Chelsea 1-1 Everton: Jarrad Branthwaite Equaliser Gives Toffees Hard-earned Point

 Chelsea 1-1 Everton: Jarrad Branthwaite Equaliser Gives Toffees Hard-earned Point

Everton goalOnly Arsenal (20) have had more different teenage goalscorers in the Premier League than Everton, with Jarrad Branthwaite the 19th for the Toffees

Chelsea missed a chance to move two points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City as a depleted Everton side earned a superb point at Stamford Bridge.

England midfielder Mason Mount gave the hosts a deserved lead in the 70th minute with a calm finish past Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford following Reece James' pass.

But Everton equalised four minutes later when 19-year-old defender Jarrad Branthwaite, in his first league appearance of the season, converted at the back post after Anthony Gordon's free-kick.

Thiago Silva had a chance to win it for the hosts but saw his powerful header superbly saved by Pickford.

It was an impressive performance from the England international as he also kept out earlier efforts from Christian Pulisic, James, Jorginho and three strikes from Mount when it was goalless.

"Jordan Pickford made some good saves, it is important to have a good goalkeeper," Everton boss Rafael Benitez said.

"Sometimes you need a bit of luck, this year we are not very lucky with all the injuries.

"Obviously, it is difficult to get points here but ... We did it with so many senior players not available and players on the bench still with some issues."

On Branthwaite's goal, Benitez added: "He's a good player, a young player who has the potential. We were practising set-pieces, so really pleased for him."

Two points dropped for Chelsea, but Everton fight hard for point

Chelsea, aiming to win the Premier League title for the first time since 2016-17, will be left wondering how they failed to get the three points in a match where they had 80% possession and had 23 shots.

The result leaves them third, four points behind leaders City, with Everton staying 14th.

But Benitez, back at Stamford Bridge after a spell as Chelsea manager in 2012-13, will have been delighted with the effort and desire from his Everton side, who were without 12 players because of injury or illness.

Chelsea 1-1 Everton: Players did 'everything they could' to get 'great' point - Benitez

The Spaniard had to make five changes from the weekend, with Demarai Gray, Salomon Rondon and Fabian Delph ruled out because of illness, while Richarlison and Andros Townsend had joined a lengthy injury list, which already included Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies and Yerry Mina.

That led to Benitez handing a first-team debut to 20-year-old striker Ellis Simms, with Branthwaite making only his second Everton appearance.

Before the match, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed that strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, as well as winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, had tested positive for Covid-19, while another forward, Kai Havertz, was also not in the squad while awaiting a Covid test result.

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