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v Crystal Palace

Sunday 21 September K.O. 16:00



Goodison Park | 11th February 2012 15:00

Everton v Chelsea

Steven Pienaar reintroduced himself to Goodison Park with a sparkling performance as Everton claimed a deserved 2-0 win over Chelsea.

For the second home game in succession the Toffees carried the fight to their supposedly more illustrious foes and emerged with all three points.

Pienaar, linked with a move to Stamford Bridge before his switch to Tottenham little over a year ago, clearly meant business from the off, showing off his delicate touch and astute footballing brain to powerful effect - and not just with his goal.

Denis Stracqualursi also impressed - albeit in a more physical fashion than the South African - and his second half strike was just reward for his tireless display.

Steven Pienaar fires past Petr CechSteven Pienaar fires past Petr Cech

Everton couldn't have wished for a better start and for Pienaar it was the perfect way to mark his second Goodison debut.

After Tim Cahill challenged Frank Lampard in midfield the ball looped over the visitors' defence and Pienaar raced through, controlled it on his chest and lashed it beyond Petr Cech.

Chelsea were stunned by the strike but tried to play their way back into the game and took a stranglehold on possession.

But their dominance in that field yielded little and Everton retained a more-than-sporadic threat.

In the 18th minute Landon Donovan found space in the middle of the park but his left foot effort was straight at Cech.

 Goalscorer Steven Pienaar celebratesGoalscorer Steven Pienaar celebrates

Finally the Londoners engineered space to shoot but when they did a succession of block from Baines and Gibson kept them at bay.

Daniel Sturridge and Lampard were off target from the edge of the box but Everton had the crowd out of their seats shortly after as mesmerising build-up from Baines and Pienaar almost got Cahill in only for the flag to go up against the Australian.

Chelsea's frustration was showing and Raul Meireles was cautioned for a high boot on Straqualursi as he set off on another barnstorming run.

The bustling Argentine had a header and a shot easily fielded by Cech either side of the break, while Chelsea remained low on ideas.

There was even time for Pienaar to display some of his trademark fancy footwork in front of the Main Stand before Stracqualursi notched a vital second Everton goal on 71minutes.

Denis Stracqualursi salutes the skiesDenis Stracqualursi salutes the skies after hitting Everton's second

It owed everything to returning skipper Phil Neville's crunching challenge on Ashley Cole and when the ball broke to Donovan, the American played in Stracqualursi to sidefoot home in clinical fashion.

Pienaar's name was chanted as he received a standing ovation when Royston Drenthe replaced him soon after the second goal, while the travelling Chelsea fans directed their ire at manager Andre Villas Boas.

The Portuguese couldn't illicit a response from his side and Everton's run continues.



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