Premier League • England

Benitez reveals three things Everton needed to earn unlikely point

Neil Foster
Rafa Benitez Everton Chelsea 2021 TEAMtalk1

Everton boss Rafael Benitez was full of praise for the way his Everton players carried out his gameplan to earn a draw with Chelsea.

The Toffees were under the pump for most of the 90 minutes but managed to come away with a point. Mason Mount gave the west Londoners a deserved lead on 69 minutes. But five minutes later the visitors were back on level terms.

Jarrad Branthwaite, 19, slotted home at the far post from Anthony Gordon’s free-kick. Benitez was forced to field a number of youngsters due to injuries and Covid.

Gordon, Branthwaite and Ellis Simms were all handed a start. And the Spaniard hailed the collective effort his charges showed to snatch a point.

“The gameplan is always there and it depends on the players,” he told BT Sport. “The players, fans all together, the spirit of the Blues as they say, the issues with senior players not available, so we needed spirit, commitment and intensity against a good team. Really pleased and a good point.

“We were practicing the set-pieces and Jarrad Branthwaite did well. Jonjoe Kenny was working so hard and everyone was giving everything. We suffered a bit more today so against a good team we did what we had to do.

“100% every single player on the pitch was making a contribution for the gameplan. At the end everyone was delighted. When players are not playing, the rest of the team are happy for them too.”

Benitez delighted with Everton spirit

Benitez is under pressure at Goodison Park after a dreadful run of results. Never a popular choice to succeed Carlo Ancelotti, he made a decent start to the season.

Everton's Allan has been linked to Roma

Jose Mourinho wants Everton midfielder Allan to join him at Roma.

But things have nosedived badly and rumours will not go away that he is living on borrowed time. He needed his players to respond and felt they did just that in west London.

“Great character shown, we are coming back in a lot of games,” he added. “The way they worked we deserved something. We have had too much bad luck with injuries. The reaction of the team was fantastic.”

Everton were due to face Leicester City on Sunday but that match has been postponed due to Covid. And Benitez made it clear that his club will comply with all the regulations to ensure everyone is kept as safe as possible.

“We can see that the virus is growing and we have to be very careful,” he continued. “If the Premier League cancels games we have to test players and then restart without issues. We have to make sure we are an example for the rest of society.”

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