BY PAUL LAGAN
A careless error by Edouard Mendy gifted Everton all three points and denied Chelsea the chance to return to the top of the Premier League as the west Londoners lost 1-0 tonight at Goodison Park to end a 17-game unbeaten run.
Mendy needlessly bundled over Dominic Calvert-Lewin inside the away side’s penalty area to concede the spot lick after 22 minutes.
Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson stylishly slipped the ball home to give the home side the lead.
Chelsea were poor and Everton resolute in defence.
The Chelsea midfield was stifled with the like of Kai Havertz, Matteo Kovacic starved of the ball, denying any service to Olivier Giroud up front.
The Blues remain in third place but could drop down a few places should Leicester City or Southampton win their game in hand.
The first effort of the game fell to the home side, where Richarlison managed to get a shot on target, but it was weak and failed to trouble Edouard Mendy on seven minutes.
Yerry Mina saw a header from a corner loop over Chelsea’s crossbar.
Everton was given a penalty on 22 minutes when Mendy needlessly gave a spot kick away, bundling over Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Up stepped Gylfi Sigurdsson who cooly slotted home to go 1-0 up.
Reece James had Chelsea’s first effort on goal, on 26 minutes. But the full-back’s free-kick was tipped actors from the post for a corner.
Two minutes later and Pickford managed to get his fingertips to a James daisy-cutter which zipped off the goalkeeper’s’ left post.
Pickford was on the spot to snatch a close-range clipped Kurt Zouma left-footer on 27 minutes as the West Londoners pushed forward to grab an equaliser.
A poor pass by Thiago Silva allowed Everton to break free – Richarlison again put in a weak shot from an excellent position on 40 minutes.
There were no changes from either side at half time.
An early chip by Mason Mount almost reaped dividends a minute after the restart, but the ball inched over the crossbar.
Everton responded well with Mendy getting down low to deflect a Richarlison goal-bound shot for a corner.
Everton thought they had another penalty on 63 minutes when Ben Chilwell bundled over Calvert-Lewin, but the striker has just strayed into an offside position and Jon Moss reversed his decision.
Frank Lampard had seen enough and replaced Havertz with Tammy Abraham on 67 minutes.
Everton’s woodwork came to their aid with 10 minutes left on the clock. Mount produced a crisp, curling 25-yard free-kick which beat Pickford but bounced off the foot of his left upright.
Billy Gilmour then replaced ineffectual Kovacic a mi ute later.
It was Olivier Giroud who had the next chance to level the score, but he scuffed his effort over the goal.
Teams: Chelsea, Mendy, Silva, Kante, Werner, Zouma, Kovacic, Giroud, Mount, Chilwell, James; Havertz
Subs: Kepa, Rudiger, Jorginho, Abraham, Gilmour, Azpilicueta, Anjorin
Everton, Pickford, Holgate, Keane, Allan, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson, Mina, Doucoure, Iwobi, Godfrey
Subs: Olsen, Kenny, Tosun, Bernard, Gomes, Gordon, Davies
Referee: Jon Moss
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