Soccer-Doucoure and Dobbin earn in-form Everton 2-0 win over Chelsea

Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton v Chelsea - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - December 10, 2023 Everton players celebrate after the match REUTERS/Molly Darlington

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) -Abdoulaye Doucoure scored in his 100th Premier League appearance for Everton and substitute Lewis Dobbin netted a late second goal to earn a 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday that inflicted a third away defeat in a row on the mid-table London club.

Dwight McNeil surged forward with the ball in the 54th minute and slipped a pass to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez saved the one-on-one chance, but Doucoure drilled the rebound into the far corner of the net.

Academy product Dobbin scored his first league goal in an Everton shirt when he thrashed home a loose ball from a corner in stoppage time to seal the three points.

Chelsea slip to 12th in the table with 19 points from 16 games, while Everton have 13 points from their 16 matches. Without their 10-point deduction for financial breaches, against which they have appealed, Everton would be in 10th, four points ahead of Chelsea.

"Football is about scoring goals and we were not clinical in front of goal," Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino told the BBC.

"I'm really, really disappointed. We didn't get the point we deserved. I think we were better but we didn't get what we wanted.

"This was a game to play and to win. It's a problem we need to check. We need to analyse the reality. We need to talk and to try to improve in the next transfer market."

Chelsea have slipped 14 points behind in the race for Champions League qualification places.

Adding to their disappointment, they lost captain Reece James midway through the first half with a hamstring issue.

"He felt something in his hamstring. It's not so nice for him to suffer another injury. He is an important player," Pochettino said.

Everton, vastly improved with their shape and defensive robustness in recent weeks, claimed a third clean sheet in a row and it was another impressive performance to follow Thursday’s 3-0 home win over Newcastle United.

"We are so glad to win this game," Doucoure said. "At Goodison Park we know the fans are behind us. I'm very happy, two goals in two games. I'm delighted for the team.

"It is a good number for me (six league goals this season) so I just want to keep going. It was very difficult. We knew the game was going to be very tight."

Sean Dyche's side have now won nine of their last 13 games in all competitions and are four points clear of the relegation zone.

(Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Clare Fallon and Christian Radnedge)

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