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 Saturday, 7 December, 2002, 17:02 GMT
Chelsea edge out Everton
Everton boss David Moyes tries to restrain Unsworth
Everton boss David Moyes tries to restrain Unsworth
Everton 1-3 Chelsea

Chelsea's status as dark horses for the Premiership title was confirmed as they moved into second place with a battling victory at Everton.

Claudio Ranieri's side survived a second-half siege from David Moyes' side after they struck twice early on through Mario Stanic and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

Gary Naysmith pulled a goal back for Everton just before half-time - setting the scene for a concerted attack on the Chelsea goal after the break.

We knew we had to play well and the players are so disappointed but the performance was very encouraging for us

Everton manager David Moyes

But Chelsea's new-found resilience was demonstrated again as held out to claim their second victory against Everton inside four days after their 4-1 Worthington Cup triumph.

Everton's misery was complete in iniury time when David Unsworth was shown the red card after a clash with Jesper Gronkjaer - who then added a third almost immediately for Chelsea.

Everton boss Moyes returned Wayne Rooney to the substitutes' bench after he started in the Worthington Cup at Stamford Bridge - with Chelsea recalling Marcel Desailly in place of John Terry.

Chelsea were given the perfect start after only five minutes, when Croatian Stanic repeated his cup heroics and hit the target.

Graeme Le Saux's corner took a deflection off Thomas Gravesen and fell invitingly for Stanic to head past Richard Wright.

Gary Naysmith scores for Everton
Gary Naysmith scores for Everton

Chelsea were showing greater invention, despite being troubled by Everton, and they doubled their lead after 27 minutes.

Frank Lampard's 20-yard drive was fumbled by Wright and Hasselbaink was first to react to slide home a right-foot finish.

But Everton were thrown a lifeline as they pulled a goal back two minutes before the interval.

We had to give a big performance because Everton were just outstanding in the second half

Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri

Naysmith worked his way into the penalty area and swept an angled drive past Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.

Everton continued their recovery in the second half, and Moyes threw on Rooney after 62 minutes in an attempt to turn their possession into an equaliser.

And it almost brought a reward after 67 minutes when Kevin Campbell's close range effort was scrambled off the line by Le Saux.

Campbell came close again three minutes later when his header rebounded to safety off the crossbar.

Rooney almost put Everton level as time ran out, but he was blocked by Cudicini from a tight angle.

Everton finally ran out of steam, and had Unsworth sent off in injury time for a clash with Gronkjaer.

The Dane then made the home side pay as Chelsea then swept clear, with Gianfranco Zola setting up the substitute to seal the three points.


Everton: Wright, Hibbert, Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth, Carsley, Tie Li (Gemmill 63), Gravesen, Naysmith, Radzinski (Rooney 63), Campbell. Subs Not Used: Pistone, Weir, Simonsen.

Sent Off: Unsworth (90).

Booked: Stubbs.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Gallas, Desailly, Le Saux, Lampard, Stanic (Gronkjaer 60), Petit, De Lucas (Terry 76), Hasselbaink (Gudjohnsen 84), Zola.

Subs Not Used: de Goey, Morris.
Booked: Stanic, De Lucas, Gallas, Hasselbaink, Lampard, Gronkjaer.

Attendance: 39,396.

Referee: E Wolstenholme (Lancashire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Five Live's Ian Brown
"Chelsea showed they had the stomach for a fight"
 Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri
"We always maintained our focus"
 Everton manager David Moyes
"We gave Chelsea a game today"
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