Chelsea Frustrated By Everton (Sky Sports)
Chelsea 0 Everton 0
A frustrating day for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge saw The Blues fail to breach the Everton defence, with Frank Lampard twice denied by the frame of the goal in a 0-0 draw.
Chelsea dominated possession, but despite hitting the woodwork twice, could no find away through a solid Toffees defence.
Indeed, but for two smart first half stops by Blues keeper Marco Ambrosio to deny Wayne Rooney - it could have been the visitors that escaped with all three points.
A strange first half had seen both sides go in ruing missed chances.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was the biggest culprit for Chelsea, with the Dutchman missing three chances that, by his own standards, he should have done better with.
The Holland international fired well over after a good work from Adrian Mutu, and then bundled the ball straight at Nigel Martyn when he got across his marker to meet a Geremi cross.
The third chance was the most straightforward of the lot, but Hasslebaink failed to make contact with another Geremi cross that skidded low across the six-yard box.
Mutu had a couple of headers and a tame attempted lob for the hosts, but at the other end Rooney was looking lively, and Chelsea's Robert Huth nervous on a rare start for The Blues.
The England international will be kicking himself for not taking the best of his chances, his low shot from six yards too close to Ambrosio who stretched out a leg and diverted wide.
Huth then carelessly allowed Rooney in behind him, but Ambrosio scrambled out and blocked the teenager's close range effort from a tight angle.
It was Chelsea who came closest to breaking the deadlock when Lampard's curling effort left Martyn a spectator, but rattled the crossbar.
The second half saw Everton play a good deal deeper and begin to restrict their hosts from the chances they had missed in the first half.
Joe Cole, looking lively but not quite finding the final product saw a shot fly narrowly wide - and won his side a number of free kicks in dangerous areas.
Chelsea piled on the pressure in the final stages, and Lampard was unlucky when his long range shot crashed against the inside of the post, with Martyn again beaten.
Hasselbaink's game was summed up with a terrible late miss, the ball coming off his knee and going narrowly wide when he had escaped his marker in the box.
But it was not to be - and although the point lifts Chelsea a point further from Manchester United - Claudio Ranieri will feel that an opportunity has been missed to consolidate their second place.
Chelsea Ambrosio, Gallas (Melchiot
25), Desailly, Huth, Bridge, Geremi, Lampard, Parker (Oliveira 79), Cole (Gronkjaer
79), Hasselbaink, Mutu.
Subs Not Used: Sullivan, Terry.
Everton Martyn, Pistone, Weir, Yobo,
Naysmith, McFadden (Carsley 56), Linderoth, Gravesen (Watson 85), Kilbane,
Rooney, Radzinski (Jeffers 77).
Subs Not Used: Wright, Nyarko.
Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).