Chelsea booked their passage to the semi-final of the Carabao Cup on penalties after Mykhailo Mudryk’s stoppage-time equaliser rescued a 1-1 draw against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.

Mudryk slotted home after a mistake from Kieran Trippier just as Eddie Howe’s side looked to have done enough to ease past the hosts, who struggled to create for much of the game.

Earlier, Callum Wilson had given the visitors a first-half lead on the counter-attack.

But as the game went to spot-kicks, Trippier again was culpable, firing wide from 12 yards before Matt Ritchie saw the critical kick saved by goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic to see Chelsea through.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes believes her side need to use their Women’s Champions League experience to get a result in their Group D clash at BK Hacken.

The Blues will go to the top of the group if they can beat the Swedish team on Wednesday night.

They were held to a goalless draw by the same opposition at Stamford Bridge last week but will have to face a lively atmosphere in the reverse fixture.

“Every game is a must-win game for us,” Hayes said on the club’s official website. “That is our mentality. We were disappointed with our performance last week. We worked on that, trained really well, played well at the weekend. This place will be rocking tomorrow night. This is going to be a difficult place to play.

“We are playing an opponent who are very confident in what they’re doing. They’ve had an amazing year, especially in the Champions League, and we have to deal with all of those challenges. But we have to be ready to perform.

“We’re experienced in Europe. We understand it’s a different surface, a little bit colder than London, a different type of opponent.

“I think it’ll be a much different game than Stamford Bridge, particularly because of the crowd. We have experience and it’s important for us to use it.

“The message I’ll give to the players is we have been in this competition long enough, we’ve gone deep in this competition and while it hasn’t been perfect in the group stages, we have a dressing room that is capable of winning.”

Chelsea do have some injury problems for the game in Scandinavia.

“Melanie (Leupolz) hasn’t recovered, she’s had a setback,” explained the Chelsea manager. “She tried to come in on Monday, but she is not well.

“Maren (Mjelde) has made it back with the squad so she is part of that. Kadeisha (Buchanan) had an issue with a back spasm at the weekend and she’s back in the squad.

“Jelena (Cankovic) is still out with her calf and obviously, the long-term one is Catarina (Macario). Ann-Katrin (Berger) is back; she had a slight ankle knock.”

What the papers say

Crystal Palace are interested in a move for Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah this January, with the 24-year-old yet to play under Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, the Daily Express reports. There is also reportedly interest from Serie A teams and Bayern Munich.

The Daily Mail reports Manchester United are willing to sell Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane, Anthony Martial and Casemiro after their director of football John Murtough spent time in Saudi Arabia this month.

However, the Manchester Evening News says Varane is hoping that the club will trigger their one-year contract extension option for him.

Wolves are reportedly looking to sign Nigerian striker Rafiu Durosinmi from Viktoria Plzen for around £7million, despite reportedly being set to report losses of £65million.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Ian Maatsen: Chelsea are reportedly willing to sell the 21-year-old Dutch defender in January, with Manchester City, West Ham, Roma and Napoli among clubs interested in him, 90min says.

Clement Lenglet: The Aston Villa defender’s loan deal from Barcelona could be terminated by the Spanish club as they look to sell the 28-year-old, Football Insider reports.

Mauricio Pochettino confirmed Christopher Nkunku is likely to make his Chelsea debut during Tuesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge but urged fans not to expect him to instantly solve his team’s problems.

Nkunku, 26, has not played competitively for the club after injuring his knee on the pre-season United States tour, weeks after joining from RB Leipzig for £52million.

Last season’s Bundesliga top scorer with 16 goals, he was named in Pochettino’s squad for the first time for Saturday’s 2-0 win against Sheffield United as the team registered back-to-back Premier League home wins for the first time in over a year.

Despite warming up during the second half, the manager opted not to hand him his debut and admitted he had “one or two per cent doubt” about his readiness.

However, the France international is set to see action for the first time on Tuesday for Pochettino’s side, who despite enjoying 80 per cent possession in the first half against the Blades registered only a single shot on target before finally breaking the deadlock in the 54th minute.

“How I see today (Monday), I can tell you maybe he can play 20 minutes,” said the manager. “How I saw him before Saturday in my mind I had one per cent to two per cent of doubt. That’s why I didn’t want to take a risk.

“I need to be one hundred per cent, then things can happen. But if I have one per cent doubt…?

“It was good for him to feel in the warm-up, being involved with the team. But why take a risk when it was 2-0?

“One per cent in my mind was thinking I don’t know if it’s the right moment.”

Chelsea have scored 28 goals in 17 league games this campaign, nine more than at the same stage last season when they went on to record their lowest tally in almost a century, 38.

Yet those goals have come in inconsistent bursts, with the team failing to net at all in the league during September before recovering to knock in 14 in five games several weeks later.

On Saturday, they subjected fans to a desperately poor first half during which they created barely a single chance.

“(Nkunku has trained) only in the last few weeks, after four or five months he was out,” said Pochettino. “The team has evolved and the situation has changed.

“My worry is to put too much pressure on him, to say ‘now has arrived the guy to make us win every single game, to change everything’. I don’t believe it’s going to be like that.

“He needs time to recover his fitness. Hopefully he’ll play tomorrow and score three goals, then be consistent. But the most important thing is not to put too much pressure on him.

“He still hasn’t made his debut in the Premier League and we know how tough that can be for every player that came from outside of England.”

Mauricio Pochettino praised Chelsea’s response to back-to-back Premier League defeats as they recovered to beat Sheffield United 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The hosts fought back from a dour first-half showing – and off the back of losses to Manchester United and Everton – to hit two quick-fire goals in the second period through Nicolas Jackson and the influential Cole Palmer.

The first was well worked between Palmer and Raheem Sterling, the summer signing from Manchester City working the ball wide and continuing his run into the box to tap home Sterling’s low cross.

And Palmer was the architect minutes later as Jackson made it two, lifting the ball into the box for Sterling and Conor Gallagher to attack, and as it was spilled by Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham, Palmer was there to knock it back to Jackson for 2-0.

It had been a maddening first half for home supporters to endure, with a single effort on target to show from their side despite racking up 80 per cent possession against the league’s bottom club.

It took Palmer’s intervention after 54 minutes, playing a clever ball to Sterling who shot past his man with a burst of acceleration, starting and finishing the move that finally broke the Blades down after a turgid opening.

His creative involvement for the second was a further reminder of the 21-year-old’s capacity to turn a game single-handedly as yet another scoreless outing loomed for Pochettino’s side.

Afterwards the manager pointed to a change of position in the second half – swapping with Sterling to take up a more central role – as the key.

“I think we talked a lot during the week after Everton about needing drastic change,” said Pochettino. “It was important to confirm that we are in a good way. The team in the first half was frustrated because we couldn’t find a way past the low block of Sheffield United.

“We didn’t show the capacity to be flexible and it was easy for them to identify our position and to block us and make us put the ball in positions that were easy for them to stop.

“The second half we were much better, we fixed things. The team started to find better possibilities to play, to link much better. Cole from the right, going into the space, started to link better with team-mates and be the player that we want to use – a playmaker.”

Pochettino left midfielder Enzo Fernandez on the bench, with Gallagher instead taking up a position in central midfield alongside Moises Caicedo.

The manager confirmed the World Cup-winner is likely to return for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final at home to Newcastle.

“You only can play 11,” he said. “It’s a big competition, sometimes you need one profile or another and you choose the players. The combination between Caicedo and Gallagher, using Cole like a number 10, that was the possibility for the best combination for today.

“I’m happy because three points are important and Tuesday we have an important game against Newcastle. To arrive in that game with a good feeling is really important, to have the confidence that we can go through.”

Blades boss Chris Wilder reflected on a game in which his players gave travelling supporters much to be proud of.

“I don’t like when one player goes off to clap supporters on their own, if we’re going to do it we go together,” he said.

“That’s important to me and it was important that they quickly got that message because for a big period, we were in the game and we were fighting our way against an outstanding manager and some top individuals.”

Chelsea recovered from a dour first-half showing to beat Sheffield United 2-0 at Stamford Bridge and claim back-to-back Premier League home wins for the first time in over a year.

Cole Palmer continued his fine start to life in west London and was the difference for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, knocking in the opening goal from Raheem Sterling’s cut-back early in the second half before crossing for Nicolas Jackson to make it two.

The first half was instantly forgettable as Chelsea laboured without invention when in possession, before the summer signing from Manchester City enhanced his reputation as a match-winner in a team that remains maddeningly inconsistent in the final third.

Pochettino named Christopher Nkunku amongst his substitutes for the first time, and his return to fitness could not have come at a more opportune moment for misfiring Chelsea. Despite the game being effectively won with 30 minutes to play, home fans were made to wait for a glimpse of the player they hope will be their saviour in front of goal.

Chelsea dominated early but carried little threat. Their first sight of goal was a half chance, Conor Gallagher flattening Gustavo Hamer to win possession in midfield and hitting a swinging effort that was fielded with ease by Wes Foderingham.

The visitors were content for the game to be played in front of them, leaving little to no space behind for Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk to exploit on Chelsea’s flanks.

Mudryk summed up a turgid opening 20 minutes with an audacious nutmeg on Jayden Bogle before spooning a ballooned effort that pitched somewhere near the corner flag.

Djordje Petrovic, on his full Premier League debut, was the first goalkeeper to look truly concerned, the summer arrival from New England Revolution flinging himself at full stretch at Cameron Archer’s ambitious 20-yard effort as it whistled inches wide of the post, as Blades warned of their threat on the counter.

Chelsea had won just once since their buccaneering 4-1 victory at Tottenham in early November, but goals have dried up lately and against Blades in the first half they found their every avenue to goal blocked.

Their preferred route was out wide via Sterling and Mudryk, but when the ball arrived into the box it rarely found a blue shirt. In the centre, Palmer toiled and hunted for the killer pass, yet in the first period was far from his mercurial best with the ball at feet.

Jackson had his side’s best moment of the half, cutting in off the left and beating two defenders before aiming a low shot fractionally wide from the edge of the box. Chelsea had had 80 per cent possession in the opening 45 minutes, from which they mustered a single shot on target.

The goal nine minutes after half-time was greeted more with relief than elation.

Palmer started it, collecting the ball centrally and threading it in to Sterling who stood up his man and, with a burst of acceleration, dashed beyond him.

His cross into the box had pace and whip, and there to meet it was Palmer, continuing his run to knock it past Foderingham for his sixth goal of the season.

Five minutes later it was two, and Palmer again was the architect. A flighted ball in towards the penalty spot caused chaos at the back for Blades, as first Sterling then Gallagher got a touch, the ball spun towards Foderingham who failed to gather, and Palmer cut it back for Jackson to sweep into an empty goal.

Petrovic saved from a Hamer free-kick, diving low to his left to turn the ball behind, that after Sterling had been denied one on one by Foderingham.

Gallagher, influential throughout as the heartbeat of Chelsea’s midfield, drilled one over the bar as the hosts asserted their dominance.

Armando Broja came off the bench and staked a claim for miss of the season, whacking the ball into the Matthew Harding Stand from barely a yard out.

But they had already done enough, as home fans witnessed a victory in the league for just the fifth time in 2023.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes is expecting a tough test as her side travel to Bristol City in the Women’s Super League on Sunday.

Hayes’ team go into the fixture on the back of a crushing 4-1 defeat by Arsenal last weekend which saw their unbeaten streak in the league come to an end and they will be looking to set the record straight after they also failed to beat Hacken in the Women’s Champions League in midweek.

Bristol City sit 11th in the table and have only won one of their opening nine games but Hayes is not underestimating Sunday’s opponents.

She told Chelsea’s website: “Bristol are going to play five at the back and we’ll have the same sort of challenges (as against Hacken).

“But if we can find a blue shirt, can put the ball into the right areas in the right moments, I’m sure we’ll be fine.

“She (City boss Lauren Smith) will make it difficult for us. You see their result against Arsenal, they’re actually eighth in the league in terms of xG conceded. So they don’t give up as many clear-cut chances as you may think.”

Midfielder Melanie Leupolz and defender Ashley Lawrence are expected to return to training ahead of the fixture and young Japanese forward Maika Hamano could also make an appearance.

Robins boss Lauren Smith is looking forward to another tough test and thinks her side are adapting to different challenges in the league.

She said: “As time has gone on, the performances have lifted and we’ve started to now show we can adapt to teams and that was pleasing to see at Liverpool on the weekend that we changed our shape and press and caused them problems.”

Manchester United will be looking to extend their winning run to five games in all competitions when they play Liverpool and boss Marc Skinner is pleased with what he has seen from his squad heading into the last game of 2023.

He said: “Barring the Manchester City performance, we have been excellent, considering four or five of my players joined us in the last week of the transfer window.

“They have grown together, they continue to grow together and it will be an exciting second half of the season, I can assure you that.”

Liverpool could go level on points with United with a victory on Sunday and striker Leanne Kiernan is setting her sights on competing with the teams at the top of the table.

She told Liverpool’s website: “We want to compete and we are not here just to sit in mid-table. We want to compete with the big teams and we know that on our day we are good enough to compete with the big teams, so we are really looking forward to it.”

Manchester City will be aiming to make it four successive league wins with victory over Everton at Walton Hall Park.

But the Toffees have also enjoyed an upturn in form recently and come into the game unbeaten in three league matches themselves and could move into sixth with a win.

Two out-of-form sides meet at the King Power Stadium when West Ham meet Leicester. Both teams are without a win in their last seven matches and will see the game as an opportunity to break their winless streaks.

Aston Villa host Brighton at the Bescot Stadium as the sides sit 10th and ninth respectively and both teams will be looking for a result to put some breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone.

Mauricio Pochettino insists he is “not crazy” for believing in Chelsea’s chances of success despite a growing injury crisis ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Sheffield United.

Chelsea have seen defenders Marc Cucurella and Reece James and goalkeeper Robert Sanchez all join Pochettino’s list of sidelined talent this week.

Pochettino revealed James, who was forced off in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Everton, is feeling “down” as a result of his latest hamstring problem after already sitting out a lengthy spell of the season with a similar issue, while Sanchez is likely to be absent for at least a few weeks after sustaining a knee problem.

The Blues boss, who looks set to hand goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic his first start and a potential debut to Christopher Nkunku for 12th-placed Chelsea, remained full of enthusiasm for his overall ambitions at Stamford Bridge, maintaining he still considers it an “amazing” opportunity.

Pochettino said: “I think it’s so exciting, this project. We knew that it was going to be difficult and yet it’s more difficult because of the circumstance. You always expect to have unexpected circumstances, but not a lot. We are suffering after five, six months.

“But that is a challenge and it can be a very good thing for us. We are never going to give up and we are going to fight. I think the situation will make us be smarter, cleverer, evolve the coaching staff.

“I think the challenge is massive, but I really believe that we can succeed. It’s only a matter of time, but sometimes it’s a lot to be patient and believe in the way that we are doing.

“The thing, of course, that is the most difficult thing in football is to keep believing when you don’t get the results that you want. For me, [time] is not a problem. We will succeed. For sure, you will see.

“Maybe today you can say ‘this guy is crazy’, but I am not crazy. I know what I am doing.”

The prospect of summer signing Nkunku’s debut was a much-needed boost, but Pochettino warned that Chelsea nonetheless “need to be calm and quiet, not to put all the pressure on him”.

He also insisted the club “have the confidence” in Petrovic to step up in Sanchez’s absence despite the goalkeeper having played just six Premier League minutes.

Meanwhile, the Argentinian boss vowed the club would do all they can for their injury-plagued skipper, whose previous hamstring issue forced him out of action for nine matches to start the season.

Pochettino added: “We need to go in depth in the situation. He is a little bit down because he was very excited to come back and I think his coming back was perfect because it was step-by-step.

“It was a perfect way to build his confidence and be in full recovery. That [injury] for him is difficult to accept. He’s very disappointed, he’s frustrated. Now we need to be careful in the way that we are going to talk, but to also assess and try to find the best solution for him to be consistent.

“We are going to support him and to try to help and of course we are all thinking about trying to find the best solution to be with the group as soon as possible, make a full recovery and then try for that not to happen again.”

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said Lauren James’ mental health has been affected by the latest racist abuse she has received on social media.

James was booked in Chelsea’s 4-1 Women’s Super League defeat at Arsenal on Sunday after appearing to stamp on Lia Walti and was withdrawn by Hayes soon after.

Chelsea have condemned the online abuse, while Hayes compared the treatment of James to that received by David Beckham after his red card during the 1998 World Cup.

James was sent off in the World Cup last summer for stamping in England’s last-16 penalty shoot-out win against Nigeria and was handed a two-game ban.

Hayes, whose side face Hacken in a Champions League group game at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, said: “She’s not in a great place if I’m honest.

“I think when it starts from broadcasting and the way they speak about things, maybe they need to reflect on labelling players.

“She’s a young player. She made an error in the summer. Of course she has to keep learning those things.

“Of course every opponent tries everything possible to get Lauren red-carded. That’s been clear in every game we’ve played and she has to learn to handle that.

“When she gets antagonised in a certain way, managing emotions comes with maturity and that isn’t there yet with her.

“It reminds me very much of David Beckham in many ways when he got red-carded in the World Cup.

“I think the treatment of Lauren is sometimes very similar and I think we have to realise for a young person, in a day and age when social media is unbelievably vitriolic, some of the nasty language and labelling and name-calling goes over the edge.

“And if you add racism to that for her, you can understand why her mental health is not in a very good place this week.”

Hayes said other Women’s Super League players who had “had their own challenging moments” have not received the same criticism as James.

“I think it’s disgusting the amount of abuse she’s received from the public, from the media, you’re talking about a young player here, who no question is always working to learn in the background,” Hayes added.

“Some of the language I’ve seen used to vilify her certainly I think is unacceptable.

“I don’t see the same level of abuse attributed to other players in the league who might have had their own challenging moments.

“It’s fair to say that if I’m in her position I’d be thinking there is racial profiling going on.”

Chelsea, bidding to bounce back from Sunday’s first defeat of the season in all competitions, are still without injured pair Millie Bright and Jelena Cankovic, but Melanie Leupolz will return to the bench.

Swedish side Hacken are top of Group D after victories over Paris and Real Madrid in their first two matches.

Chelsea have condemned racial abuse directed towards forward Lauren James following Sunday’s Women’s Super League clash with Arsenal.

England international James was at the centre of controversy during the game after appearing to stamp on Arsenal midfielder Lia Walti.

James was shown a yellow card after the incident in the 70th minute at the Emirates Stadium and was substituted by manager Emma Hayes soon after.

Chelsea, the WSL champions, were trailing 3-1 at the time and went on to lose 4-1.

A statement from Chelsea read: “Chelsea Football Club condemns the online abuse directed towards Lauren James following Sunday’s Barclays Women’s Super League fixture against Arsenal.

“The club stands strongly against any form of abuse and discriminatory behaviour. Discrimination has no place at Chelsea Football Club or in any of our communities.

“We will take action against any individual that we can identify. We stand with you, Lauren.”

Those sentiments have also been echoed by the Football Association.

A post on X, formerly Twitter, from the England national team account read: “We stand alongside you LJ. Online abuse and discriminatory behaviour has no place in football. This abhorrent behaviour must have consequences.”

Chelsea have confirmed skipper Reece James sustained a hamstring injury in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Everton.

The England right-back was one of three players who went off injured for the visitors during the Premier League contest at Goodison Park, along with goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and left-back Marc Cucurella.

A statement on Chelsea’s official website on Tuesday said: “Captain Reece James has undergone medical assessment following Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Everton.

“The defender was withdrawn during the first half at Goodison Park and scan results have confirmed a hamstring injury. Reece will now begin his rehabilitation programme at Cobham.”

Speaking after Sunday’s match – about his disappointment at losing the 24-year-old to injury – Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino emphasised James’ importance, describing him as “one of the best full-backs in the world”.

Pochettino also said Sanchez had departed due to a knee issue, and Cucurella because of a twisted ankle.

Those problems add to an already-lengthy injury list for the west London club, who are 12th in the table.

What the papers say

Conor Gallagher, 23, could be used to raise funds for new arrivals at Chelsea in January. The Daily Mail reports the club are willing to consider offers for the England midfielder with Brentford striker Ivan Toney, 27, and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen, 24, among the potential targets.

Brentford are looking for a new striker, regardless of whether Toney stays, according to The Daily Telegraph. USA international Brandon Vazquez, 25, who is at FC Cincinnati, is among the players in their sights.

Manchester United are open to offers on a string of internationals, according to The Guardian. England winger Jadon Sancho, 23, France striker Anthony Martial, 28, and defender Raphael Varane, 30, Brazil midfielder Casemiro, 31, and Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, 26, could all be allowed to leave Old Trafford in January.

David Moyes retains the confidence of West Ham says The Daily Telegraph. The 60-year-old manager saw his side lose 5-0 at Fulham on Monday.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Mason Holgate: Everton want to recall the defender, 27, from his loan spell at Southampton due a shortage of playing time, reports The Sun.

Reuell Walters: Clubs in the Premier League and Europe are watching the English defender, 18, but Arsenal have held talks to keep him according to the Evening Standard.

Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea need more transfer window surgery in January to lift them out of the malaise which has left them 12th in the table and well adrift of Champions League qualification.

A 2-0 loss at Everton was their seventh Premier League defeat of the season and bridging the 14-point gap to Manchester City in fourth looks near-impossible for a side short of goals and consistency.

Chelsea have spent over £1billion in the last three transfer windows but many of those preceded Pochettino’s summer arrival and he wants his own players in to help kick-start his Stamford Bridge rejuvenation.

“This was a game to win. It’s a problem we need to check. We need to talk and to try and improve in the next transfer market,” he said.

“We are dealing with this. After five months, or the first half of the season, we need to check and that’s the reality. If we are not aggressive enough (on the pitch) maybe we need to do something.”

Asked specifically about the coming window he added: “Some movement. That’s a thing to analyse with the sporting director and the owner and see what we can do to change the dynamic and improve the second half of the season.

“Our reality now is mid-table and if we want to go up we have to push ourselves. When the transfer window opens (we will) see what we can do.

“I’m not saying I’m going to ask for more players or less players but it is to see if perception matches reality.

“If perception here (indicating one point on a line) and reality is here (indicating another point) then we are missing something in the middle. Sometimes it’s good, a reality check.

“It is a new project, a new team with too many circumstances against us. That’s the reality, too many problems and circumstances from the beginning of the season.

“It’s not as easy to build something new, that is why it is about being strong in that we assess and be clever and take decisions to try to improve in the second part of the season, to be more competitive and get the results a club like Chelsea deserves.”

Pochettino’s side had 72 per cent possession and had 16 shots but only four on target compared to Everton’s five on target from nine.

Despite their territorial dominance the visitors never really looked like troubling Jordan Pickford and goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure and substitute Lewis Dobbin, his first in the Premier League, gave Everton a third win in just over a week.

“We need to score if we want to win a game and be in a different position in the table because we played well and dominated the game against a difficult team in Everton and were much better than them but in the end you need to score,” added Pochettino, who lost full-backs Reece James and Marc Cucurella and goalkeeper Robert Sanchez to injury.

Everton boss Sean Dyche did not disagree with Pochettino’s assessment but revelled in the way his side kept them at arm’s length and then took opportunities when they came.

He said: “They are a very good team, without a shadow of doubt. Better in some ways. They kept the ball, they have technically-good players, have spent a fortune on players and he’s a top manager so I wouldn’t dispute his opinion.

“To find another way of winning against a side like Chelsea is very pleasing and under all that is a very firm mentality that is growing all the time.”

Everton’s second win in four days kept Sean Dyche’s side climbing the Premier League table as a toothless Chelsea found Goodison Park to be as difficult a place as Newcastle in a 2-0 defeat.

This may not have had the flourish of Thursday, when the hosts scored three goals in the last 11 minutes, but the manner of victory would have been no less pleasing to the Toffees boss.

Having kept the visitors at bay relatively comfortably, Abdoulaye Doucoure struck early in the second half and substitute Lewis Dobbin drilled home his first Premier League goal in added time as Everton moved four points clear of the bottom three despite their points deduction.

Chelsea had 71 per cent possession but familiar failings up front cost them and Mauricio Pochettino’s side have now won just twice in eight league games.

One downside to the afternoon for the hosts was fifth bookings of the season for defender Jarrad Branthwaite and midfielder Idrissa Gueye. The pair will be suspended for the trip to strugglers Burnley.

The loss of the former – excellent again in his partnership with James Tarkowski – will be a particular blow as Dyche is not blessed with centre-back options. Unused substitute Ben Godfrey’s only Premier League appearance came in the 89th minute in September while Michael Keane was not even in the matchday squad.

But this Everton team thrives on adversity, as they have shown since the 10-point deduction for breaching financial regulations last month.

Since being plunged into the bottom three following the punishment by an independent commission they have taken nine points from a possible 12.

Their extended run is 13 points from six with just one defeat and without the penalty Everton would be above their opponents in 10th.

The first half was significant only for injuries to both teams’ starting right-backs – Reece James and Ashley Young – a Cole Palmer booking for diving and Jordan Pickford saving the only shot on target from Palmer’s 20-yard curler.

Gueye was replaced by the fit-again Amadou Onana at half-time and buoyed by the confidence of Thursday’s win and the fact the visitors had not really hurt them, Everton set about formulating a response.

Winger Dwight McNeil, who has had a growing influence in recent games, had a low shot tipped around the post by Robert Sanchez before threading a pass through to Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Although the England international’s attempt was charged down by Sanchez, who clattered into the striker in the process and later departed injured, the loose ball rolled to Doucoure and he drilled home his fifth of the season.

Branthwaite’s foul and booking gave Chelsea a free-kick 20 yards out but Pickford comfortably held Palmer’s low, drilled effort.

Chelsea sent on Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson to boost their attacking options but Pickford continued to be under-employed.

That was in part due to the increasing resilience of the defence in front of him, with bodies being thrown in all directions to keep out the threat.

“You can stick you points deduction up your a***” rang out in the closing stages at Goodison Park, where late substitute Dobbin wrapped up victory in the second minute of stoppage time.

Mauricio Pochettino admits midfield duo Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo need to improve after Chelsea’s poor start to the Premier League campaign.

The Blues’ recent 2-1 defeat at Manchester United kept them in 10th place, five points behind West Ham in ninth.

And Pochettino believes big-money signings Fernandez and Caicedo need to up their levels but acknowledged the two 22-year-olds’ development is a “process”.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Everton on Sunday, he said: “The relationship between them needs to improve of course, between them and individually also.

“They are young, the expectation is massive when you arrive.

“Caicedo had one season in Brighton and Enzo after three months in Europe, he was in Benfica before arriving to the Premier League. Arriving not in the best place to perform quick because they need to be part of the solution.

“They are not the cherry of the cake. When you arrive in a team that is in a building process and you’re young with not too much experience, even if you have good quality and people can see the club paid big money and only for that you need to perform, it is not like this in football.

“Some people think in this way because they don’t know about football. It’s a process.

“It’s going to be a process for different reasons. Chelsea are in a completely different reality in the last years and we need to attack this. We can’t live only thinking in the past.

“We need to keep the culture and understand we are in Chelsea and always it’s about winning, but the reality is completely different.”

Sunday’s opponents Everton are on a high after Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Newcastle at Goodison Park.

And Pochettino identified Everton’s physical presence from set-pieces and called for his Chelsea players to play more cleverly.

He added: “It can be a problem, yes. But we need to be more aggressive and try to avoid conceding chances like corners or wide free-kicks.

“We need to be clever in the way we are going to work and try to stop them.

“Yes, it can be a problem but maybe no. In football, it’s the way you approach the game, the attitude and then being clever, trying to avoid giving the possibility to the opponents to use their strengths.”

Pochettino highlighted the challenges of keeping his players motivated after their inconsistent start to the campaign.

He said: “When you win it is easy, you jump to train.

“But when you have ups and downs it is really difficult to keep your balance because to translate the capacity to a player to keep pushing and assimilate and to keep the good mood around the training ground is the most difficult thing.

“Because the frustration, disappointment, sometimes in the way we concede, you become upset, angry. “

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