Chelsea Draw Everton In FA Cup
Salomon Kalou saved Chelsea from an embarrassing defeat at the Goodison Park. The substitute brought the holders a late goal as the West-Londoners grabbed a fair result in Liverpool.
It’s been a very tough game that saw both sides struggling for a crucial victory that could have put them one step into the next round. Everton looked more decided though. Bilyaletdinov could bring the opening early in the 13th minute. Bosingwa left the midfielder unmarked but his shot couldn’t find the net. Fortunately, the sheet remained clean for Chelsea while the hosts started to become more aggressive.
Everton would finish the game with eight shots on target and ten corners. Chelsea had just five shots on goal and four corners. John Terry was also very close to open the score. Malouda’s 18th-minute corner found the defender alone unmarked, but captain’s header went just wide.
The 26th-minute found tall Fellaini directing a very dangerous action that also involved Saha and Rodwell. Fellaini found Saha in good position, trying to assist Rodwell for a killer. Cech would clear the air but Rodwell should have done it better. The next minute found Everton combining within Chelsea’s half. Neville downed Ivanovic with a superb cross that saw Bilyaletdinov heading goalwards but wide.
Anelka got his first in the 31st minute. Ramires’s drive ends with a tremendous pass through Everton’s defense that finds the French striker alone with Howard. But the keeper would make his save of the day. The half time went scoreless but both sides would start to look different within the second period.
Saha was the first to put pressure on Cech’s net. Rodwell’s cross found Saha almost unmarked inside the box just seven minutes into the second half, but his tight-angle volley has been immediately blocked by a compact blue defense.
Fellaini came up with a perfect header four minutes later, but Cech would save Chelsea once again. The Toffees miracle came in the 62nd minute. Everton wins a corner which, Baines crosses it and Saha heads it past the Czech keeper to make the warm home crowd go crazy.
But Chelsea needed just 13 minutes and an inspired Kalou to wake up. Carlo Ancelotti introduced Kalou as Chelsea looked more different. The Ivorian won the ball in the midfield and started a long-distance rally that ended with an incredible diagonal that downed two defenders plus Howard. 1-1 and Chelsea were back in game.
Anelka and Ramires would get to more attempts on goal, both saved by Howard. The scoreboard remained unchanged until the end. Tough game but right result. Said Ancelotti: “I think a draw was the right result, because we played better in the first half, they played better in the second half. The result was good, we were 1-0 down and it wasn’t easy at that moment to come back into the game.”
Chelsea visit Sunderland next Tuesday in Premier League, while Everton are expected to face Arsenal the same day.
FA Cup results:
Torquay United 0 – 1 Crawley Town
Watford 0 – 1 Brighton and Hove Albion
Burnley 3 – 1 Burton Albion
Bolton Wanderers 0 – 0 Wigan Athletic
Swansea City 1 – 2 Leyton Orient
Aston Villa 3 – 1 Blackburn Rovers
Sheffield Wednesday 4 – 1 Hereford United
Birmingham 3 – 2 Coventry City
Stevenage FC 1 – 2 Reading11