Everton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
CHELSEA'S revival continued apace at Stamford Bridge yesterday with their third consecutive victory only for a new storm to brew over their abrasive little captain, Dennis Wise, who was accused by Everton of elbowing Matthew Jackson at a critical stage of the game in an off-the-ball incident after which the central defender left the field suffering from double vision.
The incident tempered applause for Glenn Hoddle's team, though there was still plenty of that forthcoming from a home crowd only too happy to give what they saw as due recognition to their team's spirited recovery over the festive period. Perhaps, like Hoddle, they were oblivious to all else in their moment of triumph. 'I didn't see it,' Hoddle said referring to the incident, 'so I can't comment on it. I will be looking at it tomorrow on the video as I will a lot of other things.'
Poor Hoddle had been forced to run the gamut of emotions in this one. Two goals up at half- time through Craig Burley and Mark Stein, Chelsea appeared to be coasting against a team who seemed to have lost the will to survive in the Premiership. Within 10 minutes of the restart of the second half they were back at all square as Everton, having gone 10 hours 40 minutes without a goal to their name, hit a brace before you could say Dixie Dean.
It was then, in the 62nd minute, with the game delicately balanced that Wise, within yards of the linesman, Steven Tomlin, appeared to catch Jackson with his arm. The defender was left on the ground as the Chelsea midfielder raced on to collect Gavin Peacock's through pass and put in a cross for the excellent young Neil Shipperley to turn in a decisive goal at the near post.
Jimmy Gabriel, Everton's caretaker manager, was understandably miffed. 'I was very disappointed. It was a crucial moment. There was an elbow in the face which has left our player with a damaged optical nerve. He (Wise) did it in front of a linesman yet he's not flagged, the ref's let it go and they scored. Anybody in the world would be mad about it.'
Wise denied the allegations. 'I never elbowed anybody. The linesman was right there and he didn't give a foul. He (Jackson) pushed me and I pushed him. I might have caught him in the eye with my finger. I didn't mean to do anything.'
It remains to be seen whether the accident shows up on Hoddle's video. He has already had cause to warn his combative midfielder for a recent two- footed tackle on West Ham's David Burrows, which earned a three-match suspension.
It was difficult to evaluate Chelsea's performance, so inept were Everton in the first half. Neville Southall's dive failed to prevent Burley's first senior goal, struck from 25 yards. The second was also gifted to Chelsea, Ian Snodin feebly losing possession and then upending Stein in a clumsy attempt to atone. Stein made it four goals in five games from the spot.
Twenty-five seconds into the second half it was the turn of Chelsea defence to be caught napping as Tony Cottee lashed home a loose ball, then Dimitri Kharin raced out of his area only to lose possesion and Stuart Barlow lobbed home. But Everton ended as submissively as they had begun, Stein scoring after Mark Ward lost the ball.
Chelsea (4-4-2): Kharin; Clarke, Sinclair, Johnsen, Dow; Burley, Newton, Peacock, Wise; Stein, Shipperley. Substitutes not used: Spencer, Spackman, Hithcock (gk).
Everton (4-4-2): Southall; Holmes, Jackson (Unsworth, 66), Snodin, Ablett; Stuart, Ward, Horne, Beagrie; Cottee, Rideout (Barlow, 29). Substitute not used: Kearton (gk).
Referee: K Barratt (West Midlands).
More football, pages 30 and 31
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