Premier League
EvertonEverton0ChelseaChelsea0

Everton 0-0 Chelsea

By Alex BysouthBBC Sport
Phil Jagielka
Phil Jagielka cleared off the line twice in quick succession in the first half

Everton boss Sam Allardyce challenged his side to be more creative as he continued his unbeaten start to the job with a dogged and defensively strong goalless draw against champions Chelsea.

The ninth-placed Toffees have not lost in six Premier League games, five of those since Allardyce took charge.

Captain Phil Jagielka cleared off the line from Tiemoue Bakayoko and Willian in quick succession to frustrate the visitors, who were without suspended top scorer Alvaro Morata.

Chelsea dominated, but struggled to breach the Everton backline and found goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in good form when they did.

The 23-year-old England World Cup hopeful saved smartly from Pedro's effort in the first half and tipped a low Eden Hazard drive wide after the break.

Substitute Ashley Williams then headed against his own crossbar as the Toffees at times rode their luck to keep a fourth clean sheet in six games.

Antonio Conte's Chelsea side stay third, having lost just once in their past 11 league games.

Everton have picked up 11 points in five league games under Allardyce and conceded just twice, after letting in 28 in their previous 14.

"You join a club and there are lots of decisions to be made and you can't hang around too much," said Allardyce. "Those decisions can take a bit longer now because of what the players have achieved on the field.

"The leaky side of this team has been put to bed - it was conceding fours, fives and sixes. Now it's about working on the other side of it in creative terms."

Toffees prove tough to beat

Everton
Everton earned a draw despite having no shots on target and only 32.3% possession

Allardyce has promised his Everton players Christmas Day off, saying he hated having to come in for training then as a player, calling it "a complete waste of time".

The former England boss will feel it is a well-earned break for his side, who were without Wayne Rooney against Chelsea because of flu, while defenders Mason Holgate and Williams started on the bench because of illness.

Rooney has enjoyed a revival since his return to Goodison, scoring 10 goals in 16 league games - the quickest he has reached double figures since 2011-12. Williams has recovered from a shaky start to the season under Allardyce's guidance and youngster Holgate has impressed alongside him.

Allardyce 'delighted' with 'terrific' point

But Allardyce has instilled a solidity among this Everton side that means they are hard to break down whoever starts at the back.

Michael Keane, returning to the side, was superb alongside Jagielka and the captain's double block on the line in the first half epitomised Everton's refusal to lose under their new boss as they restricted Chelsea to few clear-cut chances.

The hosts did, however, miss the subtlety Rooney brings to their direct approach under Allardyce, with his experience and composure to hold the ball up in attack.

But, despite having no shots on target, Everton remain unbeaten in six games with Allardyce's run now including draws against Chelsea and Liverpool.

Chelsea lack cutting edge

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard had two shots on target and made three key passes for Chelsea

With Morata absent, Conte again opted for Hazard to lead the line rather than place his trust in out-and-out striker Michy Batshuayi.

Hazard occupied the role in last week's win over Southampton, with Morata recovering from a back injury, but his natural tendency is to drop deep and that meant much of Chelsea's play was in front of Everton's backline.

The visitors created space in wide positions through wing-backs Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses, but found Everton's well-drilled defence equal to that route of attack.

Chelsea crosses
Chelsea had 30 crosses, but most were cleared by an Everton defender, as the red dots above show

Without a focal point in the penalty box the visitors lacked a clinical edge, and their best chances came when Pedro broke free on the counter attack to force Pickford into a save, and Hazard found space to shoot from the edge of the box.

Conte did call for Batshuayi, whose last goals came for the club's under-21s in a Checkatrade Trophy win over MK Dons, with 20 minutes to go but the Belgium forward was denied any real opportunities.

And Chelsea nearly paid the price for their inability to capitalise on their dominance, with Keane heading Everton's best chance of the game over the crossbar in injury time.

Man of the match - Phil Jagielka (Everton)

Jagielka
Captain Jagielka led Everton's defensive line superbly on his return to the side, making a game-high 14 clearances.

Allardyce shores up leaky Toffees

  • Everton kept their first Premier League clean sheet in nine games against Chelsea, since a 1-0 win in September 2013.
  • However, the Toffees have now failed to score in their past four Premier League games against Chelsea.
  • Everton have kept three clean sheets in their five Premier League games under Allardyce - the same number they had kept in their previous 18 in the competition.
  • Chelsea have now had two goalless draws in the Premier League this season - they did not have a single one in Conte's first season in charge.
  • Chelsea had 25 shots in this match, their most in a Premier League game without scoring since January 2014 (39 vs West Ham).
  • Meanwhile, Everton failed to have a single shot on target in a home Premier League game for the first time since 4 December 2011 v Stoke; 2,211 days ago.

'It is an unfair result' - what they said

Everton boss Sam Allardyce: "I am delighted with the players' attitude and application to defending to stifle a side like this. It is a terrific point for us. We had a bit of fortune but got a well-deserved point.

"We didn't use the ball well enough to get up the pitch enough. We have to work on playing out from the back and holding the ball up."

Conte disappointed by Everton stalemate

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte on Sky Sports: "We had 26 shots, only eight on target. I think we dominated the game and lots of chances to score. I think it is an unfair result. Everton deserve credit but we deserve to win.

"Maybe Jordan Pickford was the best player for them. We dominated the game and it is a pity to drop two points. It is normal to drop points with a poor performance but not today.

"It is not simple to dominate here, we needed a bit of luck."

What's next?

Everton travel to West Brom in the Premier League on 26 December, kick-off 15:00 GMT, while Chelsea host Brighton at the same time.

Line-ups

Everton

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Pickford
  • 43Kenny
  • 6Jagielka
  • 4KeaneBooked at 57mins
  • 15MartinaBooked at 21mins
  • 2Schneiderlin
  • 12LennonSubstituted forRamírezat 45'minutes
  • 17GueyeSubstituted forBaningimeat 51'minutes
  • 26DaviesSubstituted forWilliamsat 45'minutes
  • 18G Sigurdsson
  • 29Calvert-LewinBooked at 10mins

Substitutes

  • 5Williams
  • 7Bolasie
  • 9Ramírez
  • 19Niasse
  • 30Holgate
  • 33Robles
  • 54Baningime

Chelsea

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 13Courtois
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 27Christensen
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 15MosesSubstituted forZappacostaat 81'minutes
  • 7Kanté
  • 14Bakayoko
  • 3Alonso
  • 22WillianSubstituted forBatshuayiat 71'minutes
  • 11PedroSubstituted forFàbregasat 63'minutes
  • 10E Hazard

Substitutes

  • 1Caballero
  • 4Fàbregas
  • 6Drinkwater
  • 21Zappacosta
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 24Cahill
  • 70Hudson-Odoi
Referee:
Robert Madley
Attendance:
39,191

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home5
Away25
Shots on Target
Home0
Away8
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home8
Away4

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Everton 0, Chelsea 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Everton 0, Chelsea 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Marcos Alonso (Chelsea).

  4. Post update

    Jordan Pickford (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Morgan Schneiderlin.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Keane (Everton) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross following a corner.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Everton. Conceded by Antonio Rüdiger.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Andreas Christensen (Chelsea).

  10. Post update

    Sandro Ramírez (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Phil Jagielka.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Davide Zappacosta replaces Victor Moses.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Jordan Pickford.

  17. Post update

    Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton).

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas with a cross.

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As It Stood

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1Man City19181060124855
2Man Utd19133341142742
3Chelsea19123432141839
4Liverpool1998241231835
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6Arsenal19104534231134
7Burnley199551615132
8Leicester197662928127
9Everton197572430-626
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14Stoke1954102240-1819
15Newcastle1953111929-1018
16Crystal Palace194691629-1318
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19West Brom192891427-1314
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