Chelsea failed to beat Everton at Stamford Bridge in a late Saturday encounter as the match ended 2:2.
Chelsea thought they had the game in the bag after Kai Havertz scored from the penalty spot to give the blues a 2-1 lead.
Although having twice led, Chelsea played poorly, and Everton were rewarded by their persistence and strong overall effort.
They could have won if it weren’t for a self-destructive decision to concede the penalty in favour of Chelsea.
Everton moved up to 15th place today, matching the results of Southampton and Leicester while achieving a rare point away from home.
The following matchup is against Spurs at Goodison Park, which would typically be a difficult matchup.
At Stamford Bridge, Ellis Simms scored his first Everton goal in the 89th minute to give the Toffees a crucial point in their battle for survival and put an end to Chelsea’s recent upswing.
Chelsea had won three straight games across all competitions as they recovered from a terrible start to the year, and they should have made it four after twice taking the lead against Everton.
Seven minutes after the break, Joao Felix curled the first goal for the Blues past Jordan Pickford via the post, but the hosts allowed complacency to set in and Abdoulaye Doucoure glanced a header just over the line to tie the score for the visitors in the 69th minute.
Everton’s comeback under Dyche in west London continues as a result of another admirably gutsy performance, after appearing to be headed for relegation under former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard at the end of January.
A clear indication of the excellent influence the former Burnley manager has had is the Toffees’ 11 points from their first eight games under Dyche, compared to only two points from their final eight Premier League games under Lampard.
Everton frustrated Chelsea the whole time they played on Saturday night, with a defender appearing to be in the way of the ball every time it came close to Pickford’s goal during a first half with few obvious chances.
Felix finally broke the visitors’ defense after gathering Michael Keane’s poor clearing and guiding the ball into the far corner, but Everton showed their grit as they fought back to square the score through Doucoure, who turned James Tarkowski’s close-range header past Kepa.
Havertz’s third goal in as many games came from the penalty spot after Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey combined to trip James.
Nevertheless, Everton were not to be denied as Simms surged into the Chelsea area to snap their three-game winning streak.
Dyche’s club now sits in 15th place, two points above the bottom of the table, while Graham Potter’s squad wasted the opportunity to cut the gap on fourth-place Tottenham and now resides in 10th place, 11 points outside the top four.
Chelsea suffers from a lack of ruthlessness
Potter’s career appeared to be on the line after a run of just one victory in 11 games across all competitions.
Chelsea’s three-game winning streak relieved Potter’s pressure at the perfect time, but nobody should have been duped into thinking the manager had solved all of his team’s issues.
After a careless start to the year, Potter is now getting some cooperation from his forward line, but Chelsea still lacks a merciless streak, frequently failing to dispatch opponents when they are clearly in the lead.
The Blues should be commended for breaking their poor run of form against Leeds at the beginning of the month and for overcoming a 1-0 deficit to defeat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, but both victories came with tense finishes.
Chelsea defeated Leicester last weekend, but they also lost a lead at West Ham a month ago, and they are only to blame for doing the same thing again against Everton.
Chelsea cannot afford to keep making the same errors if they want to have any chance of competing in the Champions League the next year, as Potter acknowledged after the game.