Chelsea welcomed John Terry and Michael Essien back into their starting line-up for Saturday’s visit of Everton but they could not spur the league champions towards victory. Essien returned from a three-match suspension while club captain Terry overcame his recent injury to replace Alex at the heart of the defence. Unfortunately, neither could inspire the Blues and they once again dropped points at home.
Former Chelsea schoolboy Jermaine Beckford nodded in four minutes from time to cancel out Didier Drogba’s first half penalty as Everton drew at Stamford Bridge for the fifth consecutive season. Tim Cahill’s header back across goal was put past Petr Cech by Beckford just as the double winners appeared to have battled to a vital win. Instead, the draw leaves Chelsea with just one win from their last six league games and sees them drop to third place in the Premier League table behind Arsenal and Manchester United.
Following the game, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti branded his team as “frightened” following their poor second half performance: “I
The Chelsea manager was joined in calling for an improvement in the Chelsea performances by Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba, who ended a near six week run without a league goal by converting the 41st minute penalty. “It is very disappointing because at the moment we are having a difficult two months,” admitted the Ivorian to Sky Sports News. “We have been missing some players but we have some good players back, like Michael Essien and John Terry. Unfortunately we couldn’t win (against Everton). It is a difficult moment but hopefully we can recover. Last season we won the league because we were very strong at home so we have to win some important games.”
England left-back Cole could only watch on as his international rival Leighton Baines tormented Chelsea throughout the second half and it was from a run by the Everton full-back that David Moyes’ side equalised. When asked about the reasons behind Chelsea’s recent poor run, Cole was stumped: “I couldn’t tell you. If I could, I would be a manager. It happens, you play well one month and then you have a blip. I don’t think it’s just us, a lot of teams have done it in the past.” However, he remained sure that Chelsea can save their campaign with positive results in the coming weeks. “No-one likes losing or drawing at home but in football these things happen and we just have to get on with it,” he said. “We have got four or five tough games coming up and we have to focus on them.”
Chelsea’s next three league matches are against Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal but first, they must complete the group stages of Champions League on Wednesday night away to Marseille.