LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) – An 89th-minute strike from substitute Ellis Simms, his first Premier League goal for the club, earned relegation-threatened Everton a point at Chelsea on Saturday in a lively 2-2 draw.
Chelsea, who were feeling confident on the back of two wins in the Premier League and a Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund, looked to have secured all three points until Simms muscled past Kalidou Koulibaly and kept his cool with a shot that Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga got his hand to but could not stop.
Chelsea’s on-loan Portuguese forward Joao Felix, whose trickery and silky skills had promised much in the first half, finally found the net in the 52nd minute with a low shot that crept in off the post.
Chelsea had enjoyed more than 70% possession in the first half with Everton defending in numbers but the goal forced Sean Dyche’s men forward and the game opened up.
“We showed them a little bit too much respect in the first half but after that we got back to grips with the game and reacted well to going behind twice,” Dyche told Sky Sports.
Everton earned their first reward in the 69th minute when Abdoulaye Doucoure got on the end of a loose ball after a Dwight McNeil corner and pushed it over the line to make it 1-1.
Soon afterwards Chelsea won a penalty when James Tarkowski brought down Reece James and Havertz curled the ball into the top corner sending Jordan Pickford the wrong way.
But Simms’s late goal ensured they stayed in 10th place, still 11 points off the Champions League places.
Everton, who celebrated their point as if it were a victory, are 15th, two points above the drop zone.
“I’m really pleased with the growth in mentality. There’s been a lot of questions about Everton’s away form, and the mentality around that,” Dyche said. “It’s been improving all the time.
Editing by Toby Davis
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