Lacklustre Chelsea felled by Beckford stunner

Everton 1 Chelsea 0

A stunning individual goal from Jermaine Beckford condemned lacklustre Chelsea to defeat in their final game of the season against 10-man Everton this afternoon.

Beckford ran almost the length of the field after 75 minutes to end Everton's frustrating Barclays Premier League campaign on a high at Goodison Park.

It was no more than the Merseysiders deserved for their dominance, even after Seamus Coleman was sent off for a second bookable offence early in the second half.

Chelsea, with their title challenge over and second place all but wrapped up, played without fight throughout.

It will certainly be a disappointing end for their manager Carlo Ancelotti if speculation he is to leave Stamford Bridge proves correct.

Everton made most of the running and continued to dominate after Coleman saw red after a lunge at Jon Obi Mikel in the 53rd minute.

Beckford's superb goal, his 10th of the season, was fine reward for a performance in which he had frustrated but shown plenty of determination and flashes of brilliance.

He particularly tormented Alex in the second half and the Brazilian defender was fortunate not to become the game's second sending off.

Aside from a John Terry shot which hit the post, Chelsea did little to excite their supporters with £50million Fernando Torres again a forlorn figure.

The visiting fans were at their most vocal when chanting their backing for manager Carlo Ancelotti, making clear they want the Italian to stay on despite continuing uncertainty.

Chelsea clearly missed Didier Drogba, out with a groin injury, but Everton lacked their inspirational captain Phil Neville due to a painful mouth infection.

The match began at typical end-of-season pace with little urgency shown by either side in the opening five minutes.

Everton upped the tempo when Jack Rodwell broke down the right and pushed into the box to win a corner.

Phil Jagielka got forward for the resulting set-piece and went close when he met Mikel Arteta's cross with a firm header which clipped the top of the bar.

Coleman was then denied in front of goal by a fine Ashley Cole tackle and Leon Osman was denied a penalty after going down under a challenge from Alex.

It was not until the 24th minute that Chelsea created a serious chance as Torres and Frank Lampard combined to set up Nicolas Anelka but Sylvain Distin slid in to block.

Beckford should have done better when he broke into the area but his final touch was neither shot nor cross and Chelsea survived.

Tim Howard was tested for the first time in the final minute of the first half when he saved twice from Anelka.

Beckford appeared to beat Alex early in the second half but was body-checked and the defender was booked.

The Merseysiders' afternoon took a turn for the worse as Coleman was dismissed.

The Irishman lost control but appeared to win back the ball as he dived into a challenge but referee Peter Walton was unimpressed with the studs-up tackle.

After a fracas involving several players from both sides, Coleman was shown the yellow and red cards but he still left to a standing ovation in recognition of an outstanding season.

That briefly sparked Chelsea into life and Terry went close to opening the scoring with a thunderous low shot from distance which struck the base of the post.

Everton quickly responded as Beckford brilliantly controlled a long ball inside the Chelsea box and turned inside Alex but Petr Cech smothered his shot.

Arteta then went close as he fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

Beckford continued to trouble Alex and Walton showed leniency when the defender brought him down again just inside the Everton half.

Alex was spared further punishment as Ancelotti replaced him with Paulo Ferreira moments later.

Beckford was not to be denied and took centre stage in magnificent style to secure victory with 15 minutes remaining.

The former Leeds forward broke up a Chelsea attack on the edge of his own box and then set off on a long run into the other box.

He got a lucky break on halfway when the ball rebounded kindly off Ferreira but he took full advantage as he continued his charge.

Cech came out to meet him as he raced into the box and the keeper got a hand to the ball as Beckford chipped for goal but the shot had just enough power and bobbled over the line.

It was just what the hosts deserved and Chelsea lacked the urgency to press for an equaliser.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Sport
Fernando Torres has not scored in 266 minutes of pre-season for Chelsea
football
Arts and Entertainment
(L-R) Amanda Peet as Tina Morris, Melanie Lynskey as Michelle Pierson, Abby Ryder Fortson as Sophie Pierson, Mark Duplass as Brett Pierson and Steve Zissis as Alex Pappas in Togetherness
TV First US networks like HBO shook up drama - now it's comedy's turn
Travel
Pool with a view: the mMarina Bay Sands in Singapore
travel From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
News
The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
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

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect