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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 8 July, 2020

Late goal moves Chelsea ever closer to the Premier League title

Willian netted in the 89th minute for the Blues.

Willian celebrates his late goal.
Willian celebrates his late goal.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

Updated at 7.20 am

BRAZILIAN MIDFIELDER WILLIAN scored an 89th-minute winner as Chelsea edged Everton 1-0 tonight to preserve their seven-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

With Man City beating Stoke 4-1, 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.

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.

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.

Everton’s best two chances fell to former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, but he was denied on both occasions by Petr Cech.

Preferred to Thibaut Courtois, the Czech shot-stopper jutted out a foot to thwart his former team-mate in the first half and then produced a stunning point-blank save to deny the Belgian in the 68th minute.

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.

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.

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.

- © AFP 2015

Originally published at 10.30pm Wednesday

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