Sun 30 Dec 2012 13:30 (Attendance: 39,485)
An historic year for the club draws to a close with a visit to Merseyside. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton see out 2012…
Something has to change if Chelsea are to sustain the pressure on the top two: three times in our last three league visits the Blues have returned from Goodison Park without any points. The Londoners, though, are in fine form again, similar to the start of the season.
In fact, outside of grim November and a few days at either end, Chelsea have dropped just two points in the league.
This match marks the halfway point of the campaign. It is a curiosity that our first league double came against Norwich even before we have played either Southampton or today's opponents once. With 35 points, the champions of Europe now have the same tally as all the bottom three Premier League clubs combined.
There is no respite from the present hectic schedule for a while. Following this trip the Blues have weekend and midweek games up till 12 January.
Glancing back at the Boxing Day game, at 17 years and 10 months old when he came on at Norwich, Nathan Ake is our youngest debutant since Josh McEachran made his first team bow in 2010 (aged 17 years, six months).
The impressive youngster from the Netherlands wore Chelsea's highest squad number yet in an official match: 57.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Sunderland v Tottenham 12.45pm - Sky Sports
Aston Villa v Wigan 3.00pm
Fulham v Swansea 3.00pm
Manchester United v West Brom 3.00pm
Norwich v Manchester City 3.00pm
Reading v West Ham 3.00pm
Stoke v Southampton 3.00pm
Arsenal v Newcastle 5.30pm - ESPN
Everton v Chelsea 1.30pm - Sky Sports
QPR v Liverpool 4.00pm - Sky Sports
|Barclays Premier League table top eight|
Race for the Premier League Golden Glove
Asmir Begovic (Stoke) 9
Petr Cech 8
Joe Hart (Manchester City) 7
Simon Mignolet (Sunderland) 7
Leading scorers in all competitions
Robin van Persie (Manchester Utd) 16
Fernando Torres 14
Jermain Defoe (Tottemham) 14
Miguel Michu (Swansea) 14
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 14
Juan Mata 13
Demba Ba (Newcastle) 11
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 11
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Chelsea have won three on the spin but Everton have won this fixture on the last three occasions. Who will be kings of the Blues on Sunday?
David Moyes will no doubt have arranged special measures to deal with Juan Mata. The Spaniard's importance to his club can be measured in the fact he has contributed seven goals and seven assists in 14 Barclays Premier League games. He has scored six in eight matches and has managed more crosses (48), shots on goal (38) and on target (27) than any other Chelsea player in the league.
As he showed again at Carrow Road, when fed by Oscar, he needs just a few spare yards on the edge of the box to do his damage. Everton will want no repeat of the shambolic defending that allowed Kone to pull one back for Wigan on Boxing Day. The Toffees have not kept a clean sheet in 14 league matches.
The Blue Brazilian and Manchester City's Vincent Kompany were the Premier League's only representatives in the 2012 'team of the year' just published by venerable French football magazine 'l'Équipe'.
David Luiz excelled again in midfield against Norwich - despite three wayward long shots - and the central defensive partnership of Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill has kept consecutive clean sheets in the league. Cesar Azpilicueta versus Steven Pienaar could be a fascinating match-up.
Marouane Fellaini has consistently been a thorn in Chelsea's side, losing just once infive league meetings. The powerful Moroccan/Belgian, a threat from the crosses Everton regularly angle into the box, is suspended for the last of three games this weekend.
His absence, as well as those of Seamus Coleman and Kevin Mirallas, has forced a refit in the Toffees' engine room, with in-form Leon Osman moving to the right and Moyes switching to a 4-4-2 formation. Most sides try not to set themselves up to be outnumbered in the middle, but Everton may feel they have a physical superiority in the heft department.
They can also knock the ball up to a front two quickly if they wish, although one of their two attackers, injury-prone Victor Anichebe, was subbed after 70 minutes on Wednesday.
Darron Gibson's red card against West Ham last weekend has been rescinded.
For Everton, Gibson is a doubt having come off at half-time on Boxing Day with a thigh strain. Right-back Seamus Coleman might return but Tony Hibbert (hamstring) and striker Kevin Mirallas (calf) are injured.
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WE HAVE HISTORY
The Blues of London and Merseyside have been playing each other since 1907/08, when 50,000 at the Bridge watched a brace for Jimmy Windridge overcome Booth's equaliser for the Toffeemen,and a hat-trick for 'Gatling Gun' George Hilsdon earned a 3-0 victory at Goodison Park in front of 10,000 on Merseyside.
Everton are the side we beat at Villa Park to reach the FA Cup final for the first time in 1915. Successes in the league at Goodison have never come easily. Chelsea's biggest margin of victory remains that 1908 3-0, though we finished with the larger share of seven goals in December 1984 thanks largely to three goals from Gordon Davies.
London also brought home the bacon in November 1989 thanks to a side under Scouser Bobby Campbell that included Tony Dorigo, Kenny Monkou, Kerry Dixon and a Hazard from seasons past, Micky.
The two teams faced each other as title challengers, with the recently promoted southern Blues top of the table. Colin Harvey's side had been humbled 0-6 by Aston Villa the week before. Harvey revealed his team were nervous about facing their supporters, though former Chelsea man Pat Nevin had more reason than most to welcome the fixture.
As it turned out, Harvey was right to be apprehensive. 'With [Graham] Roberts acting as the spare man in defence and Hazard as the spare man in attack,' observed The Times, 'they were were comprehensively superior at Goodison Park.' Roberts's sweeper role allowed full-backs Dorigo and Steve Clarke to raid forward more than usually, and Hazard caused the Toffees untold trouble roving behind Dixon and Kevin Wilson.
The only goal of the game came when a loose ball fell to Clarke on the edge of the box and he fired an angled shot past Neville Southall. It was one of three the current West Brom manager would score that season for Chelsea and a vital one. His match-winning performance earned a recall to the Scotland squad.
Everton have beaten Chelsea in the last three meetings in the Premier League at Goodison Park, although we were victorious there in last season's Carling Cup
Our last league victory at Goodison Park was in April 2008 when a first-half Michael Essien goal secured the three points.
Our last 10 league meetings at Goodison Park
2002/03 - Chelsea won 3-1
2003/04 - Chelsea won 1-0
2004/05 - Chelsea won 1-0
2005/06 - Drew 1-1
2006/07 - Chelsea won 3-2
2007/08 - Chelsea won 1-0
2008/09 - Drew 0-0
2009/10 - Everton won 2-1
2010/11 - Everton won 1-0
2011/12 - Everton won 2-0
LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING MATCH
Everton 2 Chelsea 0
Barclays Premier League, Saturday 11 February 2012
Ref Mike Jones
Manager David Moyes
Howard; Neville (c), Heitinga, Distin, Baines; Donavan, Gibson, Fellaini, Pienaar: Cahill; Stracqualursi
Substitutes Drenthe for Pienaar (74), Hibbert for Gibson (88), Duffy for Stracqualursi (90+3)
Scorers Pienaar (5), Stracqualursi (71)
Manager Andre Villas-Boas
Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, D Luiz, Cole; Meireles, Essien, Lampard (c): Sturridge, Torres, Mata.
Substitutes Malouda for Essien (68), Bertrand for Cole (76), Lukaku for Mata (77).
Booked Meireles, Bosingwa, Torres
Other fixtures last season
15 October 2011 Barclays Premier League
Sturridge 30 Vellios 80
26 October 2011 Carling Cup fourth round
Saha 83 Kalou 37
After extra time
Everton v Chelsea in all competitions
Games played 16
Chelsea wins 63
Everton wins 51
Head to head in the league at Goodison Park
Games played 73
Chelsea wins 15
Everton wins 36
Biggest league win at Goodison Park for each team
Everton 6-0 Chelsea - 29/04/1978
Everton 0-3 Chelsea - 01/04/1908 and 13/10/1956
Chelsea won a league game at Goodison Park: 1,718
Everton lost at home in the Premier League: 284
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,780
Liverpool won the league: 8,275
Visit again tomorrow for part two of the Briefing.
Chelsea have won six of our last seven matches in all competitions.
The Blues have opened the scoring on 12 occasions in the Barclays Premier League this season and have gone on to win 11 of those matches; the loss at West Ham is the sole exception.
Only Stoke, with nine, have kept more clean sheets than Chelsea's eight.
Following the win at Carrow Road, the Blues are 10 points better off compared with the corresponding 18 games last season.
|Last six results|
|Dec 8||Sunderland (a)||W 3-1|
|Dec 13||Monterrey (Club World Cup SF, Japan)||W 3-1|
|Dec 16||Corinthians (Club World Cup final, Japan)||L 0-1|
|Dec 19||Leeds (League Cup QF a)||W 5-1|
|Dec 23||Aston Villa (h)||W 8-0|
|Dec 26||Norwich (a)||W 1-0|
Premier League scorers
Mata 7, Torres 7, E Hazard 4 (1 pen), Ivanovic 4, Lampard 4 (2 pens), Ramires 3, Cahill 2, Cole 1, D Luiz 1, Moses 1, Oscar 1, Sturridge 1, Terry 1. Total 37
League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 4
An away defeat: 2
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Wed 2 Jan||Queens Park Rangers home||7.45pm|
|Sat 5 Jan||Southampton (FA Cup) away||3pm|
|Wed 9 Jan||Swansea (League Cup semi-final, 1st leg) home||7.45pm|
Petr Cech will make his 400th appearance for Chelsea, the first overseas player to reach that milestone.
Frank Lampard now requires three goals to equal our second highest top scorer in all competitions - Kerry Dixon with 193.
9 League championships, last in 1987
5 FA Cups, last in 1995
1 European Cup Winners' Cup in 1985
9 FA Charity Shields (1 shared), last in 1995
Everton have only lost two (West Brom and Reading this season) of their last 28 Premier League games. They are unbeaten in seven since the 2-1 reverse at Reading on 17 November.
Everton (and Stoke) are only one of two clubs to remain unbeaten at home this season.
At home they have won nine and drawn four of their last 13. Their last reverse at Goodison Park was against Arsenal in March.
This season at home they have beaten Manchester United, Southampton, Sunderland, Tottenham and Wigan and drawn with Newcastle, Liverpool, Norwich and Arsenal.
The Toffees have drawn nine of their league games this term. Only Stoke have with 10 have drawn more.
Everton have not kept a clean sheet for 14 games, the longest run in the Premier League.
They have scored in their last 16 games, also the longest run in the Premier League.
Steven Pienaar has won more free kicks than any other Premier League player - 45
Manager David Moyes
Days in charge: 3,943
|Everton's last 10 year Premier League history|
LAST PREMIER LEAGUE LINE UP
Everton 2 Wigan 1
Wednesday 26 December 2012
Team Howard: Neville (c), Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Osman, Gibson, Hitzlsperger, Pienaar; Jelavić, Anichebe.
Scorers Osman (51), Jagielka (76)
Substitutes Naismith for Gibson (h/t), Oviedo for Anichebe (69), Heitinga for Hitzlsperger (69)
|Last six results|
|Nov 28||Arsenal (h)||D 1-1|
|Dec 1||Manchester City (a)||D 1-1|
|Dec 9||Tottenham (h)||W 2-1|
|Dec 15||Stoke (a)||D 1-1|
|Dec 22||West Ham (a)||W 2-1|
|Dec 26||Wigan (h)||W 2-1|
2012/13 Premier League scorers
Fellaini 8, Jelavić 6, Anichebe 3, Naismith 3, Osman 3, Pienaar 3, Baines 2 (1 pen), own goals 2, Jagielka 1, Mirallas 1. Total 32.
League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 2
A home defeat: 13
EVERTON'S MAJOR SUMMER MOVES
Ins Steven Pienaar (Tottenham, £4.5m), Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos, £5.2m), Bryan Oviedo (FC Copenhagen, £2m), Steven Naismith (Rangers, free)
Outs Jack Rodwell (Manchester City, £12m), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls, £1m), Marcus Hahnemann (released), James McFadden (Sunderland, free), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahçe, undisclosed)
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Howard Webb takes control of a Chelsea match for the second occasion this season. The previous outing was the 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in November.
Marouane Fellaini is suspended for Everton.
John Mikel Obi is one yellow card away from a one-match domestic suspension. He is on four bookings.
From 1 January onwards, a player will need 10 yellow cards before he is handed a suspension (five yellows will lead to a warning as to his future conduct rather than a ban). Whereas the suspension for five yellows before 31 December is one game in length, suspension for 10 yellows is two matches although that only applies until the second Sunday in April.
The winning Christmas continued as the team fought back from going behind to an early Steven Pienaar strike, Frank Lampard netting in each half to take his Chelsea career total to 192 goals.
That puts the midfielder just one goal behind Kerry Dixon who is currently the club's second-highest scorer in our history, and it was predatory finishing at its best.
The visitors were on the back foot early in the game against a hard-battling Everton side who hit the woodwork soon after scoring, and forced Petr Cech in to two good saves. But Chelsea stuck to our task and levelled just before the break with a headed goal.
Cech's milestone appearance was spoilt by injury that forced him off at half-time but although they hit woodwork again, Everton couldn't beat replacement Ross Turnbull and it was left to Lampard to win it from close range with 20 minutes to go.
Rafael Benitez selected the same defence that kept clean sheets in the previous two matches so David Luiz was once again in midfield, this time with Lampard alongside.
Everton made two changes from their win against Wigan. Captain Phil Neville was missing so Johnny Heitinga came in at the back with Phil Jagielka at right-back, and Steven Naismith replaced injured Darron Gibson in midfield.
Visiting a side that had beaten us on our last three league visits to Goodison Park, this match was always likely to be a true test of our improving form, so the last thing we needed was to concede as the clock ticked onto one minute played.
The ball was given away cheaply and there looked to be danger from the moment it became clear Jagielka's cross was going to be met by the tall Anichebe at the far post. He was arguably climbing on Cesar Azpilicueta as the striker's header beat Cech but cannoned back off the upright. Pienaar however was in the right spot to snap up the rebound.
Everton struck woodwork again just eight minutes in. Cahill was upset to have been whistled up for a foul in the first place but from the free-kick, it was Nikica Jelavic rather than the anticipated Baines who took it and he curled the ball away from Cech and onto the upright. This time a white shirt was nearest to clear.
The home team were on the front foot and it needed a stretching Cahill to cut out a threatening Pienaar cross.
Playing a 4-2-3-1 shape with Anichebe wide left and Pienaar playing behind Jelavic, Everton were winning too many of the 50-50 contests. When Ramires did come off better in one scramble outside the Everton box, he skied his shot. With half the first period gone, that was Chelsea's only attempt on goal so far.
On 25 minutes Cech, on his 400th appearance for the Blues, kept Everton at bay with a sharp dive to stop Osman's crisp strike. Again it had been a cross from Everton's right that had created the opening.
Chelsea went straight up the other end and could well have scored. Ramires ran at the heart of the Everton defence and although his intended pass didn't come off, it fell kindly for Mata but his snap-shot was into the legs of Howard. Slowly the ship was being steadied.
On 32 minutes Chelsea finally produced some of the attacking play that has lit up the last few games. Torres and Mata swapped short passes in a crowd and Mata did very well to find Azpilicueta's overlapping run. The delivery was hard and low across the mouth of the goal and opposite full-back Cole was only centimetres from turning it in at the far post.
Everton broke soon after with Chelsea's defence stretched. Jelavic was able to run at and shoot inside of Cahill but Cech at full-stretch pushed the ball wide with his fingertips.
Instead it was the visitors who hit the back of the net before the interval. Ramires took Torres's pass on the corner of the penalty area and swivelled to deliver a cross. Lampard, with that famous sixth sense of when to be in the box, was left free behind Heitinga. He headed down wide of Howard to level the scores. There were 41 minutes played and we had a platform on which to build in the second half.
There was however a shock before the whistle blew to begin the second 45 minutes. Ross Turnbull warmed up on the pitch with the others in the changing room and replaced Cech between the posts.
Cahill picked up a booking for blocking off a Baines run but as at the start of the first half, Everton were winning the physical contest. Ivanovc did defend strongly to snuff out an Anichebe attack before there were a couple of promising moments for Chelsea on the attack, but Mata was dispossessed trying to trick his way past Distin, and Torres couldn't control David Luiz's pass over the top.
Torres was unmarked when Howard kept out his 55th-minute shot but the flag was up for offside anyway.
Everton pressed forward but strong aerial defending but Cahill and David Luiz protected our net. Pienaar was shown a yellow card for a foul on David Luiz just past the halfway line. The Brazilian was playing a safe game, with Lampard the one pushing forward the most.
It was now a pretty even contest and on 66 minutes, Lampard wrestled away from Pienaar and passed on to Torres. From the edge of the area the shot was good, but Howard was able to save.
Tunbull had to make his first save two minutes later, pushing sideways an Osman shot that lacked power. Moments later Everton hit woodwork for the third time, Jelavic in front of Cahill flicking Baines's cross over Turnbull but onto the crossbar. David Luiz then fouled Pienaar for a 69th-minute booking.
Chelsea were still in the game despite that scare and two minutes later shocked Goodison Park by taking the lead. Mata looked like the player about the score after Hazard had knocked the ball back into the six-yard box but Howard performed wonders to keep it out. Lampard from even closer range and just onside returned the ball high into the net.
Suddenly, after having been on top, the Toffees began to look a defeated side. Jagielka had to clear a Ramires cross over his own bar with a resigned hack before substitute Oscar caught Distin dawdling on the ball.
The three points could have been sown up on 90 minutes as substitute Moses started a counter-attack against a sparse defence, continued by Oscar. But Distin chased down Torres to prevent the striker shooting.
With a minute's stoppage time left, Everton fired over one last cross which hit the shins of Cole. Happily Turnbull was able to gather up the loose ball first and the three points were ours.
Chelsea have now won seven of our last eight matches in all competitions.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech (Turnbull h-t); Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole; Ramires, David Luiz, Lampard (c); Mata (Oscar 85), Torres, Hazard (Moses 73)
Unused subs Ferreira, Ake, Marin, Piazon.
Scorers Lampard 41, 71.
Booked Cahill 47, David Luiz 69, Cole 86.
Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard: Jagielka (c), Heitinga, Distin, Baines; Naismith (Vellios 76), Hitzlsperger (Barkley 78), Osman, Anichebe; Pienaar (Oviedo, 80); Jelavić.
Unused subs Mucha, Browning, Duffy, Gueye.
Scorer Pienaar 1.
Booked Pienaar 64, Distin 73.
Referee Howard Webb