visitors just six minutes later.

Goals from Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas had looked to have rescued a draw for the Blues in the 64th and 66th minute respectively, but Ramiro Funes Mori capitalised on lacklustre defending to convert Gerard Deulofeu’s cross in the 90th minute.

But Terry had the final say, cleverly flicking the ball past Tim Howard in the final minute of stoppage time to ensure the points were shared.

Chelsea are now unbeaten in seven since Jose Mourinho’s departure, with Guus Hiddink avoiding a first loss of his second spell in caretaker charge.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was again watching on, wearing a jacket adorned with the Champions League logo, and must be wishing for this season of strife to end.

The point did little to aid Chelsea’s hopes of returning to a place among Europe’s elite.

That prospect appears to depend on winning the Champions League this season, a scenario which appears even more far-fetched than when they did so in 2012.

A more realistic prospect, as Hiddink admitted on Friday, is relegation and Chelsea flirted with falling closer to the drop zone.

The first half was tepid, with little action on goal.

Howard denied Willian and Bryan Oviedo shot just wide for Everton, for whom former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku threatened.

Lukaku, who asked Mourinho to leave and was granted his wish, lurked menacingly, but Kurt Zouma repeatedly kept him quiet, often by covering for captain Terry.

Two Everton goals in eight second-half minutes brought the contest to life and watching England boss Roy Hodgson would have been pleased with the impact of Leighton Baines.

First, the left-back crossed for Terry to bundle the ball into his own net and then, after Ross Barkley had hit the post, Baines centred for Mirallas to control and fire in on the turn to leave the Toffees looking on course to claim a first league win at Stamford Bridge since November 1994.

It was all Everton, until calamity struck for the visitors.

Howard found himself in no-man’s land in a mix-up with Phil Jagielka, with neither reaching Fabregas’ long ball, and Costa walked the ball in.

Suddenly Chelsea had awoken from their slumber. Oscar shot at Howard and then Fabregas benefited from a deflection off Muhamed Besic to equalise.

Ten minutes after going 2-0 down, Chelsea were level.

They might have gone ahead had Costa made meaningful contact with a Cesar Azpilicueta cross.

Everton almost had a third themselves as Barkley threaded a ball through for Mirallas, who was thwarted by Thibaut Courtois.

Costa had to withdraw, with Loic Remy coming on, after the Spain international came off worse when fouling Baines.

Everton thought they had won it when Remy headed Deulofeu’s corner back to him and the Everton winger crossed again to the back post where Funes Mori adjusted to flick the ball past Courtois. Lukaku was also unmarked and might have scored too.

But Terry denied the Toffees a memorable win with a clever backheel flick, although the captain was in an offside position in the build-up.

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