Date: 23rd December 2017 at 2:26pm
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Chelsea travelled up to the north-west to take on an Everton side resurgent under new boss Sam Allardyce. Coming into the game Chelsea, themselves were in good form in all competitions.

With Alvaro Morata sidelined through suspension, Conte chose to play a 3-4-3 formation with Eden Hazard being flanked by Pedro and Willian. For Everton, Wayne Rooney was missing through illness.

Chelsea made a positive start. A quick ball into the box by Victor Moses almost found Hazard, but he couldn`t quite get the crucial touch.

With Liverpool and Arsenal playing out a 3-3 draw on Friday, a win for the Blues would see them extend the gap from third place to fourth by six points. Ten minutes in and Chelsea should have taken the lead, only two goal line clearances by Phil Jagielka in quick succession prevented it.

Chelsea dominated possession early and Hazard was looking like a man totally on top of his game, it`s no wonder Real Madrid are desperate to get hold of him.

The only concern for Conte was the fact his side were creating, but no goal came. Their build up play at times, though, was breathtaking. They lacked a finishing touch from somebody. It`s a frustration that has become familiar to Chelsea fans in recent weeks.

Everton`s attempts to stop Chelsea`s playmakers saw them pick up two yellow cards, whilst on the sidelines Antonio Conte stood conducting his players around the pitch as they searched for a breakthrough.

Pedro was played in on goal by Tiemoue Bakayoko, as goal attempts number grew. The Spaniard fired hard at the goal but Jordan Pickford spectacularly pushed the ball away.

As the half wore on Chelsea were still looking the likelier to score. However, with the half time whistle imminent, Everton had what was probably the best chance of the half. Andreas Christensen allowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to get the ball whilst trying to sheperd it out. With Gylfi Sigurdsson in space in the penalty area, the youngster chose to shoot, only to see his effort blocked.

Sam Allardyce made two substitutions at half time and changed formation, as he looked to alter the course of the game. Initially though, it made no difference, as Chelsea started the half strongly, backs to the wall defending once again keeping Chelsea at bay early on.

Everton were forced to make their final substitutions with just 50 minutes gone when Idrissa Gueye had to depart through injury. The game settled into pattern of scrappy play that most suited the home side, the rotational fouling of Eden Hazard began, as Everton looked to stifle the Belgian`s build up play.

Conte made his first change of the afternoon with 25 minutes remaining, bringing Cesc Fabregas on for Pedro. As the Toffees sat deep, Chelsea would need something special to find the win they desperately craved.

Conte`s second change came with the introduction Michy Batshuayi for the ineffective Willian. The hope being the one-time sup-sub could find that crucial goal. The game was crying out for an N`golo Kante cracker.

Chelsea very nearly took the lead when Victor Moses swung a cross in that Ashley Williams deflected onto the crossbar at pace. Would the goal ever come. Conte made his final change with ten minutes remaining, Davide Zappacosta replacing Moses.

Chelsea continued to press, but still Everton held firm. It was very frustrating to watch. A late goal saw Bournemouth defeated, could someone find the winner. As the game entered injury time the scoreline remained goalless, and that`s how the game ended, Chelsea just couldn`t find a way through a staunch Everton defence.

 
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