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Late Beckford header denies Chelsea


Jermaine Beckford

Jermaine Beckford

Jermaine Beckford

Chelsea's shocking mid-season slump continued after a late equaliser from Everton substitute Jermaine Beckford robbed them of the chance to go back to the top of the Barclays Premier League in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba's 41st-minute penalty looked to have earned Chelsea all three points but Beckford headed a shock leveller four minutes from time.

The result left Chelsea with just one win in their last six league games and is sure to pile more pressure on under-fire boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Everton almost shocked Chelsea in the opening few seconds when Louis Saha's shot from 20-yards forced Petr Cech into a fine save at his near post.

The woodwork prevented Chelsea from taking the lead in the 27th minute when captain John Terry sent a shot against the crossbar.

Chelsea broke the deadlock when Nicolas Anelka pounced on a poor back pass from Phil Neville and was brought down by Tim Howard. The Everton goalkeeper was spared a red card, but Howard could do nothing to stop Drogba's fierce penalty.

After the break, Drogba should have done better when Jose Bosingwa's cross allowed him time to turn inside the penalty area, but his shot was saved by Howard.

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Everton almost levelled in the 61st minute when a cross from Leighton Baines was headed against the inside of the post by Jack Rodwell.

There was controversy in the 72nd minute when Terry and Tim Cahill squared up to each other after the Everton midfielder had collided with Cech. Players from both sides got involved in the aftermath and Terry accused Cahill of deliberately leading with his studs.

Everton grabbed a deserved leveller four minutes from time when a cross from Baines was headed back across the six-yard box for substitute Beckford, a replacement for Louis Saha, to head home.

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