Match ends, Chelsea 1, Everton 0.
Chelsea 1-0 Everton
John Terry grabbed a stoppage-time winner as Chelsea beat Everton to retain their advantage at the top of the Premier League.
Blues captain Terry slid in with goalkeeper Tim Howard to meet Frank Lampard's inswinging free-kick, denying Everton a fully deserved point against their lacklustre hosts.
Neither side created many clear chances but the Toffees looked sharper for much of the game, only to lose out in agonising fashion.
The league leaders lacked cohesion, despite a promising opening and a marked improvement in the final stages.
But the victory, their 12th in 14 home league games this season, means they are one point clear of Arsenal and three points ahead of Manchester City, though the latter have one game in hand.
Everton's hopes of ending Jose Mourinho's remarkable home league record, which now stands at 74 games unbeaten as Blues manager, were dealt a blow in the warm-up.
Lacina Traore had to be replaced in the starting line-up because of a hamstring injury, but the change seemed to unnerve the hosts more.
The fit-again Terry, Gary Cahill and their defensive colleagues struggled to deal with Everton's movement and lack of an out-and-out striker.
Traore's stand-in Steven Naismith, a scorer in both his past two games against the Blues - including the winner at Goodison Park in September, impressed while Leon Osman and Kevin Mirallas also caught the eye.
But for all their fine build-up play, they did not regularly test goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Mirallas mis-kicked a great chance and also had a deflected effort go wide, while Phil Jagielka glanced a header off target.
The closest they came before the break was when Osman forced a stunning tip-over from Cech with a fierce 20-yard strike.
Chelsea, with Eden Hazard again their main threat, were disjointed and sloppy in possession for the majority of the first period, though Samuel Eto'o threatened on several occasions and Willian had a couple of tame shots easily dealt with.
But the hosts lacked conviction and it was no surprise when a frustrated Mourinho changed things at the break.
Ramires replaced the ineffective and injured Oscar, and his introduction led to a slight improvement, but still little in the way of goal threat.
Branislav Ivanovic had a powerful close-range half-volley beaten away, and Hazard and Willian had attempts at goal.
At the other end Cech had to make a brilliant diving reaction save to keep out an Osman shot that took a nick off Mirallas.
But just as Everton, who have not won at Stamford Bridge since 1994, seemed to have withstood a period of late pressure, Lampard's beautifully struck set-piece allowed Terry to earn his side victory.
- 22WillianSubstituted forTorresat 62'minutes
- 11OscarBooked at 9minsSubstituted forSantos do Nascimentoat 45'minutes
- 17E Hazard
- 29Eto'oSubstituted forSchürrleat 69'minutes
- 7Santos do Nascimento
- 6JagielkaBooked at 90mins
- 18BarryBooked at 82mins
- 11MirallasSubstituted forDeulofeuat 75'minutes
- 21OsmanSubstituted forBarkleyat 63'minutes
- 22PienaarSubstituted forMcGeadyat 80'minutes
- Lee Probert
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Chelsea 1, Everton 0.
Corner, Everton. Conceded by Frank Lampard.
Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Eden Hazard (Chelsea).
Own Goal by Tim Howard, Everton. Chelsea 1, Everton 0.
Phil Jagielka (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Phil Jagielka (Everton).
Ramires (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Ramires (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Eden Hazard.
Foul by Gareth Barry (Everton).
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt blocked. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Foul by Leighton Baines (Everton).
Fernando Torres (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Steven Naismith (Everton) because of an injury.
Attempt missed. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Branislav Ivanovic with a cross.
Attempt missed. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nemanja Matic.
Attempt missed. Fernando Torres (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.