Chelsea 3-3 Everton: John Terry nets 98th-minute equaliser in thriller
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 17/01/16 7:45am
John Terry followed up an own goal with a controversial equaliser in the 98th minute to rescue a point for Chelsea in a pulsating 3-3 draw with Everton.
After a uninspiring goalless first half, the game at Stamford Bridge burst into life with all six goals coming in the second period, Everton racing into a 2-0 lead through Terry's mishap and then a wonderful Kevin Mirallas effort.
Chelsea, who are just six points above the relegation zone, responded with two quick-fire goals from Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, but Toffees substitute Ramiro Funes Mori flicked home what looked like the winning goal on 90 minutes.
However, there was one last twist deep into injury-time as Terry - who appeared offside - flicked home to make amends and preserve Guus Hiddink's unbeaten record on his return to Stamford Bridge.
There was more than an air of nervousness in the air in west London as Hiddink went in search of his first win at home in the Premier League.
Chelsea lacked fluency in the opening stages and with the crowd getting restless it was Everton that controlled proceedings.
Willian had a strike tipped to safety by Tim Howard but the best chance of the half fell to Mirallas, who spun away from Kurt Zouma before firing an effort towards the bottom corner that was brilliantly palmed away by Thibaut Courtois.
Both goalkeepers were far busier after the break as the game turned into a Premier League classic.
The eventual hero, Terry, who was making his 700th professional appearance, sparked the scoring with an unfortunate own goal on 50 minutes. Everton worked the ball to Leighton Baines on the left and he fizzed a cross into the middle. Terry slid in to try and clear the ball but only deflected it against his own body and over the line.
Everton took advantage of Chelsea's wobbles and doubled the lead five minutes later.
Just after Ross Barkley had hammered the post, they worked the ball to Baines and he pinged a quick ball into Mirallas' feet. He had plenty to do but with a quick shimmy he made space to hammer a fantastic half-volley into the far corner.
Chelsea needed inspiration from somewhere and they got it through Costa, who scored his fifth goal in his last five games. Fabregas looped a 60-yard ball over Phil Jagielka's head, which drew Howard out of his goal. The lack of communication between the pair opened the door for Costa to nip in and have the easy task of rolling the ball into an empty net.
Stamford Bridge was now rocking and Everton crumbled.
Two minutes later Costa and Fabregas executed a quick one-two on the edge of the area before the midfielder struck an effort, which deflected beyond the clutches of Howard.
The game lost all shape and logic in the remaining stages as both teams ploughed forward in search of a winner. It was a breathless period.
Costa sliced wide a presentable chance from close range before Mirallas scampered clear on goal but was denied by a brave save from Courtois.
Bryan Oviedo was then stretched off with a leg injury - a worrying sign for the Everton man, who suffered a double leg break in January 2014. He was joined on the treatment room by Costa on 80 minutes after he limped off with a calf strain. Both injures meant there would be seven minutes of injury time to be played - a period which started and finished with a bang.
Everton substitute Gerard Deulofeu found space on the right wing to bend over a delicious cross that took out the entire Chelsea defence and Courtois.
Funes Mori, who replaced Oviedo, was waiting at the back post to prod home before tearing off into the away end to celebrate with his supporters, ripping off his protective head band in the process.
It looked like the winning goal - but the scoring wasn't finished yet.
As the clock ticked past the 97th minute, a long ball into Everton territory was flicked on by Zouma, Branislav Ivanovic, and then Oscar. The ball dropped to Terry, who was a yard offside, and he skilfully flicked the ball past Howard.
Cue bedlam in the stands, and anger on the Everton bench.
Matt Le Tissier's Soccer Saturday verdict
"Take nothing away from John Terry's finish, but he was offside. It was a pulsating second half. At half time if you said to me that this would have ended 3-3, I would not have believed you. Martinez sets his teams up to take risks and get forward. That leaves them vulnerable at the back.
"Fair play to Everton after getting themselves back in the lead after Chelsea came back. I have never seen a Chelsea side defend this badly. It is bizarre to see after so many years of being so solid at the back. For the third goal, three Chelsea players just stood and watched. Absolutely static. We are not accustomed to seeing this from Chelsea."
Chelsea: Courtois (7), Ivanovic (6), Zouma (6), Terry (7), Azpilicueta (7), Mikel (7), Matic (4); Willian (6), Fabregas (7), Pedro (6), Diego Costa (8).
Subs used: Kenedy (7), Oscar (7), Remy (6)
Everton: Howard (6), Baines (8), Jagielka (7), Stones (6), Oviedo (6), Barry (7), Besic (6), Mirallas (8), Barkley (7), Lennon (6), Lukaku (6).
Subs used: Deulofeu (7), Pienaar (6), Funes Mori (7)
Man of the match: Leighton Baines