Chelsea 1-1 Everton

Vialli quotes

Any hopes Chelsea had of claiming the Championship are now distant memories after they were forced to settle for a point against a determined Everton outfit.

It was no less than Walter Smith's men deserved but Gianluca Vialli will have been disturbed by his teams lack of cutting edge in front of goal.

Vialli, true to form, made four changes to his midweek Champions League line-up for the visit of Everton as he attempted to keep his squad fresh for their punishing schedule of two games a week this month.

But, after a quiet opening period, it was midweek goalscoring hero Dennis Wise who put the Blues in front just before the half-hour, with the home side's first meaningful attempt on goal.

Roberto di Matteo and Chris Sutton combined to set up Wise, and the England midfielder made no mistake as he slotted his shot past 'keeper Paul Gerrard into the far corner for his ninth goal of the season.

Chelsea, however, were still not managing to get out of second gear, although Gianfranco Zola fired in a good shot on the turn.

Everton, who had 3m signing Stephen Hughes making his debut, had only a free-kick fired over the bar by Joe-Max Moore and a shot by Abel Xavier to show for their first-half efforts, but they were right back in it just after the hour.

Danny Cadamarteri, who seems to save most of his goals for the capital, lashed the ball past 'keeper De Goey after a Mark Pembridge long-throw caused panic in the home defence. Suddenly the visitors had belief in themselves, although Chelsea continued to enjoy the bulk of possession.

Chelsea's best chance of securing all three points fell to Jody Morris in the final minute, but his header flew straight into Gerrard's arms.

Chelsea: De Goey, Ferrer, Thome, Leboeuf, Harley (Poyet 72), Di Matteo, Wise, Morris, Babayaro, Sutton, Zola (Flo 46).
Subs Not Used: Ambrosetti, Cudicini, Terry.
Goals: Wise 29.

Everton: Gerrard, Dunne, Gough, Weir, Collins, Barmby, Xavier, Hughes, Pembridge, Cadamarteri, Moore.
Subs Not Used: Myhre, Watson, Gemmill, Jevons, Ward.
Booked: Gough, Barmby.
Goals: Cadamarteri 69.
Att: 35,113
Ref: D Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill).

Vialli Condemns Wastefulness

Gianluca Vialli refused to condemn his misfiring strikeforce as he insisted that his side had deserved victory against Everton at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues had to settle for a 1-1 draw when Danny Cadamarteri pounced from close-range to equalise Dennis Wise's first-half opener with 21 minutes left.

"The result was a bit harsh on us as I think we did enough to win the game. But unfortunately we did not defend the throw-in well enough. Overall, it was a good performance though with some good football but this is football," he reasoned.

"You make a little mistake and you are punished. I think it's mainly down to the number of matches we play though. With George Weah out, it doesn't allow me to make many changes so there are a lot of matches in a short space of time and you can feel a bit tired."