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Chelsea held to a disappointing 2-2 draw with Everton

Chelsea and Everton players

A run of three victories in a row had eased the pressure on Chelsea manager Graham Potter before kick-off, and the Blues started the game full of confidence.

Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz had the best of the early chances, but neither tested Jordan Pickford, and that was ultimately the story of the first half.

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The hosts did work the shot-stopper on three occasions, but the England goalkeeper was never really troubled.

The Toffees, meanwhile, offered next to nothing going forward but, considering how tight things are at the bottom of the table, even a point would significantly boost their survival hopes.

Before this albeit short winning streak, the wind may have been taken out of Chelsea’s sails after failing to find the back of the net during a spell of dominance, but a run of form can do wonders.

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Shortly after the break, Havertz was denied by a Pickford save and, within seven minutes of the restart, the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League (UCL) winners had the lead.

João Félix, who had been such a livewire in the first half, got the goal his performance deserved, firing into the corner via the post from just outside the area.

However, instead of pushing on and looking to end the game as a contest, Chelsea took their foot off the gas.

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The visitors always look threatening from set-pieces, and it was from a corner that they equalised when Abdoulaye Doucouré got his head onto James Tarkowski’s effort at goal.

There was to be another twist in the tale, though, as Potter’s men restored their advantage with 15 minutes remaining.

Reece James, on one of his many forays forward, was felled in the penalty area by Tarkowski, leaving referee Darren England with an easy decision to point to the spot.

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In the recent UCL victory over Borussia Dortmund, Havertz needed two attempts from 12 yards to score, but on this occasion, one sufficed as Germany international sent Pickford the wrong way.

Just as it seemed Chelsea were going to hold on to pick up all three points, substitute Ellis Simms popped with a vital goal for his side, making a fool of Kalidou Koulibaly on his way to slotting past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The result sees Everton move two points clear of the relegation zone, while their opponents missed the chance to go within as many points of the top six.

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