Everton 1-0 Chelsea
Everton secured a 1-0 win over Chelsea in an uninspiring contest, although Jermaine Beckford scored a sensational goal.
With all eyes set to be on the relegation battle today, Everton and Chelsea nevertheless had their own reasons to impress at Goodison Park. For Everton, a win would have made safe seventh position in the league, with Fulham breathing down their necks, while Chelsea should have been keen to give Carlo Ancelotti a winning send-off, if indeed the Blues manager is sacked as expected this summer.
However, for the majority of the game, the players on both sides looked like they had at least one eye on their summer holidays, with a complete lack of attacking ambition displayed throughout. Phil Jagielka directed a header over the bar from a corner not long after kick-off, while the Everton defender was on hand minutes later to block an attempt towards goal from Nicolas Anelka.
Seamus Coleman, who was later to see red for two bookable offences, was denied a shooting chance by a fantastic sliding challenge from Ashley Cole in the Chelsea box, and the Blues defender almost opened the scoring just before the half time break with a rocket of a shot from the edge of the box.
Jermaine Beckford, meanwhile, invited the groans of the Everton crowd five minutes before the break with a shot dragged wide of the post with the goal gaping, and Tim Howard made a comfortable low save from an Anelka shot just before Peter Walton blew the whistle for half time.
Shortly after the break, Coleman was shown red after picking up a second yellow card for a lunging tackle on John Obi Mikel, but Chelsea never made their numerical advantage count. A shot from John Terry moments after Coleman's departure rebounded off the inside of the bar, and Petr Cech made a good save from Beckford's low shot before Chelsea saw a goal ruled out for an offside decision. With Howard spilling a fierce shot from Frank Lampard, Branislav Ivanovic poked home the rebound, but the linesman was correct in his decision to raise his flag.
That offside decision seemed to jolt the Toffees into life, and Beckford took full advantage of Chelsea's defensive lethargy by scoring a sublime individual goal. The striker picked the ball up on the edge of the Everton box, shrugged off a number of Chelsea defenders while running the length of the pitch, and then dinked the ball over the onrushing Cech.
That moment of quality lit up a game that was by all accounts poor, and Ancelotti's replacement, if indeed there is one at the start of next season, will have plenty of work to do on this evidence to get the Blues squad up to scratch.