Everton might have pulled one back in the 81st minute, thanks to wonder-sub Apostolos Vellios, but Chelsea will happily take an unclean sheet in return for beating the Toffees at home for the first time in six seasons. Goals from Daniel Sturridge, John Terry and Ramires gave Chelsea the 3-1 win, closing the gap on Manchester United to just a point (although Manchester City remain three points ahead in first).
The visitors came out of the game looking sharp, looking as though having no true strikers would really be a problem, because they'd easily score against Chelsea. Well, they did, but not in the manner it first appeared. Everton had the best chance of the game when Leighton Baines sent a cross through to Marouane Fellaini, but John Obi Mikel saved a near-certain goal by knocking the ball out for a corner.
Everton's spirits were clearly dampened by the loss of what seemed to be a perfect opportunity, and they let Chelsea back into the match, their previously flawless defense weakening. Juan Mata exploited the flaws, turning in midfield to send a pass to Ashley Cole. Cole sent the ball across the face of goal, where Sturridge slid in to drive it home.
Perhaps sensing a clean sheet wasn't in their future, Chelsea doubled their lead before the halftime whistle. Frank Lampard's freekick floated into the middle of the box, where Fellaini should have been able to knock it away -- but the Belgian was on the wrong side of Terry, who headed the ball straight at Tim Howard. Howard went with the "knock down, not out" goalkeeper strategy, which only helped the ball into the net to give Chelsea the 2-0 lead.
Ramires scored Chelsea's final goal in the 61st minute, this one again created by the masterful Mata. Didier Drogba took the ball up from midfield before passing it off to Mata, the Spaniard sent in the cross, and Ramires just needed to tap it in. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he needed assistance off the pitch just minutes later, picking up a knee injury and being replaced by Florent Malouda.
Once again, however, Chelsea let their minds slip away. Just 18 seconds after setting foot on the pitch, taking the place of Louis Saha, Vellios had the ball in the back of the net. Just 19, that's the Greek's second goal in the Premier League this season. Seeing as it came from a pass by Royston Drenthe, subbed on for Seamus Coleman, you gotta wonder if perhaps David Moyes is getting his lineups a bit backward.