12 December 2020 22:46
Chelsea failed to return to the top of the Premier League as Gylfi Sigurdsson's penalty ended their 17-match unbeaten run. Sigurdsson converted his first league goal of the season midway through the first half after Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy had a rush of blood and ran into Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Though Chelsea dominated possession, their route to an equaliser was thwarted by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford who enjoyed a welcome return to form with two brilliant saves to deny Reece James while Mason Mount hit the post with a late free-kick. Gylfi Sigurdsson (right)'s first-half penalty was enough to earn Everton a 1-0 win over Chelsea The result condemned Frank Lampard (above) to a first defeat since the end of September After all the hype of being title challengers, it was a sobering evening for Blues boss Frank Lampard who missed the creative influence of Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic as £73million signing Kai Havertz struggled again in his 10th match without a goal. Last season's corresponding fixture had been a rip-roarer with interim boss Duncan Ferguson whipping up the Gwladys Street End during a surprise Everton win.
Though there were only two thousand supporters inside Goodison last night, they made up for it with plenty of noise as they celebrated their first live action since March 1. The match was played in front of 2,000 socially-distant Everton fans inside Goodison Park They jeered referee Jonathan Moss, still aggrieved at giving a soft penalty to Manchester United many moons ago, and applauded when both sides took the knee. Chelsea have recruited heavily since they were last on the blue half of Merseyside though the injured Ziyech was unable to join Timo Werner and Havertz in Lampard's starting line-up. For Everton, James Rodriguez missed out with a calf injury and youngsters Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey filled the full-back positions usually occupied by Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne. Everton pressed their opponents very well in the match while their backline defended superbly Everton also had the first shot in anger although Richarlison's attempt lacked venom and Mendy comfortably fell on the ball to save.
There was nothing subtle about it with Calvert-Lewin manfully chasing down a long ball and nicking it past Thiago Silva as it bounced up in the penalty area. The Toffees were given a first-half penalty after Edouard Mendy fouled Dominic Calvert-Lewin Sigurdsson rolled the ball past Mendy from 12 yards to give the Toffees a deserved lead Mendy, who had required treatment shortly before after he fell heavily making a catch, couldn't stop himself as he sprinted from goal and careered into the Everton striker for referee Jon Moss to point to the spot. Sigurdsson comfortably converted by rolling the ball low to Mendy's left as the goalkeeper dived the other way. The setback stirred Chelsea into action. James was denied by Pickford with a curling free-kick and then again by an even better save from the England goalkeeper.
James made a good connection from 20 yards after a corner had been half-cleared and was left disbelieving as Pickford turned it onto the post with his fingertips. Chelsea hit the post twice at Goodison Park through Reece James and Mason Mount (right) Everton were happy to be patient and try to hurt Chelsea on the counter. Their golden opportunity to add a second arrived after 38 minutes when Richarlison burst through but Mendy redeemed himself by narrowing the angle and making a block. Chelsea came out the traps fast in the second half, an indication that Lampard may have had some stern words during the interval. Pickford came out of his goal and punched to N'golo Kante just outside the penalty area. The Frenchman squared to Mason Mount who tried to loft the ball into an empty net before Pickford could get back but his aim was marginally high. Everton had a second-half penalty on Calvert-Lewin chalked off by VAR for offside An excellent block by Mina at one end led to a charge up the field culminating in Richarlison's shot tipped away by Mendy. Everton were now attacking the goal populated by their supporters leading to plenty of Oohs and Aahs whenever they crossed the halfway line. Everton were awarded a penalty after 63 minutes when Calvert-Lewin latched on to a pass by Alex Iwobi and was bundled over by Ben Chilwell as he cut inside. But the joy around Goodison was shortlived as VAR discovered the striker had been offside as he broke forward. Lampard threw on Tammy Abraham for the misfiring Havertz but they only came close to an equaliser once when Mount took responsibility for a free-kick and struck the right-hand upright with Pickford beaten. Sportsmail's SAM BLITZ below was on the live blog for Everton vs Chelsea including score, lineups and build-up. Hello and welcome to our live match updates from Everton vs Chelsea in the Premier League. After being away since the 1-1 draw with Manchester United back on March 1, fans return to Goodison Park tonight (just 2,000 due to Tier 2 restrictions) for the Blues' home game against the Londoners. Following just one win from their past seven matches, Everton will be looking to rekindle the spirit from just over a year ago when they faced Chelsea in the corresponding fixture under caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson and triumphed 3-1. The match kicks off at 8pm, live on BT Sport 1. Mateo Kovacic comes in for injured Hakim Ziyech with Kai Havertz expected to move from midfield into a more forward role. It is Kovacic's 50th Premier League start. It means there are nine changes from the midweek draw against Krasnodar with Edouard Mendy returning in goal, Thiago Silva back in the side and wearing the captain's armband, and Olivier Giroud leading the attack. Kurt Zouma starts against the club where he played on loan in 2018/19. There is no Christian Pulisic tonight with Lampard reporting: 'He has a bit of awareness in his hamstring. Goodison Park is not our happy place normally, but Chelsea do come in on the back of a 17-match unbeaten run and with growing confidence for achieving something significant this season. That makes this match a very important litmus test. Accordingly, Frank Lampard has selected the strongest lineup he could have, given our injuries in attack. Everton starting lineup (4-4-2?): Pickford | Holgate, Keane, Mena, Godfrey | Iwobi, Allan, Sigurdsson, Doucouré | Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3): Mendy | James, Thiago Silva (c), Zouma, Chilwell | Kovacic, Kanté, Havertz | Mount, Giroud, Werner Substitutes from: Kepa, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta, Gilmour, Jorginho, Anjorin, Abraham Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England Referee: Jonathan Moss (on pitch); Andre Marriner (VAR) On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere Streaming: BT Sport Live (UK); Peacock (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA) — Peacock is NBC's new streaming service, which they continue to push annoyingly hard though Xfinity customers get it for free (still counts against your data). LIVE BLOG