Every Thursday, we at 32 Flags will walk down memory lane to remember a classic game from the past. Typically the game being recapped will consist of a matchup that takes place during the upcoming week but sometimes we will go off the script and talk about another great game. Today, we will recap Everton vs. Chelsea from December 17, 2006. Everton and Chelsea will play again at Goodison Park Saturday at 12:30 et on NBC.
Before the Match
Just before Christmas, Chelsea and Everton were far away in the table. Almost the entire league had played 17 games but Chelsea was 2nd in the table with 39 points, while Everton was 10th with 24. Chelsea, along with Manchester United (1st with 44 points), were separating themselves from the rest of the pack at this point in the season.
EVERTON-David Moyes, Manager
9-James Beattie subbed for Carsley
11-James McFadden subbed for Anichebe
CHELSEA-Jose Mourinho, Manager
21-Salomon Kalou subbed for Geremi
18-Wayne Bridge subbed for Boulahrouz
7-Andriy Shevchenko subbed for Robben
38-Arteta (EVE) penalty, Everton 1-0 Chelsea
49-Howard (CHE) own goal, Everton 1-1 Chelsea
64-Yobo (EVE), Everton 2-1 Chelsea
81-Lampard (CHE), Everton 2-2 Chelsea
87-Drogba (CHE), Everton 2-3 Chelsea
After the Match
Chelsea kept up its run but couldn’t catch Manchester United, who won the league by six points 89-83. The two teams were far and away the best two teams of the league beating Liverpool and Arsenal, who had 68 points each. Everton picked things up after the game and moved from 10th to 6th in the EPL and got themselves a spot in the UEFA Cup (Europa League).
How the Game is Historically Significant
Apart from a young Jose Mourinho and a young David Moyes getting at it in the technical area in the first half, this game not only had an outstanding finish, but it showed the strength of two teams who are still at the top today. Chelsea in 2006 had a dangerous lineup. Their attack lineup for this game reads like a who’s who of legends and you could tell by the fantastic shooting and finishing that this was a special team. This was the time when Mourinho was really “The Special One.” Everton had it tougher than Chelsea but this was the beginning of planning for their long term future. Moyes had Everton legends, Tim Howard and Phil Neville as the anchors of the defense and put in talented young players like Mikel Arteta, Joleon Lescott and Tim Cahill to round out the team and find a way to fight against these big teams on the cheap. It was a slow process, but the seeds were in place at this time for something great to last a long while at Goodison Park.