Everton 0-0 Chelsea: Sam Allardyce's side hold on for point
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 23/12/17 8:36pm
Everton extended their unbeaten Premier League run to six matches with a hard-earned goalless draw against Chelsea at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Chelsea controlled possession and created the better chances, but could not find a breakthrough against a dogged Everton defence.
Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams both cleared off the line for the Toffees and the latter also deflected a cross from Victor Moses on to his own bar.
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Everton did not have a shot on target but could have snatched a winner in injury-time as Michael Keane headed over from a corner.
The draw continues Everton's revival under Sam Allardyce, who remains unbeaten since he took charge almost a month ago. Chelsea, meanwhile, are 13 points behind leaders Manchester City - who face Bournemouth later on Saturday.
Everton: Pickford (7), Keane (8), Jagielka (8), Kenny (7), Martina (7), Schneiderlin (7), Lennon (5), Gueye (6), Davies (6), Sigurdsson (6), Calvert-Lewin (6)
Subs: Williams (6), Sandro (5), Baningime (5)
Chelsea: Courtois (6), Rudiger (6), Christensen (6), Azpilicueta (6), Alonso (7), Moses (7), Kante (6), Bakayoko (6), Willian (5), Hazard (6), Pedro (5)
Subs: Fabregas (5), Batshuayi (5), Zappacosta (5)
Man of the match: Michael Keane
The visitors, who had 25 shots to five from Everton, set the tone early and went close as Jagielka twice blocked on the line.
But Everton withstood the early pressure and largely managed to keep the visitors at bay, with Pickford not seriously called into action until the 35th minute to keep out a shot from Pedro.
Everton's best moment of the half came in the final minute as Dominic Calvert-Lewin won possession from Andreas Christensen, but he failed to make the most of the chance, much to the frustration of Gylfi Sigurdsson - who was unmarked at the back post.
Williams and Sandro Ramirez were introduced at half-time by Everton and the former was soon called into action to clear a shot on the line after Pickford again saved from Pedro.
Everton lost Idrissa Gueye to injury and Chelsea continued to threaten more, with Pickford forced into a sharp save in the 66th minute to push away a low shot from Eden Hazard.
Rooney missed out for Everton with illness while Keane and Jagielka replaced Williams and Holgate in defence. Bolasie returned to the squad for the first time in a year after recovering from a long-term knee injury. Chelsea made one change as Rudiger came in for Cahill, and Morata was suspended.
Williams then deflected a cross from Moses on to the bar as Chelsea piled on the pressure in the final 20 minutes.
They could not grab a winner, however, and Keane almost snatched the points for Everton when he headed over from a corner in injury-time.
- Everton kept their first Premier League clean sheet in nine games against Chelsea, since a 1-0 win in September 2013.
- Everton have kept three clean sheets in their five Premier League games under Sam Allardyce - the same number they'd kept in their previous 18 in the competition.
- Chelsea have now had two goalless draws in the Premier League this season - they didn't have a single one in Antonio Conte's first season in charge.
- Chelsea's haul of 25 shots was the third highest shot tally by an away team in the Premier League this season, and the most by an away side without scoring.
- Meanwhile, Everton failed to have a single shot on target in a home Premier League game for the first time since December 4, 2011 vs Stoke; 2211 days ago.
Man of the match - Michael Keane
Making his first appearance since the start of the month, Keane was at the heart of a solid defensive display from Everton. Keane made eight interceptions, three more than any other Everton player, and could have won it late on when he headed over from a corner.
Sky Sports commentator Alan Smith said: "As a team Everton defended heroically but Michael Keane was coming back into the side and confidence would not have been high at the start, but he was so strong and determined out there."
The Pundit - Jamie Redknapp
"From Conte's point of view, get Batshuayi on. You could see the way the game was flowing. It was not a game for clever football, you almost had to score an ugly goal. And that is when they needed a finisher on the pitch.
"With no Morata and you still do not play him, what is he thinking? The manager does not fancy me one bit…. Even though his centre forward is injured (suspended), he still does not play him.
"And as a player, if you cannot get in the team when the centre forward is out, you may as well go somewhere else if you ask me."
Sam Allardyce: "In terms of effort, commitment and defensive organisation, and we have played against a hugely talented front five, and we had a little bit of luck here and there, especially with the one that came off the bar," he said.
"But when needed Jordan Pickford is in the right spot for us and we have really rolled up our sleeves today and dug it out.
"I changed the shape of the team at half-time and went two up top to try and put more pressure on Chelsea's back three, but we did not really deliver enough quality and that disappointed me.
"I felt that with just one up, we were getting nowhere in the first half. So I put two up to stop their centre halves coming out with the ball and also to get down the side of their centre halves."
Antonio Conte: "A lot of possession and a lot of shots, 26, but only eight on target," said Conte. "We dominated the game and had lots of chances to score, I think this result is unfair.
"Everton deserve credit, but we deserved to win. If you watched the game you could see we played from the start to the end. We created many chances, hit the crossbar, and maybe [Jordan] Pickford was the best player. But I praised the effort of my players.
"It is a pity to drop two points. It is normal to drop points with a poor performance, but not today. We needed a bit of luck."
Everton are on the road in their next two matches as they go to West Brom on Boxing Day and then travel to Bournemouth on Saturday, December 30. Chelsea host Brighton on Boxing Day and are at home again on Saturday against Stoke.