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Posted on: Sat 29 Jan 2011

Chelsea had to come from a goal down to earn an FA Cup replay at Everton on Saturday afternoon.

Substitute Salomon Kalou did the trick 16 minutes from time when he slotted home into the bottom corner at a time when it looked for all the world like the holders would be heading out at the fourth round stage.

A first half of limited quality had provided chances for both sides but it was the home side who took the lead just after the hour when Louis Saha headed home Leighton Baines's corner, prompting Kalou's introduction from the bench.

With hindsight it is Chelsea who will be more pleased with the draw, a below-par performance going relatively unpunished, and we will be favourites to progress from the replay on home soil.

Before this game Carlo Ancelotti had declared the bad moment his side were experiencing officially over, but Everton would be expected to offer a stern examination on a cold Saturday lunchtime in the north-west.

The manager recalled fit again Frank Lampard, preferred to John Mikel Obi, in his only personnel change from the side that beat Bolton so convincingly on Monday night. That meant a change of role for Michael Essien, who dropped back to anchor midfield and accommodate the attacking Lampard.

Everton reverted from their recent 4-4-2 to a lone forward, Louis Saha, who was supported by a five-man midfield with Marouane Fellaini holding.

Didier Drogba, scorer of a spectacular goal on Monday, had the game's first effort five minutes in when he shot tamely at Everton's goalkeeper Tim Howard.

At the other end Diniyar Bilyaletdinov got the wrong side of Jose Bosingwa but couldn't poke the ball past Petr Cech to boost his side's decent start to the game, and then Essien turned Ramires's low cross over the Everton bar.

Half-chances, then, at both ends, but none came as close as John Terry 17 minutes in when he headed onto the roof of the net after Malouda had sent over a precise corner.

When Essien lost possession in a dangerous area to Fellaini, it looked like the home side would take the lead. The tackle allowed Louis Saha to release Jack Rodwell, but his low and powerful shot was well blocked by Cech who was seeking his fourth straight clean sheet.

Drogba and Ramires combined to put Nicolas Anelka through on goal after half an hour, but his shot was turned behind by Howard, as was Malouda's five minutes later meaning it was goalless at half-time.

It had been an open and at times entertaining first period yet neither side had been able to capitalise when in strong positions, or done enough to warrant a lead. Both had been slack in possession and occasionally too hesitant to throw numbers forward when attacks showed promise, meaning thoughts were already turning to a possible replay on February 19.

The first chance of the second half was Everton's, and came after Terry had mishit a pass straight at the energetic Seamus Coleman. He put Fellaini away and the cross to the far post picked out Saha, but the Frenchman found his way to goal blocked by a flying Ramires block. The Brazilian is really beginning to settle in England, and was one of Chelsea's better performers.

Cech had to tip Fellaini's header over to preserve the stalemate on 55, but he could do nothing the next time the ball entered his box.

Neville's cross was turned behind for a corner, and from Leighton Baines's inswinging cross, Saha found himself unmarked after Terry had misjudged the flight of the ball, and headed powerfully into the bottom corner.

It was Baines who crossed for Everton's equaliser at Stamford Bridge in December, and Saha, so often Chelsea's nemesis, once again providing the final touch.

The holders were in real trouble, and had not created a second-half opportunity to speak of. Everton were still looking the likelier to score as Cech parried Coleman's header and Essien had to throw himself full length in front of the follow-up to keep the deficit down.

From the corner though, it was the Blues who broke and substitute Salomon Kalou ran at his man before slipping the ball across goal and into the bottom corner. It was his second in as many FA Cup games, and a much-needed goal for a player who has looked low on confidence.

Now the game took on a different complexion, and with 15 minutes still to play both sides would be searching for a winner.

With five minutes left, Ramires almost found it. Striding forward from midfield he found himself in space and opted to shoot, his effort beating Howard but bouncing back into play off the foot of the goalkeeper's left-hand post.

Everton would have their own opportunity with a minute remaining. Branislav Ivanovic, otherwise faultless today, sliced a clearance to put sub Jermaine Beckford in on goal. His left-footed half-volley was excellently struck, but straight enough for Cech to acrobatically tip behind and keep Chelsea in the tie.

In injury time, Essien headed wide at one end and Saha the other but no goals would come, and so it is back to the Bridge, likely to be on Saturday, February 19.

Everton (4-4-1-1):Howard; Neville (c), Heitinga, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Rodwell (Beckford 85), Arteta, Bilyaletdinov; Fellaini; Saha.
Unused subs Mucha, Hibbert, Jagielka, Guaye, Osman, Baxter.
Goals Saha 61.
Booked None.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry (c), Cole; Essien, Ramires, Lampard (Mikel 84); Anelka, Drogba, Malouda (Kalou 69).
Unused subs Hilario, Bruma, Ferreira, McEachran, Sala.
Goals Kalou 74
Booked None.

Referee Howard Webb
Crowd 28,376.

Shots on target Everton 8 Chelsea 5
Corners Everton 10 Chelsea 4
Fouls Everton 8 Chelsea 9
Offsides Everton 3 Chelsea 2

original source CHELSEA FC

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