Bad Night Up North

Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table is a solitary point after the Blues crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park.

Manchester United’s draw with Aston Villa ensures that things remain very tight at the top as we enter the final third of the season.

Yuri Zhirkov replaced Michael Ballack in the only change from the side that beat Arsenal and it took just sixteen minutes for the visiting side to take the lead.

It was a display of route one football as Petr Cech launched a long free kick forward, finding the head of Didier Drogba. His flick was into the path of Florent Malouda, who held off Phil Neville before firing home first time past Tim Howard.

Predictably, the Everton equaliser came from a set piece. Loan singing Landon Donovan took a corner from the right that was brilliantly headed in by Louis Saha, who’d escaped the attentions of John Terry.

Donovan was involved again, winning a penalty after a careless challenge from Ricardo Carvalho. Saha stepped up and though his spot kick was hit firmly, it was a nice height for Cech who moved to his left to make a decent save.

Everton went ahead in the second half, again through Saha. Terry misjudged a long ball, allowing Saha to control with his chest before lashing a left footed finish past Cech and into the far corner.

Chelsea looked to hit back, but Drogba and Frank Lampard were both denied, the former by the woodwork and the latter by Howard in goals. An intriguing midweek of football once more leaves the Premier League race wide open.