Super Beckford sinks Chelsea
A magnificent solo goal from Jermaine Beckford helped 10-man Everton claim a 1-0 victory against Chelsea.
Last Updated: 22/05/11 7:51pm
A magnificent individual solo goal from Jermaine Beckford helped 10-man Everton claim a 1-0 victory against a lacklustre Chelsea at Goodison Park.
The striker picked up the ball on the edge of his own area on 75 minutes before running almost the length of the field past lumbering Chelsea players before dinking the ball over the advancing Petr Cech and end the Toffees' campaign on a high.
The fallen champions barely threatened as the hosts made all the running at Goodison Park.
Phil Jagielka clipped the crossbar with a header while referee Peter Walton turned down strong appeals for a penalty when Alex's last-ditch tackle denied Leon Osman a certain goal.
After Seamus Coleman was sent off for a second bookable offence early in the second half for a lunge at Jon Obi Mikel, Carlo Ancelotti's side failed to take the initiative, even after John Terry's shot struck the post, and the Merseysiders deservedly took all three points thanks to Beckford's brilliance.
It will certainly be a disappointing end for their manager Ancelotti if speculation he is to leave Stamford Bridge proves correct.
Chelsea clearly missed Didier Drogba, out with a groin injury, but Everton lacked their inspirational captain Phil Neville due to a painful mouth infection.
The match began at typical end-of-season pace with little urgency shown by either side in the opening five minutes.
Everton upped the tempo when Jack Rodwell broke down the right and pushed into the box to win a corner.
Jagielka got forward for the resulting set-piece and went close when he met Mikel Arteta's cross with a firm header which clipped the top of the bar.
Coleman was then denied in front of goal by a fine Ashley Cole tackle and Osman was denied a penalty after going down under a challenge from Alex.
It was not until the 24th minute that Chelsea created a serious chance as Torres and Frank Lampard combined to set up Nicolas Anelka but Sylvain Distin slid in to block.
Beckford should have done better when he broke into the area but his final touch was neither shot nor cross and Chelsea survived.
Tim Howard was tested for the first time in the final minute of the first half when he saved twice from Anelka.
Beckford appeared to beat Alex early in the second half but was body-checked and the defender was booked.
The Merseysiders' afternoon took a turn for the worse as Coleman was dismissed.
The Irishman lost control but appeared to win back the ball as he dived into a challenge but referee Walton was unimpressed with the studs-up tackle.
After a fracas involving several players from both sides, Coleman was shown the yellow and red cards but he still left to a standing ovation in recognition of an outstanding season.
That briefly sparked Chelsea into life and Terry went close to opening the scoring with a thunderous low shot from distance which struck the base of the post.
Everton quickly responded as Beckford brilliantly controlled a long ball inside the Chelsea box and turned inside Alex but Cech smothered his shot.
Arteta then went close as he fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
Beckford continued to trouble Alex and Walton showed leniency when the defender brought him down again just inside the Everton half.
Alex was spared further punishment as Ancelotti replaced him with Paulo Ferreira moments later.
Beckford was not to be denied and took centre stage in magnificent style to secure victory with 15 minutes remaining.
The former Leeds forward broke up a Chelsea attack on the edge of his own box and then set off on a long run into the other box.
He got a lucky break on halfway when the ball rebounded kindly off Ferreira but he took full advantage as he continued his charge.
Cech came out to meet him as he raced into the box and the keeper got a hand to the ball as Beckford chipped for goal but the shot had just enough power and bobbled over the line.It was just what the hosts deserved and Chelsea lacked the urgency to press for an equaliser.
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