Pickford Heroics See Everton Past Chelsea To Boost Survival Hopes   (Sky Sports)

Everton 1 Chelsea 0

JJordan PickfordEverton boosted their hopes of Premier League survival as Richarlison's second-half strike and a string of fine saves from Jordan Pickford secured a crucial 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park.

Following Burnley's comeback victory against Watford on Saturday, the pressure was firmly on Frank Lampard's side, and the importance of the game was shown by the scenes around the ground before kick-off as Everton fans lined the streets to greet their side's arrival.

The electric atmosphere continued inside Goodison Park, and after a goalless first half in which Everton had the better of the play, they eventually broke the deadlock very early after the break through Richarlison's strike (46).

It was not all plain sailing for Everton and they needed Pickford to make not one, but two stunning saves as he denied Cesar Azpilicuta with a save-of-the-season contender before blocking Antonio Rudiger's goal-bound effort.

Everton came under late pressure as Chelsea pushed for an equaliser, but the Blues were denied again by Pickford, who kept out Mateo Kovacic's low strike as Lampard's side, urged over the line by the home fans, held on to move two points behind Leeds and Burnley, with a game in hand.

Meanwhile, defeat still leaves Chelsea, who stay third, with work to do to wrap up a top-four finish.

How Pickford's heroics boosted Everton...

Everton, roared on by their supporters, were unsurprisingly quick out of the blocks. They pressed Chelsea all over the pitch and made life extremely uncomfortable for Thomas Tuchel's side in the early stages.

The two sides exchanged shots on goal inside the first 10 minutes as Anthony Gordon's free-kick flew over the crossbar before Mason Mount's long-range effort failed to test Pickford.

After withstanding the early Everton pressure, Chelsea grew into the game, dominating possession. However, they failed to really click going forward and didn't muster a single shot on target in the first half.

Meanwhile, Everton were feeding off the ferocious Goodison Park atmosphere and they were putting an incredible shift in across the park, but there was also a lack of real quality in the final third from the hosts.

Gordon had the best chance for Lampard's side, but the forward dragged a shot wide of the upright from 20 yards as the two sides went in level at half-time.

The big question at the break was whether Everton could continue at the pace they set in the first half.

It took just 59 seconds of the second half to get an answer as Richarlison charged down an Azpilicueta clearance on the edge of his own area and the loose dropped to Demarai Gray, who teed up his team-mate to beat Edouard Mendy and give Everton the lead.

The lead should have been doubled moments later, but Vitaliy Mykolenko blazed wide with only Mendy to beat.

Then came Pickford's heroics as he produced a superb goalline stop to deny Azpilicueta and then, in the next phase of play, he took a shot from Antonio Rudiger full in the face to keep Chelsea at bay.

He was soon at it again with a one-handed save from a Ruben Loftus-Cheek drive, but with the pressure growing and nerves jangling, Everton defended resolutely in a bid to keep a clean sheet.

In seven minutes of added time, they needed their goalkeeper again. Pickford got down low to block a Kovacic shot as Everton held on for a vital victory.

Opta stats: Can Chelsea win spark Everton resurgence?

Everton have beaten Chelsea in four successive Premier League games at Goodison Park, their best winning run at home against the Blues in the league since 1973 (also four).

Only Liverpool (18) and Newcastle (15) have won more Premier League points at home since Frank Lampard’s first Everton game at Goodison Park on February 12.

The Everton boss is only the second of 10 former Chelsea managers to win their first Premier League match against the Blues after leaving the club (D1 L8), after Claudio Ranieri in December 2015 as Leicester boss.

Pickford's stunning saves… what they said…

Everton captain Seamus Coleman: "That save he came back off the line and parried out was world class, and we see that on a daily basis in training, and that is why he is England's number one - some of the saves were world class."

Everton boss Frank Lampard: "Jordan made great saves. They are Chelsea and will have chances, but we had chances as well. Jordan is such a great lad, he is England's number one and that is the reason why. That is top-level goalkeeping, I am happy with him and all the players, and all the subs who came on."

Sky Sports' Graeme Souness: "Jordan Pickford won the game for Everton single-handedly with his saves. Some of the saves he's not entitled to get anywhere near them."

Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp: "The one to deny Azpilicueta is the save of the season. It was magnificent. We've given Pickford a lot of stick in the past, but he was brilliant."

Pickford: It's what I am there for

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after his man of the match display:

"It is what I am there for, and it is a team effort at the end of the day, it is all about getting three points. I really enjoyed it but that is what I am there to do, help the team.

"We cannot get too carried away, we have to keep fighting and the fans have played a massive part."

What the managers said…

Everton boss Frank Lampard: "Difficult. They are always a team that will put you under pressure late on. We did brilliantly. The team, stadium, the fans were man of the match today. From the drive in to the support, which we need. Thanks to them.

"The fans are in the middle of this. I am pleased the players could see on the way in what it means to the fans. They know that and understand it. They got behind us, were nicely aggressive, this place has to be a hard place to come. Results have been good here at Goodison before I came, we have to maintain that.

"We have to fight for points, we are in the relegation zone, and we have to go with that same spirit every game.

"They [the players] have to show they care. I like that. They don't have to go over the line but have to show they care; the fans want to see that. I prodded them a bit before the game because the situation is clear. We need to perform with that level in all our remaining games. That needs to keep coming in and if it doesn't, we have to sort it out.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel: "We hate to lose, we are responsible for it. It was our responsibility in Old Trafford to not have more - we struggle to have consecutive clean sheets and top performances and that is why we lost today.

"We have to be without mistakes, disciplined in your positions and don't make mistakes. When you have that much possession, we did not play our best match, but we were in control, and then we gave a goal away and it kills the game for us because it is everything the opponent wants. It is a huge pattern in our season.

"We have now four matches in the last two weeks and one clean sheet, that needs to change - if we try to get away with OK performances that is not good for us, we are a team that needs to be on the very top limit on every match basis. If we try to get away with OK, we lose games.

"We struggle with concentration and determination levels and you see that in the last four matches."

Opta stats: Below par Chelsea pay the price

From conceding in the 46th minute, Chelsea trailed for 44 minutes in this match, more than in their previous 17 away Premier League games this season combined (29).

Three of Chelsea’s six Premier League losses this season have come in their last six games (W2 D1), the same number of defeats the Blues suffered through their first 28 league games of the season (W17 D8 L3).
In the two Premier League meetings between Everton and Chelsea this season, Toffees ‘keeper Jordan Pickford has managed 14 saves, and conceded just one goal.

Everton's remaining fixtures

May 7 - Leicester City (a)

May 11 - Watford (a)

May 15 - Brentford (a)

May 19 - Crystal Palace (h)

May 22 - Arsenal (a)

Chelsea's remaining fixtures

May 7 - Wolves (h)

May 11 - Leeds (a), live on Sky Sports

May 14 - Liverpool (n), FA Cup final

May 19 - Leicester City (h)

May 22 - Watford (h)

What's next?

Everton's next clash is a trip to Leicester City, before their crucial game in hand away at Watford on May 11. Frank Lampard's side end the season with home games against Brentford and Crystal Palace and then go to Arsenal on the final day of the season.

Chelsea host Wolves next weekend, before travelling to Leeds on May 11, live on Sky Sports, in their final match before their FA Cup final with Liverpool a few days later. The Blues then have home games against Leicester and Watford to end the season.


Everton Pickford, Coleman (c), Holgate, Mina, Mykolenko, Delph (Allan 71), Doucoure, Iwobi, Gray, Richarlison (Rondon 80), Gray (Alli 90+4)
Subs Not Used Begovic, Kenny, Keane, Branthwaite, Davies, Calvert Lewin
Booked Coleman, Delph, Holgate
Goals Richarlison 46

Chelsea Mendy, Azpilicueta (c) (Pulisic 68), Silva, Rudiger, James, Jorginho (Kovacic 46), Loftus-Cheek, Alonso, Mount, Havertz, Werner (Ziyech 68)
Subs Not Used Kepa, Chalobah, Sarr, Saul, Kenedy, Lukaku
Booked Rudiger, Mount, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Havertz

Attendance 39,256

Referee Kevin Friend

VAR John Brooks