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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before