Chelsea vs. Everton: Winners and Losers from Premier League
John Terry spared Chelsea's blushes with a late, late equalizer as Chelsea claimed a 3-3 draw with Everton on Saturday in a Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
Following a first half of few chances, Everton built a 2-0 lead by the 56th minute on an own goal by Terry and a superb individual effort from Kevin Mirallas. Chelsea hit back through Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, but Everton claimed what they thought was a winner via Ramiro Funes Mori in the first minute of stoppage time.
But with virtually the last kick of the game, Terry swept in from close range to give Chelsea a share of the spoils. Replays showed Terry was offside.
Here, Bleacher Report selects winners and losers from the match.
If it's been anything, the 2015-16 Premier League season has been thrilling. Saturday's match at Stamford Bridge was no exception.
Admittedly, the first 45 minutes failed to produce much in the way of excitement—or chances, for that matter. But the second half brought six goals, a two-goal fightback, an apparent winner in the 91st minute and finally a dramatic 98th-minute equalizer.
It might have produced a heart palpitation or two among fans, but for neutrals, it was pure entertainment.
Loser: Everton Holding a Lead
For all the excitement at the end of this game, it should have played out differently from an Everton supporter's perspective. The Toffees led 2-0 in the 56th minute and 3-2 in the 91st minute—and still managed not to win.
A contrarian might point out that John Terry's late leveler shouldn't have counted because Terry was offside. That's true, and the game had already gone longer than the seven announced minutes of stoppage time.
But the problem for Everton is that this has happened before. And not just once.
On Nov. 28, the Toffees led Bournemouth 2-0 in the first half and 3-2 in second-half stoppage time, only to draw 3-3. Sound familiar?
A month later, they came from behind to take a 3-2 lead in the second half against Stoke but allowed two goals after the 80th minute and lost 4-3.
"Not blaming the officials," tweeted B/R contributor Matt Jones. "If you score late, you see it out. We've not done it twice in two months!!! All stems back to the manager."
For his part, the manager was blaming the referee.
"It's a clear-cut offside that should have been spotted. To make it worse, it's 50 seconds over time. It's something that's not good enough," Martinez said, per BBC Sport. "There is no explanation. It's a big, big error."
Winner: Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas made a key contribution to Chelsea's first comeback, assisting Diego Costa's 64th-minute goal before grabbing the equalizer himself just two minutes later.
The Spaniard started in an advanced role, sitting just behind Costa in the attacking-midfield three. But his best work came after he moved deeper in the formation following Oscar's introduction in the second half.
Just a few weeks ago, fans booed Fabregas for his presumed role in manager Jose Mourinho's departure. But this performance had the Stamford Bridge faithful applauding, and rightly so.
Loser: The Matic-Mikel Midfield
Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink opted for Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel in his two-man defensive midfield. The combination didn't work.
Playing Matic and Mikel together made Chelsea too negative, as the lack of chances in the first half suggested. Oscar arrived in the 55th minute, replacing Matic, and the hosts immediately improved.
The key was moving Cesc Fabregas into a deeper midfield role, rather than just the introduction of Oscar. But the point here is that the combination of Matic and Mikel was not a winning one for Chelsea.
Winner: Gerard Deulofeu's Crossing
Gerard Deulofeu entered the match as an 80th-minute substitute and quickly made a menace of himself with typically excellent crossing.
The Spaniard set up the goal that should have been Everton's winner in stoppage time. After his initial corner was cleared, Deulofeu reclaimed possession and curled a beautiful ball to the back post, where Ramiro Funes Mori turned it into the net with an acrobatic volley.
Deulofeu wasn't on the pitch for very long, but he made a decisive contribution.
Loser: Chelsea's Defending
Chelsea gave up three more goals on Saturday, bringing their season total to 34 in the Premier League. By comparison, the Blues conceded just 32 all of last season, when they won the title.
Perhaps even more concerning is Chelsea's record at home, where they have shipped 19 goals in just 12 matches. That's poor, and it serves as a compelling piece of information as to why the Blues sit only six points above the relegation places.
Are they really in a relegation fight? With so much talent in the side, it seems preposterous. But until results improve, you have to say it's a reality.