Everton put pressure on struggling Chelsea manager

Everton 2 Chelsea 0

Steven Pienaar and Denis Stracqualursi struck as Everton piled on the pressure for Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas today.

Pienaar celebrated his Goodison Park return by firing the Toffees into a fifth-minute lead on another dismal Barclays Premier League afternoon for Chelsea and Stracqualursi doubled the advantage in the second half.

The defeat left Chelsea, losing at the ground for a third successive year, without a win in four league games and was another setback in their bid to retain a top-four place.

Fernando Torres' dismal season also continued as the Spaniard again struggled in front of goal and there was further bad news as England left-back Ashley Cole limped off.

For Everton, who beat Manchester City in their previous home game, the recent revival continued, however.

New signing Nikica Jelavic was unable to feature due to a stomach muscle injury but Pienaar, back at the club on loan after a year at Tottenham, relished being back on Merseyside.

Stracqualursi also proved a handful for the visiting defence and marked a hard-working performance with a first Premier League goal.

Chelsea had welcomed back Cole from suspension and Frank Lampard after injury - relegating new signing Gary Cahill back to the bench - but inspiration was lacking.

Pienaar, by contrast, clearly wanted to make an impact from the outset and burst forward in the first minute in a move that ended with Landon Donovan prodding harmlessly wide.

Chelsea failed to heed that warning and were punished after five minutes when Lampard deflected a Tim Cahill ball over Branislav Ivanovic's head.

Pienaar raced into the box, controlled the bouncing ball on his chest and smashed past Petr Cech into the roof of the net.

Everton quickly looked to build on their lead and David Luiz needed to head behind an awkward Phil Neville cross under pressure from Stracqualursi.

Chelsea's first serious attack petered out as Torres, still without a league goal since September, was forced to turn away from goal and play backwards.

Everton threatened again when Donovan shot powerfully but straight at Cech from distance.

Chelsea were inches away from an equaliser as Daniel Sturridge met a low ball from Juan Mata, which Torres cleverly allowed to run across the edge of the area, with a firm shot but it was deflected over by Neville.

Mata caused further problems for the home defence as he pulled the ball back for Lampard but the England midfielder dragged his shot wide from 18 yards.

Leighton Baines combined well with Pienaar to break into the Chelsea box but Cahill, ruled onside, was unable to control his pass as he turned to shoot.

Baines troubled Chelsea again with an inswinging free-kick but Cahill was flagged offside as he stretched to reach a ball which rebounded off Cech's legs.

Chelsea's Raul Meireles was booked for kicking Stracqualursi as the Argentinian tried to break clear and the Everton striker shot at Cech moments later.

Torres felt he should have had a penalty just before half-time when he was blocked off by John Heitinga.

The former Liverpool forward complained to referee Mike Jones after the whistle was blown but was led away to the tunnel by Everton's Marouane Fellaini.

Chelsea pushed forward in the opening minutes of the second half but Everton's defence, well led by Sylvain Distin, remained firm.

After soaking up the pressure, Everton's Stracqualursi showed great persistence to win the ball from Ivanovic in the Chelsea area but his shot was blocked.

A loud cheer rang out when Torres was booked for a late challenge on Pienaar, whose footwork continued to cause Chelsea problems.

Torres, who had worked hard but without looking like scoring, found himself in the right position when Bosingwa crossed but headed straight at Tim Howard.

Ivanovic was unhappy when Donovan pushed him as the pair ran out of play and his angry reaction earned a rebuke from Jones.

Villas-Boas attempted to inject fresh life into his side by sending on Florent Malouda for Michael Essien, but the change did not appear to be appreciated by all visiting fans.

Everton doubled their lead 18 minutes from time after Neville won the ball in midfield from Cole and released Donovan.

The American ran at the defence and then flicked a fine ball into the path of Stracqualursi, who calmly wrong-footed Cech and slotted the ball home despite the keeper's desperate attempt to claw it away.

Cole had remained on the ground after the challenge by Neville and, after the restart was delayed while he received treatment, he was unable to continue much longer.

Cole looked in much discomfort as he hobbled off to be replaced by Ryan Bertrand.

Chelsea controlled possession in the closing minutes but the Everton defence, with Distin again prominent, coped with everything.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
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

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas