Football

Everton deny Chelsea top spot thanks to Sigurdsson’s penalty

Gylfi Sigurdsson's penalty was his second goal of the season

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti said 2,000 returning fans made “a total difference” as his side ended Chelsea’s 17-game unbeaten run with victory at Goodison Park.

Hosting supporters for the first time this season, Everton’s hard-fought win came courtesy of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s first-half penalty after Edouard Mendy fouled Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

That woke up Frank Lampard’s side who then drew three saves from Jordan Pickford, one of which saw the goalkeeper brilliantly tip Reece James’ shot onto the post.

Mason Mount also hit the woodwork for the visitors after 81 minutes, yet they struggled to find the fluidity which has seen them tipped as title challengers this season.

That was in part down to some fine Everton defending, but Ancelotti’s side also had good chances, with Richarlison twice having shots saved and Yerry Mina wasting two headers.

“The fans made a lot of difference, it was a total different atmosphere,” said Ancelotti, whose side ended a run of one win in seven games, without the injured James Rodriguez, and move up to seventh in the table.

“We only had 2,000 fans, but it made me happy, and I hope the stadium will be full as soon as possible.”

Chelsea’s second defeat of the season meant they were denied the chance to go top and remain third.