Chelsea 1 Everton 0 match report: John Terry’s injury-time stretch keeps Chelsea on course for ‘destiny’

Terry looked to get a touch on Frank Lampard's corner though the ball did come off Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard

Stamford Bridge

There may be many questions about the manner of Chelsea’s winning goal, not to mention its actual scorer, but there can be absolutely no doubting its importance.

Destiny wanted it,” Jose Mourinho said, and these type of 93rd-minute winners certainly tend to inspire feelings of fate – if not just outright win titles.

That may be premature to say right now and could well be proven wrong in a season as tight as this, but the present reality is it keeps Chelsea top of the table. They remain on course.



Typically, as has been his wont lately, Mourinho was only willing to speak about it in those kinds of terms thereafter. He deflected any questions about defining moments or whether this is the sign of champions, instead merely pointing to the facts.

“It’s simple,” the Portuguese said. “If today we have only one point, if the teams that are behind us they win, we lose that position. The difference is very small.”

As such, this was a big goal for the League leaders – especially because it was so belated.

“Every victory keeps us there, every defeat or draw we lose a position,” Mourinho stated. “The feeling when you lose points in the last minute, like we lose two points at West Bromwich, is obviously a bad feeling. You have three points in your hand and lose two. When you win in the last minute, it’s the opposite so it’s basically compensation for the two points we lost against West Bromwich.”

Mention of a fixture against the midlands side is pointed but, when the final goal went in, it wasn’t the  11 February 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns that felt the most relevant. Instead, these final minutes had more common with November’s  2-2 draw.

On that occasion, an all-too-easy Ramires fall forced the incident that secured Chelsea a positive result. Here, it was much the same.

Deep into stoppage time, and deep into Everton’s half, the Brazilian midfielder went down under what seemed to be a fair challenge from Phil Jagielka. That allowed Frank Lampard the opportunity to curl the ball towards goal from the resulting free-kick, and John Terry to throw his body towards it.

It was unclear whether the Chelsea captain or Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard got the final touch, but it finally put clear daylight between the teams.

The Everton manager Roberto Martinez was admirably graceful about it afterwards, describing it as simply the kind of thing that happens “everywhere in football”, but he did state it was “soft”. This, by contrast, was a hard-fought game.

In truth, Ramires had a significant input long before his late surge. Mourinho even described his introduction as the match’s turning point.

It’s difficult to dispute. For virtually all of the first half, and with the Brazilian on the bench, Everton were the dominant team.

The most striking aspect of that, however, was that it was not just in terms of possession but also power. Martinez’s team were simply outmuscling Chelsea.

Around the 20th minute, James McCarthy went through Terry and came out with the ball. In various other incidents around that, other than one nutmeg, the Irish midfielder cowed an unusually quiet Eden Hazard.

“I think it’s a very unfair result for us not to get anything after that performance that we’ve had. From a tactical and technical point of view, we were the better team,” Martinez fairly stated. In terms of the lack of a prime striker, though, they were identical. It was the one area in which both sides lacked force, and the fact Mourinho ended up playing two forwards – in Samuel Eto’o and Fernando Torres – only served to highlight that issue further.

The obvious reference is the injured and ineligible on-loan Romelu Lukaku but, for the Chelsea manager, it meant an obvious change.

“Normally my change would be a different one, but I felt I needed to control the game because my team is not a team that scores a lot of goals so, if they score before us, we are not a team in normal conditions able to score two goals and win the game, so I prefer to put Ramires on. That gave much more consistency to our midfield.

“They were in control for parts of the second half but, for the last 20 minutes – 15 minutes plus the five extra-time, we were strong, we create, we press, we dominate.

“Of course, when you win minute 90-something you can speak about lucky, but the reality is the boys chase that, they chase a lot.”

It means everyone else is still chasing Chelsea.

Line-ups:

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Lampard; Hazard, Oscar (Ramires 45), Willian (Torres 62); Eto;o (Schurrle 69).

Everton (4-2-3-1): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas (Deulofeu 75), Osman IBarkley 63), Pienaar (McGeady 80); Naismith.

Referee: Lee Probert.

Man of the match: Terry (Chelsea)

Match rating: 7/10

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick