Everton 1-0 Chelsea: Beckford scores winner as Ancelotti’s side fails to break down 10-man Toffees
Seamus Coleman was dismissed on the 55th minute but the hosts were far superior to Carlo Ancelotti's side at Goodison Park.
By Jonathan Birchall at Goodison Park
Everton ended its season in style with a 1-0 win over Chelsea at Goodison Park despite having gone down to ten men in the second half.
Seamus Coleman was dismissed for a forceful looking challenge on John Obi Mikel but the Toffees, who had been much the better side throughout, secured all three points through Jermaine Beckford’s solo effort with quarter of an hour remaining.
David Moyes’ side lined up without captain Phil Neville, as Jack Rodwell replaced the the Toffees’s skipper in the midfield.
The visitors had some notable absentees from their ranks, with Yossi Benayoun, Ramires and Didier Drogba not even making the bench, surely adding fuel to the speculative fire regarding the Ivorian talisman’s future at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's sloppy early play was a contrast to the youthful exuberance brought to the Everton side by Seamus Coleman and Jack Rodwell, both of whom caused problems down the right hand side and it was a run from the latter than nearly led to an opener for the Toffees. Winning a corner having torn past Alex, Phil Jagielka met the cross wonderfully from the right-hand side to see it bounce off the bar and leave Ancelotti looking stoney-faced in his technical area.
Everton's dominance was unrelenting and the hosts' felt that they should have had a penalty after a quarter of an hour when Leon Osman was brought down in the box having been surrounded by Chelsea defenders. Peter Walton didn't agree and in truth, it would have been a very harsh decision had it been given.
The early endeavor of the hosts was tempered a little as the half dragged on with both sides showing the effects of 37 previous Premier League games. With possession swapping hands far too frequently, the promise of halftime offered relief to not only the players, but the muted fans occasionally raising their voice to express their displeasure at a turgid showing.
Discontent rang out as Walton blew the halftime whistle, with more than a sense that both sides had more to do if they were to finish off the season in style.
The lackluster air of the first half appeared to have translated into the second as long ball followed long ball with both sides seemingly happy to let its counterpart take control of possession.
Everton was proving the stronger of the two sides as the hour mark approached but the side was to be brought down to ten men following a sending off to Seamus Coleman, who had arguably been the finest player on the pitch for much of the game. His offense was a strong looking challenge on Mikel with his studs showing but you couldn't help but feel that it was the dramatics of the Nigerian, and indignation of his teammates, that sealed the fate of the young Irishman.
Their rhythm barely looked to be affected as Beckford, who has yet to prove that he can be clinical at the highest level, failed to slide an effort past Petr Cech to give his side the breakthrough, meekly knocking a limp effort into the Czech's arms.
The visitors were struggling to contain the Toffees pace on the break but were able to take control of the ball with a more authoritative demeanor against their opponents following the sending off and Ivanovic thought he had given his side the lead only to have his strike ruled out for offside.
The hosts took advantage and it was Beckford, clearly not deterred by his earlier wastefulness, who gave his side the lead. Picking up the ball in his own half, the former Leeds man broke at lighting pace through the center of the pitch past a weary Chelsea defense and opened his body to slide an effort against Cech and inside the far post. It was a goal hardly befitting the pace of the game, taking the Toffees striker into double figures for the season.
Chelsea offered somewhat of a fightback but its efforts never looked to be anything other than in vein as Ancelotti, who may have taken charge of his final game for the Stamford Bridge outfit, watched on helplessly. His side, in truth, had done little to give him a farewell worthy of his tenure.Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!
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