‘Trying his hardest’ - Sean Dyche makes referee claim after Everton draw against Chelsea

Everton earned a 2-2 draw against Chelsea to boost their Premier League survival hopes.

Everton manager Sean Dyche. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Everton manager Sean Dyche. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Everton manager Sean Dyche. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Sean Dyche saluted Everton’s growing mentality as they battled from behind twice to earn a precious point on the road against Chelsea.

The Toffees claimed a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge to move two points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

Everton have had their well-documented problems away from home this season. It appeared that they would succumb to another defeat with Joao Felix opening the scoring for Chelsea. Abdoulaye Doucoure hit back for the visitors but the London outfit retook the lead through a Kai Havertz penalty.

But against the odds, the Toffees levelled for a second time in the 89th minute when substitute Ellis Simms fired home the first Premier League goal of his career.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Everton manager Dyche was pleased with a draw but felt referee Darren England tried to give Chelsea every opportunity to snatch a winner in the dying embers

Dyche said: “I’m really pleased with the growing mentality. There’s been a lot made of their away form over the last couple of years and it’s tough coming to a place like this, even if they’re having an up-and-down time. We showed them a little bit too much respect in the first half but came back well in the second half.

“There was a lot of noise before the game - 29 years they haven’t won (Everton’s last victory at Stamford Bridge) - but it’s only us who can change these things, you can’t wait for these things to happen. People who change things make things happen.

“I’ve been trying to work with the players and instil that mentality in the group as a collective and I think it’s growing, it’s improving. There are no disappointments today, we kept trying to make things happen to affect the game and scored a nice goal to get back into the game to make it 2-2.

“They saw it out. The ref was trying his hardest to let the corner come in at the end with milliseconds to go - he did have a go for them, he did try his best for them.”

Everton were almost masters of their own downfall when Ben Godfrey and then James Tarkowski brought down Reece James for Havertz to convert from the penalty spot.

Dyche had no complaints about the decision. He added: “It’s a bit clumsy but it’s a tight one for me. But it got given.”