Home Sports Willian Preserve Chelsea’s 7-Point Gap

Willian Preserve Chelsea’s 7-Point Gap

Brazilian midfielder Willian scored an 89th-minute winner as Chelsea edged Everton 1-0 on Wednesday to preserve their seven-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
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With City 4-1 up at Stoke City, the defending champions looked poised to trim Chelsea’s lead to five points, only for Willian to break Everton’s resistance with a crisp low strike at Stamford Bridge.
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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho handed a full debut to January signing Juan Cuadrado, but in the ongoing absence of suspended top scorer Diego Costa, his side struggled to break down Roberto Martinez’s Everton.
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The home side dominated the game, with Willian and Cuadrado shooting off-target in the first half and fit-again Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard thwarting Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic and Willian in the second.
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Everton’s best two chances fell to former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, but he was denied on both occasions by Petr Cech.
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Preferred to Thibaut Courtois, the Czech shot-stopper jutted out a foot to thwart his former teammate in the first half and then produced a stunning point-blank save to deny the Belgian in the 68th minute.
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Chelsea thought they had broken the deadlock in the latter stages when a shot from Matic flicked off Branislav Ivanovic and went in, but it was ruled out for offside.
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Mourinho’s men continued to press, however, and after Everton’s Gareth Barry had been shown a second yellow card following a heated melee, Willian snatched the winner.
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Howard left his line to punch clear a high cross, but could only send the ball to Willian, who drilled a controlled shot through a crowd of players and into the bottom-right corner.

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