Blues Equal Record With Draw  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 1 Everton 1 

Chelsea equalled Liverpool's unbeaten home record of 63 league matches with a 1-1 draw against Everton, as David Moyes' side secured their place in next season's Uefa Cup.

The Blues' record was briefly in doubt when James Vaughan opened the scoring shortly after half-time, but Didier Drogba responded with a neat equaliser.

Chelsea dominated the game for long periods and created more chances, but they were left breathing a sigh of relief when Everton saw a last-gasp goal chalked off for offside.

Although Michael Essien was rested and there were a host of unfamiliar faces on the bench, Jose Mourinho selected a strong starting XI in his bid to stretch Chelsea's unbeaten home run to three seasons.

Everton only had to avoid a heavy defeat in order to clinch European qualification but they began as if they needed to win, Lee Carsley working Petr Cech with a volley from distance in the first minute.

James Vaughan also forced Cech into action with an audacious dipping effort from 30 yards, while Joseph Yobo headed over from Mikel Arteta's free-kick.

Chelsea's players, perhaps more concerned about avoiding injury ahead of the FA Cup final, may not have bargained for a bruising midfield battle but they were given no time to settle into a comfortable rhythm.

However, they gradually started to dominate possession and carved out a number of opportunities before half-time.

Didier Drogba was unusually wayward as he slammed shots high and then wide from good positions, but Tim Howard did have to produce a good save to deny John Obi Mikel from outside the area.

Salomon Kalou bamboozled Tony Hibbert as he cut in from the left wing, only to fire tamely at Howard from a tight angle.

The best chance of the half fell to Joe Cole in the 30th minute following more good work from Kalou down the left, but the England midfielder's strike from the centre of the box was deflected just wide by Yobo.

Drogba again failed to trouble Howard as he curled a free-kick from 20 yards off target, before Kalou was guilty of a far more embarrassing miss just after the restart.

Paulo Ferreira escaped from Manuel Fernandes down the right wing and slid in an inviting cross between Howard and his defence. Kalou seemed set to supply the simplest of finishes from close range but somehow poked the ball over the crossbar.

Chelsea were made to rue Kalou's error in the 50th minute when Everton scored against the run of play. Leon Osman released Vaughan following a swift counter-attack and the teenage striker coolly slotted past Cech at his near post.

Vaughan nearly stunned Chelsea with a spectacular second moments later as he acrobatically fashioned something out of Arteta's poor cross, but his volley was parried away superbly by Cech.

In a thrilling passage of play Drogba then drew Chelsea level in the 57th minute as he clinically side-footed Shaun Wright-Phillips' low cross into the bottom left corner, although Moyes was furious that the goal was allowed to stand after Arteta had been fouled by Ferreira in the build-up.

Kalou appeared to still be dwelling on his earlier miss when he tried to be too intricate and return a pass to Drogba instead of shooting, as Chelsea laid siege to the Everton goal in the closing stages.

Chelsea's afternoon took a turn for the worse in the 74th minute when Mikel, in obvious discomfort, had to be replaced by Nuno Morais.

But they continued to pour forward in pursuit of a winner and Ben Sahar and Kalou both saw efforts saved by Howard.

It was Everton who were ultimately unlucky not to claim all three points though, as James McFadden's goal was controversially ruled out for offside after Cech had beaten away Carsley's powerful drive.


Chelsea Cech, Boulahrouz, Bridge (Hutchinson 89), Ferreira, Terry, J. Cole (Sahar 70), Lampard, Mikel (Morais 74), Wright-Phillips, Drogba, Kalou
Subs Not Used Hilario, Sawyer
Booked Bridge, J. Cole
Goals Drogba 57

Everton Howard, Hibbert, Lescott, Neville, Stubbs, Yobo, Arteta, Carsley, Fernandes (McFadden 77), Osman, Vaughn (Beattie 72)
Subs Not Used Turner, Naysmith, Valente
Booked Carsley
Goals  Vaughn 50

Attendance 41,746

Referee M. Halsey

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