Stunning Saha double sinks Chelsea

Everton 2 Chelsea 1

Louis Saha celebrated his new contract with a stunning double to sink Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea tonight.

The Frenchman, who signed a two-year deal last week, first exposed Chelsea's weakness at set-pieces with a headed equaliser and then fired a brilliant 75th-minute winner at Goodison Park.

Chelsea had shaded the early stages and taken the lead through Florent Malouda but Saha, who also missed a penalty, secured Everton's first victory over the Londoners since 2000.

With Manchester United held by Aston Villa, victory could have taken Chelsea four points clear at the top but Everton's greater industry merited victory.

Sacked England captain John Terry escaped lightly in terms of crowd abuse following recent media revelations but the Chelsea stalwart was caught out for Saha's winner.

And of further concern for manager Carlo Ancelotti was the nature of the equaliser - the 16th of 22 goals this season Chelsea have conceded from set-pieces.

Everton scored all their goals from similar situations when the sides played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge two months ago.

This time the Toffees were without key midfielders Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar through injury and suspension respectively.

Mikel Arteta, having recovered from a knee injury, made his first start in almost a year while Chelsea replaced Michael Ballack with Yury Zhirkov.

Everton stretched Chelsea within the opening minutes as Landon Donovan broke clear but the American overhit his cross for Saha.

After that Chelsea began to take control with Frank Lampard shooting wide after a Nicolas Anelka dummy and Didier Drogba heading over from a Malouda cross.

Branislav Ivanovic then volleyed wide but Chelsea broke through after 17 minutes from a route-one ball.

Peter Cech's long clearance was headed on by Drogba and Malouda brushed off the challenge of Phil Neville to drill a left-footed shot low past Tim Howard.

Chelsea threatened again when Richardo Carvalho leapt above Terry to meet a Lampard corner but Howard saved comfortably.

Everton then launched a counter-attack with Diniyar Bilyaletdinov breaking down the left to cross for Leighton Baines but the left-back caught his volley awkwardly and Cech saved.

But the Toffees grew in confidence and pulled level after winning a corner in the 33rd minute.

Donovan's cross dropped over Lampard and Saha rushed in to power a header past Cech for his 12th goal of the season and his first in five games.

Everton almost added an immediate second as Tim Cahill set up Leon Osman on the edge of the area but his shot flew wide.

Drogba pulled the ball back from the byline as Chelsea responded but Anelka stabbed wide from six yards.

Lampard tried his luck from a 30-yard free-kick but shot over and Drogba then curled one wide.

But Everton finished the half with a flourish and Saha should twice have given the hosts the lead.

First he was picked out in front of goal by Donovan but his first touch bought Cech time and the keeper rushed forward to save from point-blank range.

The former Manchester United forward had an immediate chance to make amends after Donovan was felled in the area by Carvalho but Cech guessed right and saved the resulting spot-kick to his left.

Everton did not let the miss affect them and started the second half well with a dangerous Bilyaletdinov cross palmed over the bar by Cech.

Saha then showed brilliant control to turn and create another shooting opportunity in the box but Carvalho just did enough to force him to fire wide.

Everton also started winning the 50-50 balls and Drogba showed a growing Chelsea frustration when he fired wildly at goal from more than 40 yards.

Bilyaletdinov showed good control in the area but his shot was blocked and a Donovan cross was just too high for Cahill.

Everton appealed for handball against Terry on the edge of the area but referee Alan Wiley's decision to play on was vindicated as replays showed the ball catching the face.

Pressure finally paid off as Everton deservedly went ahead through Saha after 75 minutes.

Terry missed the chance to cut out a long ball from Sylvain Distin and Saha brilliantly chested the ball down before turning and firing home powerfully with his left foot.

Chelsea, having been subdued for most of the second half, finally sparked into life but the crossbar came to Everton's rescue as Drogba met a Lampard corner with a good header.

Lampard then got in a shot at the end of a flowing move but Howard saved to his right.

News
people And here is why...
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
Life and Style
health
News
i100
News
people
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

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?