Dominic Calvert-Lewin's double gave Duncan Ferguson a perfect start as Everton caretaker as they beat Chelsea 3-1 at Goodison Park.
Thrust into his first managerial role following the departure of Marco Silva on Thursday, Ferguson was celebrating wildly on the touchline inside five minutes when Richarlison headed Djibril Sidibe's cross past Kepa Arrizabalaga.
It was a backs-to-the-walls job for the hosts from then on as Chelsea dominated possession and territory, but they still had chances to score and did double their lead four minutes after the break when Calvert-Lewin robbed Kurt Zouma before slotting through Kepa's legs.
Three minutes later, Chelsea got themselves back in the game when Mateo Kovacic fired in a pinpoint low effort from 25 yards, but their comeback hopes were quelled late on when a defensive shambles allowed Calvert-Lewin to poke home for his first Premier League double late on.
Home Team: Pickford (7), Sidibe (8), Holgate (7), Keane (7), Digne (7), Schneiderlin (7), Sigurdsson (7), Walcott (7), Richarlison (8), Iwobi (7), Calvert-Lewin (9).
Subs: Davies (7), Baines (6), Bernard (n/a).
Away Team: Kepa (5), James (6), Christensen (5), Zouma (5), Azpilicueta (5), Kante (7), Kovacic (7), Willian (6), Mount (7), Pulisic (5), Abraham (5).
Subs: Hudson-Odoi (5), Batshuayi (n/a).
Man of the match: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
How Everton got their character back
Even before kick-off, Goodison Park felt a rejuvenated arena as one of their own took to the home dugout, and within minutes of a rousing cheer met Ferguson's arrival from the tunnel the Everton fans were on their feet again as Richarlison buried the ball past Kepa from a brilliant Sidibe cross.
Everton's new-found heart and desire was evident as they outran their opponents from kick-off. The hosts weathered a storm of possession from Chelsea, who failed to register a shot on target until the 35th minute.
By that point Everton could have doubled their lead, but Calvert-Lewin failed to take advantage of a lovely ball slipped into the box by Theo Walcott, and shot straight at Kepa from a good angle.
But having ridden those long spells of Chelsea pressure before the break, Everton doubled their lead four minutes into the second period as Calvert-Lewin made amends in style, robbing Zouma on the edge of the Chelsea box before running through and showing composure to slot the ball under Kepa.
Duncan Ferguson brought back Morgan Schneiderlin and Theo Walcott for his first game in charge of Everton.
Chelsea named an unchanged side from the one that beat Aston Villa on Wednesday night.
Goodison Park was rocking now but the volume was soon turned down a notch or two when a cross was cleared to Kovacic, who fired in first-time out of nowhere, out of reach of Jordan Pickford and into the bottom corner.
Mason Holgate made a crucial block on Mason Mount's goalbound volley to keep the Toffees ahead as Chelsea again began to turn the screw with time running out, but nerves soon turned to more unbridled joy for Ferguson with six minutes left.
A comedy of errors at the back for Chelsea could not overshadow Everton's sheer desire to score as Kepa's dreadful pass was picked off by Walcott before Zouma could reach it, and despite Kante's despairing dive when the ball was worked to Tom Davies, Calvert-Lewin refused to give up hope and scuffed the ball in to seal victory.
The announcement of six minutes of injury time was still enough to worry a home crowd who have not been used to winning in recent times but at the final whistle the relief was palpable on Ferguson's face, while in the directors' box owner Fahrad Moshiri beamed as his caretaker staked the best case he could to get a longer shot at the top job.
What the managers said...
Everton boss Duncan Ferguson: "It was just relief, excitement... I'd have hugged the linesman if he was there. It is just emotion, just such adrenaline. It was an incredible feeling. I've scored goals for this club, I've been involved in finals but that was incredible - not the goal but getting the points. It is difficult to describe. I've popped into the boardroom to see them (his family) and they were obviously delighted. Plenty of tears."
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard: "The first (goal conceded) was something we were aware of, Richarlison in the air, and the other two were really poor defending. We can't give away the ridiculous (third) goal we gave away. They were direct and we had to deal with that and we didn't deal with it well enough."
Man of the match - Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Plenty of questions have been asked of Calvert-Lewin during his Everton career and more were brewing when he wasted a good first-half chance. It would be poetic to link Ferguson's management to his brace that followed, and, while unlikely, his performance was hugely encouraging for both player and manager.
Both of his goals were proper striker goals, the first an instinctive finish and the second a case of right time, right place, and if he can make a habit of this, any questions about his ability will vanish pretty quickly.
- Everton enjoyed just their third win in 12 Premier League games (D1 L8), with the Toffees ending a run of three defeats in the competition.
- Chelsea have lost a Premier League game against a team with a manager taking charge of their first game in the competition for the first time ever, excluding their game against Oldham on the first day of the 1992-93 season (P18 W14 D3 L1).
- Chelsea have registered only one clean sheet in 17 Premier League away games in 2019, a joint-low among teams to play in both seasons (Tottenham also have 1 in 16).
Social media reaction
Did Duncan Ferguson make a difference? Everton made 37 tackles against Chelsea. That’s the most by any team in the Premier League this season and the most that Everton have made in a Premier League game all decade.— Adam Bate (@ghostgoal) December 7, 2019
🗣 | DF: "It's difficult to describe the feeling. It was pure emotion - I was close to tears at the end. Nothing was planned [with the celebrations]. I'm very proud and nobody can take this away from me. But it's not about me - it's about Everton." #EVECHE— Everton (@Everton) December 7, 2019
Yes, Dunc! 💙 pic.twitter.com/5ACjSYH1jl
Everton travel to Manchester United, perhaps with a new manager in tow, next Sunday at 2pm live on Sky Sports Premier League. Chelsea host Lille on Tuesday at 8pm, as they look to reach the Champions League last 16.