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Super Sub Salomon Seals Replay


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Everton 1-1 Chelsea

Saturday 29 January 2011, the FA Cup, Goodison Park


Salomon Kalou scored moments after coming off the bench to earn below-par Chelsea a replay to secure a 1-1 draw at Everton in the FA Cup fourth round.

The Toffees' recent form against Carlo Ancelotti's side has been excellent, with David Moyes' charges now having recorded a four-game unbeaten run against the West London outfit - but Everton will rue the form of Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, with another magnificent display from the Blues' number one denying the hosts what would have been a deserved fourth round victory.

Everton will feel that they will have missed a great opportunity to knock out a team vying to become the first side since 1886 to record a hat-trick of FA Cup successes, especially after Louis Saha - so often the scourge of Chelsea - gave them a deserved lead just beyond the hour. However, Chelsea's magnificent Czech custodian kept them in contention, and an inspired substitution from Ancelotti saw Kalou hit a sumptuous equaliser to silence Everton celebrations with a quarter-hour to go.

Both sides had presentable late opportunities to steal a winner, with Cech being forced into an excellent save to turn behind a rasping drive from Jermaine Beckford, whilst Brazilian midfielder Ramires was a post's width away from supplying his team a dream winner with only a few minutes remaining on the clock - but Ancelotti will surely be the happier of the two managers after his below-par side managed to secure a replay.

A mid-February replay may prove a potentially difficult fixture - especially since Chelsea have not beaten Everton at Stamford Bridge in any competition since the 2007/2008 Carling Cup semi-finals - but it will come as a boost to the Blues as they extend their unbeaten run to four games, representing a dramatic and pleasing turnaround since a shock 1-0 away at Molineux to Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this month.

After Monday's impressive demolition of Bolton, it was no surprise that Ancelotti named a largely-unchanged team - the returning Frank Lampard the only piece of team news as John Mikel Obi was relegated to the bench. But with Daniel Sturridge, a man with a penchant for scoring FA Cup goals out with a niggling injury and Gael Kakuta on loan at Fulham, the Blues' options going forward were limited to goalscorer Kalou and young winger Jacopo Sala - indicating Chelsea's desperate need for attacking options.

But whilst a goalscoring renaissance has somewhat put paid to criticisms of an apparently-impotent Chelsea attack, the Blues found themselves outdone by Everton in the midfield - but thankfully on the counter-attack, Ancelotti's men looked increasingly closer to the side that found a desirable habit of putting the ball in the back of the net earlier in the term.

As on Monday, when Drogba spanked a delicious, fizzing effort into the roof of the net from 35 yards, it was the Ivorian who registered the first meaningful attempt of the game - but in juxtaposed fashion his effort was tamely directed straight at Toffees' keeper Tim Howard. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov was denied at the last by José Bosingwa as Everton mustered their first meaningful attack of the game with a quarter-hour gone, before John Terry and Michael Essien both failed with presentable efforts from corner kicks.

But whilst the best of those two chances - Terry's header - rippled the top of the netting, Jack Rodwell went even closer for the hosts, but Petr Cech's legs formed a formidable barrier that the young England star failed to breach. A congested midfield was doing its best not only to nullify attempted breaks by the Blues but also put them under considerable pressure, and moments after Rodwell's opportunity the hosts were creating the majority of the opportunities.

Yet the best chance of the half fell to the sulky figure of Anelka, who, with three goals in his last three appearances, should have done better than drive straight at Howard with his left foot on 41 minutes. A similar effort from the other side of the penalty area, and Anelka would surely have done better on his stronger foot. It was a chance Chelsea could have been made to rue merely five minutes into the second half as Everton restarted at a breakneck pace.

Louis Saha capitalised on great work by Marouane Fellaini after poor play by John Terry had presented Everton with a glorious chance, but Saha's cross-cum-shot from close range was deflected behind by the excellent Ramires; one of Chelsea's better performers on a day where the overall Blues' showing was well below the standards that had seen them achieve three consecutive victories.

Everton, sensing an opportunity to record a famous victory over the team that beat them in spectacular fashion at Wembley in the 2009 final, would be more successful with their next foray into the penalty area, though, as Saha beat his marker to power home a header from a Leighton Baines corner. The hosts has registered a deserved lead. That goal seemed to galvanise the unusually-quiet home faithful, who were being out-sung by the contingent of away supporters and outdone by a noticeable quantity of empty seats - about ten thousand of them.

Prior to the goal, Petr Cech had done well to react to a powered Fellaini header to parry it over, and he excelled himself with his next contribution; a stunning reflex save to deny Seamus Coleman's close-range header. Essien did enough to block the follow-up effort, but Chelsea were on the ropes and struggling to contain their opponents.

The deficit was soon wiped out, however, as Ancelotti responded with a simple-but-effective change. It did little to change Chelsea's shape, but the introduction of Kalou offered them the burst of pace that seems to have deserted both Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda in recent months.

And it was the Ivorian who levelled matters with a sublime finish into the bottom corner from an angle after Anelka had switched play gloriously as Chelsea broke from the corner won by Everton after Cech's stunning save to deny Coleman. In a matter of moments, a lightning counter had muted the Goodison Park faithful, and it was the quota of Chelsea fans who were celebrating an equaliser which was testament to their commendable defensive resilience considering the sustained pressure Everton had put them under.

That seemed to make Everton think twice before committing forward after a textbook display of counter-attacking football had undone the home team in glorious - though also fortuitous - fashion. Anelka's cross-field ball had been meant for the marauding Ramires, but the Brazilian's poor touch instead saw the ball fall to Kalou, who did his manager credit with an unerring finish.

But there was no element of luck moments later as the fine margins of the woodwork denied Ramires doubling his Chelsea tally. After scoring his first goal for the club on Monday, he nearly made it two in as many games when he lashed the ball against the outside of the post from distance - nearly securing passage to the last sixteen in spectacular fashion.

Everton rallied, though, and it took further excellent goalkeeping from Cech to push substitute Beckford's drilled effort wide after Ivanovic had been undone by a long-ball, and then Saha headed tamely wide in stoppage time as the hosts attempted to scavenge a late winner. Cech, signed in 2004, is still unbeaten in this competition, but Chelsea surely have their goalkeeper to thank as much as they do goalscorer Kalou for salvaging a barely-earned draw. In return, Essien headed across goal but wide of the far post late on as Chelsea threatened to complete a stunning turnaround - but unfortunately to no avail.

A replay will now be play in mid-February - presumably on the weekend of the 19-20th; considering Chelsea's future midweek commitments away at Sunderland and Copenhagen in the Champions League, as well as midweek internationals in the first week of the month. It may result in a fixture pile-up - but Chelsea are still in the cup and will fancy their chances in front of a vociferous home support.


Everton (4-4-1-1):Howard; Neville ©, Heitinga, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Rodwell (Beckford 85), Arteta, Bilyaletdinov; Fellaini; Saha.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry ©, Cole; Essien, Ramires, Lampard (Mikel 84); Anelka, Drogba, Malouda (Kalou 69).

The TalkChelsea.net Man of the Match was Chelsea's number 1, PETR CECH

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Nice report :)

Cech once again our hero and saviour. Easily our player of the season, I don't think anyone is topping him for that one. Phil Neville's thug-ish, rowdy, play was something that got to Malouda and I don't know why, but then the Frenchman became, fearful? Who knows.

Kalou was definitely a good sub. His play was much more attacking and direct than Malouda's would have been. Drogba is showing signs of coming back, I know it's wasn't a great performance, but he's certainly showing improvement since Nov/Dec so I'm letting him off the hook. The first half he looked hungry and had desire, the second half was a less great for him though. Hopefully the rumours of Torres will spark him into life now :whistling::rolleyes:

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Well as I said in the report, Everton have missed an opportunity today.

Good report and agree defintly! Think thats the feeling all round from both sides.But they had chances,somehow didnt score with them and god knows how we managed to...right after they nearly made it 2-0

Thank fuck for Cech! Werent for him we'd been hammered.Some class saves there

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