Chelsea and Everton played out a spectacular―and controversial―3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge during Saturday's Premier League action, with all six goals coming in the second half.
Little of note happened during the first 45 minutes, but a John Terry own-goal set off the fireworks in the second half. Kevin Mirallas doubled Everton's lead before the Blues hit back with two goals in two minutes, courtesy of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.
Ramiro Funes Mori thought he had found the winner with a late goal, but Terry pulled it back for the hosts in the dying seconds, although he appeared to do so from a clear offside position.
As shared by the club's official Twitter account, Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink started Pedro on the left wing, with youngster Kurt Zouma partnering Terry in defence and the in-form Costa starting up front:
The visitors started the match with plenty of possession, as Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku looked lively and tried to get involved early. Chances were few, although the former Chelsea man had a couple of looks on goal.
Terry seemed to struggle with his positioning, but Zouma did a superb job covering for the veteran, keeping Lukaku in check. He also made a couple of runs toward the wing, where Mirallas routinely got the better of Branislav Ivanovic.
Tim Howard made the first real stop of the match, denying Willian a goal with a quick reflex save after the latter had snuck through the Everton defence.
The Independent's Miguel Delaney thought he should have scored:
Everton probably had better of it so far but Willian should have put Chelsea 1-0 up there. Words not typed much this term: good Howard save.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) January 16, 2016
Chelsea started seeing more of the ball, but this gave the Toffees a couple of good looks on the counter attack. Again, Zouma played a vital role breaking down the attacks, although Lukaku should have done better with one of his shots, scuffing it and sending it well wide of Thibaut Courtois' goal.
The Blues' attack looked toothless during the first half, as Costa saw little of the ball and Pedro was nearly invisible. Willian was the liveliest of Chelsea's attackers, but even he struggled, evidenced by a dreadful delivery on a corner. Stamford Bridge started jeering the hosts before half-time, while Everton grew stronger.
Mirallas came close to opening the score, producing a fine turn to find some space before drawing a good save from Courtois.
France Football's Philippe Auclair was happy to finally see some action:
Mirallas flummoxes Zouma and draws a good save from Courtois, the first moment of quality in a game that has been severely lacking in it.— Philippe Auclair (@PhilippeAuclair) January 16, 2016
He didn't mince his words at half-time:
Spent most the first half going back to the cricket (yes, England won), missed nothing. 0-0 HT at Stamford Bridge.— Philippe Auclair (@PhilippeAuclair) January 16, 2016
The second half started at a quicker pace, with both teams looking to move forward, and the attacking intentions yielded results after just five minutes. Leighton Baines tried to find Lukaku with a dangerous cross, and while he failed to find his target, Terry bundled the ball into his own goal in comical fashion.
Per Squawka Football, the veteran set a new club mark, although likely one he was hoping to avoid:
John Terry has now scored more own goals (4) than any other Chelsea player in Premier League history. pic.twitter.com/9HxHXChE0m— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 16, 2016
The Toffees now pushed forward, and Barkley came agonisingly close to doubling the lead, smashing a shot off the woodwork. Just a few minutes later, Mirallas saw his excellent performance rewarded with a goal, bringing the ball down with a fantastic touch before blasting the ball past Courtois.
It was a stunning strike, but Everton weren't able to enjoy their two-goal advantage very long. Howard and Phil Jagielka did well to block a succession of shots, but the latter was caught looking at the ball just minutes later, allowing Costa to slip past him before poking the ball past the goalkeeper.
The Sunday Times' Duncan Castles couldn't help but take a shot at Jagielka's colleague on the other side of the pitch:
Costa and Cesc Fabregas again linked up to bring things level just a minute later, capping off a wild 15-minute stretch. This time, the midfielder found the net, as his shot took a big deflection off Jagielka and gave Howard no chance.
The high pace continued, and both Costa and Mirallas had enormous chances to give their team the lead. First, the Spaniard just failed to push the ball home at the far post, before the Everton man found himself alone in front of Courtois and couldn't get the ball between his compatriot's legs.
With 10 minutes left to play, Costa went down clutching his leg in obvious pain, and he was eventually replaced by Loic Remy. Trainers appeared to be looking at his hamstring, and the Blues can only hope he won't miss too much time.
John Obi Mikel came close to scoring the winner, unleashing a shot from 25 yards out that barely missed the top corner. Delaney thought that was a first:
Mikel - yes, Mikel - goes close with a 25-yard drive. Genuinely not sure I've ever seen him do that.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) January 16, 2016
John Stones nearly found Lukaku with a delightful cross, as Chelsea started sitting back and inviting Everton to move their wingers up the pitch. With little left to play, Gerard Deulofeu found Funes Mori with a great cross, and the substitute poked the ball past Courtois.
Everton were ready to celebrate the win, but in the final seconds, Oscar found Terry, who smashed the ball past Howard to secure a point.
Everton were furious with the official, and it's easy to see why, per MailSport's Adam Crafton:
That's a shocker from the officials. Not a hard call - Terry so clearly offside. Martinez will be rightly furious.— Adam Crafton (@AdamCrafton_) January 16, 2016
The result doesn't help either club all that much, as Everton still find themselves well behind the competition in the race for a European ticket and Chelsea still sit closer to the relegation zone than the top four.
But after such a spectacular second half, it's hard to find real winners and losers. Overall, the draw was a just outcome, and it's a result both teams should be able to build on moving forward.
Unsurprisingly, Terry's controversial winner dominated the post-match reactions. Per Jacqui Oatley of BBC's Match of the Day, Everton manager Roberto Martinez was furious:
Hiddink admitted Terry was offside, but he believes the decision to let the match run well past the allotted injury time was justified:
Hiddink: "7 mins added on but I told the ref they celebrated (90th min equaliser) for 1.5 mins in our corner so I said add 1 min more". #CFC— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) January 16, 2016
Per Delaney, he also reminded Martinez these things tend to happen, saying: "Sometimes it goes against you, sometimes for you, in season."