Chelsea’s unhappy sequence of results at Goodison Park continues as a goal early in the second half ended our run of 14 games unbeaten away from Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard’s Everton side were committed opponents as they continued to fight the threat of relegation and in a fast and furious first half, the two sides largely nullified each other.Neither looked like scoring on the evidence of that opening 45. It had the feeling of the sort of game when a mistake would be needed for a goal. Sadly it came from Cesar Azpilicueta moments after the second half began, allowing Richarlison to find the net.A Mason Mount shot hit both posts but would not go in as Chelsea looked to respond, and Jordan Pickford saved well from Azpilicueta and Toni Rudiger, and then from Ruben Loftus-Cheek as time began to run out.But no equaliser could be found as the Toffees stuck with the lead they had and mostly sat back, although they went close to another goal towards the very end. We have now lost on our past four visits to Everton. There is still work to do to seal a top-four place.

The selection

There was just one change from the side that put in a performance that had everything except enough goals three days earlier at Man United. N’Golo Kante was injured in that game and was missing altogether today so Ruben Loftus-Cheek was drafted into midfield. Fit-again Mateo Kovacic was back on the bench.

First-half stalemate

As is so often the case at this stage of the season, this match was of big importance to both sides. Chelsea knew two more wins from our remaining five league fixtures would pretty much guarantee Champions League football next season and with an FA Cup final coming up, the sooner those could be achieved the better.Everton began the game in the bottom three and five points from safety following the Saturday results, but with two games in hand over Leeds and Burnley above them. Scenes outside the ground made it clear their fans were up for this one – but would it be the same for their players?Roared on in the opening minutes, the home side made nothing of an early free-kick opportunity, Anthony Gordon clearing the Chelsea bar by some distance.

Mount had our first attempt when the ball broke his way outside the penalty area. His shot was closer to troubling the opposing goalkeeper.A couple of challenges, one by each side, that were waved away by the referee as not fouls raised the temperature inside Goodison further. Rudiger was booked for bringing down the Toffees captain Seamus Coleman out wide but the German made amends by outpacing Alex Iwobi to snuff out a counter-attack threat soon after. It was largely an even and scrappy first quarter of the game.Just past the half-hour mark, Gordon was able to find space for a low shot which had Edou Mendy momentarily concerned but it passed wide of his post as it raised the Everton noise once again.

Mount was playing centrally as a no.10 behind Havertz and Werner but Chelsea were not able to find the periods of extended possession we enjoyed in attack at Old Trafford on Thursday. Our opponents today were harrying the Blues on the ball at every opportunity.After Mount had fouled Yerry Mina, for which he was booked, many others joined the fray resulting in cards for Coleman and Azpilicueta too.Before half-time a surge from Ruben Loftus-Cheek threatened to set something up for Werner but Everton defended it well.

Quickly behind

Mateo Kovacic was introduced at the start of the second half in place of Jorginho but before the midfield switch had time to make any impact, a Blues mistake gave Everton an opening and consequently the opening goal.There was pressure on as we played the ball across the back line and when Apzi allowed it to run across him, there was enough time for Richarlison to get a boot to the ball. Demarai Gray helped it back to the Brazilian who swept it into the Chelsea net.Everton could have gone 2-0 up very quickly but Vitalii Mykolenko shot wide when well placed but in the 59th minute, it was the visitors who were wondering how on earth we had not got on the scoresheet.

Pickford’s double denies the Blues

Chelsea had done well to keep the ball in play and cross it into the danger zone. It fell nicely for a Mount shot which hit the inside of both posts but came out again. Azpilicueta on the follow-up must have thought he had atoned for the Everton goal when he caught his effort cleanly, but Pickford, racing back across his line somehow kept it out. The England keeper then denied Rudiger at point-blank range when the shot smashed into his face.

The next Toni shot was from his more usual distance, and it cleared the cross bar by a yard or two.Everton were sitting well back by now. Two lines of players stretched wide across the pitch. Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech were introduced to help try to break that down.Loftus-Cheek from distance forced another save from Pickford but it was Everton who went closest to scoring in the final five minutes of the 90 when Gray smashed a shot just over our crossbar.

Mendy also blocked from Gordon before seven minutes of added time were announced. That proved enough time for Pickford to save from Kovacic but no more from a Chelsea point of view.

What's next?

Chelsea (3-4-1-2): Mendy; Azpilicueta (c) (Pulisic 68), Thiago Silva, Rudiger; James, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho (Kovacic h-t), Alonso; Mount; Havertz, Werner (Ziyech 68).Unused subs Kepa, Chalobah, Sarr, Saul, Kenedy, Lukaku.Booked Rudiger 17 Mount 36, Azpilicueta 38, Alonso 76, Havertz 83

Everton (5-4-1): Pickford; Iwobi, Coleman (c), Mina, Holgate, Mykolenko; Gordon, Doucoure, Delph (Allan 71), Gray (Alli 90+4); Richarlison (Rondon 80).Unused subs Begovic, Kenny, Keane, Branthwaite, Davies, Calvert-Lewin.Scorer Richarlison 47Booked Coleman 38, Delph 45+1, Holgate 90+6

Referee Kevin FriendCrowd 39,256