Chelsea 2 – 2 Everton
Ellis Simms scored his first Everton goal in the 89th minute at Stamford Bridge to claim a vital point in the Toffees’ relegation fight and halt Chelsea’s recent resurgence.
Chelsea had bounced back from a horrendous run of form at the start of the year by winning their last three matches in all competitions and they should have made it four in a row after twice taking the lead against Everton.
Joao Felix rolled the Blues’ first past Jordan Pickford via the post seven minutes after the break only for the hosts to allow complacency to creep into their game, resulting in Abdoulaye Doucoure glancing a header just over the line to level for the visitors in the 69th minute.
Chelsea managed to hit back through Kai Havertz seven minutes later when he converted a penalty after a foul on Reece James, but the Blues again threw it away, with Simms easily bursting past Kalidou Koulibaly before seeing his shot squirm past Kepa Arrizabalaga as the Toffees continued their spirited fight against the drop.
How Everton battled back to deny Chelsea
After appearing to be careering towards relegation under former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard at the end of January, Everton’s revival under Dyche continued in west London thanks to another impressively gritty performance.
The Toffees took just two points from their final eight Premier League games under Lampard but have earned 11 from Dyche’s first eight matches in charge, a clear demonstration of the positive impact the former Burnley boss has made.
- Chelsea made three changes to the side that won at Leicester last time out, with Reece James, Benoit Badiashile and Christian Pulisic replacing Marc Cucurella, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mykhailo Mudryk
- N’Golo Kante was named as a substitute for the Blues, marking his return to the squad after seven months out with a hamstring injury
- Everton named an unchanged side from their win over Brentford last weekend, with Demarai Gray leading the line and Ben Godfrey at left-back
Everton frustrated Chelsea throughout their Saturday evening encounter, with a defender seemingly in the way of the ball every time it went near Pickford’s goal during a first half of few clear chances.
The visitors’ resistance was finally breached by Felix after he collected Michael Keane’s weak clearance to guide the ball into the far corner but Everton’s battling qualities were on display as they fought back to level through Doucoure, who turned James Tarkowski’s header past Kepa from close range.
A rare mistake from Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey, who combined to trip James, allowed Havertz to score his third goal in as many games from the spot, but Everton were not to be denied as Simms charged into the Chelsea area and ended their three-game winning run.
The result moves Dyche’s side up to 15th and two points clear of the drop zone, while Graham Potter’s team missed the chance to close the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham and lie 10th, 11 points off the top four.
The Premier League now pauses for the international break, meaning Chelsea’s next game is at home to Aston Villa in the top flight on Saturday April 1, live on Sky Sports – kick-off 5.30pm.
The Blues then host Liverpool on Tuesday April 4, live on Sky Sports – kick-off 8pm.
Everton’s next game is at home to Tottenham in the Premier League on Monday April 3, live o Sky Sports – kick-off 8pm.
The Toffees then travel to Manchester United on Saturday April 8 – kick-off 12.30pm.
Anthony Joshua says he will retire from boxing if he loses to Jermaine Franklin | ‘I’m not here to battle people’ | Boxing News
Anthony Joshua says he will retire from boxing if he loses against Jermaine Franklin on Saturday at the O2 Arena.
The two-time world champion is making his return to the ring this weekend to face the American heavyweight after successive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua will be looking to win his first professional fight since December 2020 but has admitted he will step away from boxing if he loses a third successive bout.
“I will. I will retire if I lose. I’m not here to battle people. If people want me to retire I will retire,” he told MailOnline.
“I’m not going to fight if people don’t want me too. It’s not even about the money. It’s about the competitor in you. That’s what’s important.
“It [pressure] comes with the business and it comes with the territory, I know that.
“I know when I am retired, I am gonna be chilling. I’m gonna be thinking f**k everyone. I am done.
“You lot put so much pressure on me so when I am done, the chains are going to be gone. I am going to be laughing and loving life.”
Nelson expects Joshua to ‘get it done’
Former WBO cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson expects Joshua to beat Franklin but thinks the 33-year-old should retire if he loses.
“I’d expect Anthony Joshua to get it done. But Jermaine Franklin is 29 years old, (has had) 22 fights, won 21, stopped 14 of his opponents and in his last fight against Dillian Whyte people say he should have won. But that’s questionable,” he said.
“My big question is this: Anthony Joshua, after losing two fights on the bounce, has had to relook at his confidence to think ‘who am I, do I belong here, do I want this?’
“For Anthony Joshua that’s everything. Because he’s had to go through a bit of turmoil, mentally, emotionally and come to terms with the fact that he’s no longer the best fighter, officially, in the world.
“He’s got to get in the queue again like everybody else. If Anthony Joshua loses, he jacks it in. If he doesn’t jack it, he should jack it. Because it’s a hard mountain to climb.
“Especially when you’ve had the success and the heights that he’s had. So he can’t afford to lose. That’s a must. Then from that, it’s confidence building.”
Hollie Doyle: Star flat jockey set for Friday return ahead of Lincoln meeting at Doncaster | Racing News
Leading flat jockey Hollie Doyle will make her return to riding on Friday at Newcastle ahead of this weekend’s Lincoln meeting at Doncaster, live on Sky Sports Racing.
The Group One-winning rider has been out of the saddle since January following an elbow injury sustained in a fall at Wolverhampton.
Doyle enjoyed another memorable season in 2022 with over 150 winners, partnering Nashwa to a first Classic victory as well as landing another Royal Ascot success on Bradsell and further glory on star stayer Trueshan.
She is set to make her return at Newcastle, taking the ride on Rhythm And Hooves in the 5:50pm race, ahead of Saturday’s opening flat turf meeting of the year at Doncaster.
Some of her rides include Richard Spencer’s Revich in the lucrative Lincoln Handicap, as well chances on Wilderness Girl in the Cammidge Trophy and the classy Tempus in the Doncaster Mile.
“It’s been a frustrating time on the sidelines, but it was great to receive the green light to return,” said the Sky Sports Racing ambassador.
“I’ve been back at Oaksey House this morning, and the team there have been fantastic right the way through my recovery.
“I’ll be riding out this week and am looking forward to getting back in the saddle at Newcastle on Friday and on Lincoln day at Doncaster and kicking on from there.”
Watch every race from the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster this Saturday, exclusively live on Sky Sports Racing.
England Women: Sarina Wiegman recalls goalkeeper Hannah Hampton and defender Esme Morgan | Football News
Sarina Wiegman has handed recalls to Hannah Hampton and Esme Morgan while uncapped Lucy Parker also returns to the fold as the Lionesses prepare for back-to-back fixtures against Brazil and World Cup co-hosts Australia in April.
Dropping out from February’s squad are the injured Emily Ramsey along with Lotte Wubben-Moy, Katie Zelem and Ebony Salmon.
Chelsea forward Fran Kirby continues to be absent as she recovers from a knee injury, while Bethany England also misses out despite scoring five goals in six appearances for new club Tottenham.
Wiegman said: “We are getting closer to the World Cup and I can’t think of two better games to assess our progress. After these games, there will be less than three months until we fly to the tournament and we must make every second on and off the pitch count.
“For us as a technical staff this will be the last chance to see the players within our England environment before we come together for the final preparation phase in June. And these two matches will be two real tests to see where we are at.”
The Lionesses have not faced Australia since October 2018 when Kirby scored in a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.
The last meeting with Brazil was in October 2019 at the Riverside Stadium when Debinha scored twice for the visitors, before England’s late consolation in a 2-1 defeat.
England squad in full
Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Sandy MacIver, Ellie Roebuck, Hannah Hampton
Defenders: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, Alex Greenwood, Maya Le Tissier, Esme Morgan, Lucy Parker, Leah Williamson
Midfielders: Laura Coombs, Jordan Nobbs, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh
Forwards: Rachel Daly, Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Chloe Kelly, Jess Park, Alessia Russo, Katie Robinson
April 6: England vs Brazil – kick-off 7.45pm, Women’s Finalissima (Wembley Stadium)
April 11: England vs Australia – kick-off 7.45pm, friendly (Gtech Stadium)
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