AMSTERDAM â€” Landon Donovan notched another assist and Tim Howard extended his Goodison Park shutout run to 256 minutes as Everton climbed into the better half of the EPL table with a 2-0 victory over visiting Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.
Two years and one day ago, the Toffees scored a 2-1 home win over Chelsea that included another Donovan assist. With four saves and some heady cross management, Howard ensured Everton did it one better this time. The US No. 1 has now won three straight home league clashes with the Blues.
Not long after Donovan whistled a shot by the post on four minutes, the home side took the lead through fellow loan returnee Steven Pienaar. The LA Galaxy midfielder made a bid to double the lead on 18 minutes, testing Chelsea netminder Petr Cech with a left-footed drive from long range.
The visitors gradually took control of first half play, but â€” in part aided by Donovan tracking back faithfully to defend â€” Everton allowed precious few open looks at Howard’s goal. The Toffees goalkeeper denied Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres before the break, then repeated the feat on Spain’s struggling striker past the hour.