Chelsea v Everton
Everton have finished 6th in the Premiership after a 1-1 draw at Chelsea.
James Vaughan gave The Blues the lead in the second half but Didier Drogba forced home an equaliser.
Everton posted very early intentions when Leon Osman almost broke through on the right inside the opening 30 seconds only to be crowded out when he shaped to shoot.
Then at the other end on three minutes Tim Howard had to closely watch the flight of a stinging drive from John Obi Mikel before touching it over the bar.
Much of the first-half was easy on the eye with both sides looking to play football whenever an opportunity arose.
James Vaughan won some terrific high balls early on and a superbly controlled volley from the edge of the box may have caught out a lesser keeper than Petr Cech.
Didier Drogba showed his class after a quarter of an hour when his shot dipped over Howard and just over the bar and then Salomon Kalou danced around a couple of Everton challenges before weakly placing the ball straight at the keeper.
Joe Cole didn’t strike his shot cleanly either but it still bobbled close enough to worry Howard and the Evertonians held their breath when Drogba had a clear sight of goal but blasted wide.
The Londoners clearly were having the best openings but it was by no means ‘backs to the wall’ for Everton, who passed the ball about brightly when they won possession in the middle of the park.
One sweet turn by Osman took three Chelsea opponents out of the game and after cleverly feeding the ball wide for Vaughan, the Toffees midfielder raced into the box and would have connected with the subsequent cross had Paulo Ferreira not intervened.
Three minutes before the break, Phil Neville bundled over Kalou but thankfully, Drogba’s delivery lacked accuracy.
The opening goal in the 50th minute was beautifully crafted and very well taken.
Arteta skipped free in the middle of the park before flicking the ball wide to Osman who picked out Vaughan with a perfectly weighted cross allowing the teenager just enough time to pick his spot.
Vaughan almost scored again shortly after but his acrobatic effort, following more Arteta brilliance, was splendidly palmed away by Cech.
The 57th minute equaliser was shrouded in controversy and ended in the dismissal of David Moyes.
The Blues manager was convinced that Arteta had been fouled during the build up and when Drogba steered the ball past Howard and into the net, Moyes couldn’t contain his anger.
He marched onto the pitch to protest and was pointed in the direction of the stands by referee, Mark Halsey.
Young Chelsea substitute Ben Sahar found himself in space with fifteen minutes to go but once again Tim Howard’s positioning was perfect…as it was shortly after when he gathered a Kalou effort.
Everton brought on James Beattie and James McFadden to replace Vaughan and Fernandes and showed that there was still fight in them when Osman fired just off target from distance.
Indeed, the travelling Toffees thought they’d clinched a sensational victory two minutes from time when Carsley struck the post and Osman prodded home the rebound…only for an offside flag to curtail the celebrations.