Football: Everton succumb to Chelsea's 10 men

Everton 1 Chelsea 2
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Chelsea, the FA Cup finalists, warmed up for their Wembley date against relegated Middlesbrough with a nerve-jangling win at Goodison Park after playing with 10 men for 69 minutes.

Their Norwegian goalkeeper Frode Grodas was sent off after rushing out of his goal to try to intercept a through ball from Everton's caretaker- manager, Dave Watson. But in the process he bowled over Duncan Ferguson 20 yards out and the referee, Peter Jones, brandished a red card after speaking to his assistant.

Ruud Gullit brought on Kevin Hitchcock, his reserve goalkeeper, for Gianluca Vialli, who was clearly unhappy at finishing the match so early, and Chelsea lost their other striker after an hour with Mark Hughes limping off after stretching for a ball.

Vialli had almost put Chelsea ahead after four minutes when he turned quickly in the area, only to see his shot diverted by the legs of Neville Southall. However Everton went behind in the 13th minute with a marvellous piece of invention by Dennis Wise.

Hughes won the ball from Michael Branch and tried to release Roberto Di Matteo. The pass was overhit and the ball broke to Wise on the left of the area. He spotted Southall marginally off his line and his delightful chip dipped just under the bar.

Even though they were reduced to 10 men, Chelsea increased their lead 15 minutes later. Wise worked the ball out to Dan Petrescu on the right flank and his cross was perfectly weighted. Di Matteo timed his run to perfection, got between Watson and Richard Dunne, and glanced the ball home.

The Italian's header confirmed Chelsea's superiority with the Goodison crowd becoming increasingly frustrated. Everton were limited to a couple of half-chances in the opening period with Claus Thomsen having a shot blocked and Ferguson sending a header over the top.

Everton carved out enough chances in the last half-hour to draw level but their finishing was woeful. Ferguson was at least industrious but knocked a header wide following a cross from John Hills, making his debut, when he should have scored. Marc Hottiger pulled a shot wide and Gary Speed followed the same pattern to groans of disapproval.

Everton finally pulled a goal back with 13 minutes remaining through Nick Barmby. Watson got on the end of a corner from Hills and Hitchcock could only push out his powerful header. Barmby was on hand to pick up the scraps.

Petrescu nearly added a third for Chelsea when he was clean through, only for Southall to block. The Everton substitute Danny Cadamarteri could have sneaked a point on his debut, only to knock his effort wide and the curtain came down on their season in disappointing fashion.

Goals: Wise (14) 0-1; Di Matteo (36) 0-2; Barmby (77) 1-2.

Everton: Southall; Barrett, Watson, Dunne, Ball, Hottiger, Thomsen (Cadamarteri, h-t), Hills, Speed, Barmby, Ferguson. Substitutes not used: O'Connor, Eaton, McCann, Gerrard (gk).

Chelsea: Grodas; Petrescu, Leboeuf, Clarke, Vialli (Hitchcock, 21), Hughes (Nicholls, 60), Wise, Di Matteo (Burley, 81), Minto, Sinclair, Newton. Substitutes not used: Johnsen, Granville.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough).

Booked: Chelsea Clarke, Petrescu, Sinclair. Sent off: Chelsea Grodas .

Man of the match: Wise.

Attendance: 38,321.