21 Feb 2014 14:22
David Triggs takes a closer look at Everton’s record at Chelsea – and their last league win there
Paul Rideout nets the winner at Chelsea in 1994
Having broken Everton FC’s Old Trafford hoodoo earlier this season, Roberto Martinez will be aiming to lay another unwanted record to rest when the Blues head to Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
It is 20 years since the Goodison club managed a league win at Chelsea – one of the most miserable sequences in their recent history, and one that bears comparison with their recently-ended barren stretch at Manchester United.
The Blues’ last Stamford Bridge success in the Premier League was on November 26, 1994 – Joe Royle’s second game in charge – when Paul Rideout headed in the winner from Anders Limpar’s pinpoint cross.
Chelsea 0-1 Everton. League match at Stamford Bridge, Saturday 26th November 1994 Pictures Mirrropix
The pair had hatched a plan to sink Chelsea on the coach to London.
Limpar told the ECHO: “I talked to Paul on the way down and we agreed that when he saw me with the ball he would hold his position and I would find him.
“Fortunately that’s how it worked out. I got a bit of praise for the cross but it was quite easy really because Paul did so well.”
The Swede was keen to deflect praise for the win on to others.
“Neville Southall made the difference,” he said. “He was brilliant, and when you’re talking about crossing the ball, Andy Hinchcliffe is one of the best I’ve seen.”
“There was no magic secret,” said boss Royle when asked how he managed to follow up a derby win in his first game with an away victory at Stamford Bridge. Both the Reds and Chelsea were in the top six at the time. “We just worked a bit of passion and getting the players to expect to win.”
Royle went on to steer the Blues to safety and crowned the season with an FA Cup final triumph at Wembley. But the wins at Stamford Bridge dried up.
In their last 22 trips there in all competitions, Everton have lost 12 and drawn 10. The most famous of those draws was three years ago when, after a fourth-round FA Cup replay ended 1-1, the visitors claimed a 4-3 success on penalties, Phil Neville hitting the winning kick.
But it was a rare bright spot in a wretched run of Stamford Bridge visits. Looking back over their last 28 trips there, the only win was that 1994 success. Eleven ended all square, and there have been 16 defeats.
So Martinez has his work cut out. However, the Catalan has already masterminded two magnificent away-day displays on grounds where Everton usually struggle in his maiden season at the helm.
Both came within the space of a few days last December, when Everton followed a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford – their first there since 1992 – with a 1-1 draw at Arsenal.
The performance at the Emirates was probably worthy of more than the sole point the Blues took home but, taken as a pair, those two December away trips could just have signalled a turning of the tide for Everton on their travels. A bold new approach, even.
For all he achieved during his long reign at Goodison, away victories over the country’s leading clubs eluded David Moyes. Despite managing several rousing Goodison wins over what became known as the Premier League’s traditional ‘big four’, the Scot did not did not record a single league victory at Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United or Liverpool during his 11 years at the club.
Martinez managed it at the first attempt.
“It wasn’t just a game of football,” said the Blues boss after Everton’s first win at Old Trafford in more than 21 years. “It was a mental block that we had to overcome.”
There is another mental block for the Blues to overcome at Stamford Bridge tomorrow. Time for more Martinez magic…
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