LONDON (AFP) – Ellis Simms grabbed a last-gasp equaliser as struggling Everton boosted their fight for Premier League survival with a dramatic 2-2 draw against Chelsea yesterday.
Sean Dyche’s side were moments away from a damaging defeat until Simms scored his first goal for the club to stun Stamford Bridge into silence.
Everton’s show of defiance came after they twice trailed in west London.
Joao Felix had put Chelsea ahead early in the second half with his second goal since joining on loan from Atletico Madrid in January. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s equaliser was followed by Kai Havertz’s third goal in his last three appearances as the German converted penalty in the closing stages.
Simms was on loan at Championship side Sunderland earlier this season, but the 22-year-old showed he could be Everton’s saviour in the relegation battle with his crucial leveller. Everton are now two points clear of the relegation zone after extending their unbeaten run to three games.
“We threw Ellis in against Liverpool and he struggled a bit but he’s maturing into it. He’s got pace and power and it was a nice finish,” Dyche said.
“A lot has been made of lacking strikers here but I’ve said all along it’s a team mentality. There is certainly talent. We’re laying down a base to work from.”
It was a bitter pill for Chelsea to swallow as Graham Potter’s team squandered the chance to clinch a fourth successive win in all competitions.
“We thought we played well enough to get the three points but ultimately if you don’t defend well, you don’t get the result,” Potter said.