Premier League: Torres winner helps Chelsea beat Everton 2-1 to secure third
Last Updated: 20/05/13 2:45pm
Fernando Torres scored the winner to allow Rafa Benitez to end with a win as Chelsea beat Everton 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
The victory, after Juan Mata and Steven Naismith traded goals, ensured Chelsea secured third spot in the Premier League and meant David Moyes' spell in charge at Everton ended in defeat.
Chelsea had the first chance of the game through Demba Ba and the Senegal striker had a role in the opener moments later when Tim Howard could only parry his shot into the path of Mata.
If that was supposed to settle the home side it did not work as Everton piled on the pressure and the visitors soon had their equaliser after just a quarter of an hour.
Best of the match:
- Man of the match: Juan Mata opened the scoring and was the driving force behind much of Chelsea's best work.
- Goal of the match: Steven Naismith did well to nip in ahead of David Luiz and play a nice one-two with Victor Anichebe. The big striker showed good awareness to slip the pass back to Naismith who dinked the ball home.
- Moment of the match: Everton hit the post twice in a second when Gibson's deflected effort bounced back off the post into Petr Cech's face before rebounding off the woodwork again to safety.
- Talking point: How will these two teams deal with managerial changes in the summer?
David Luiz miscontrolled an interception and Naismith found Victor Anichebe who did well to play his team-mate in on goal with a reverse pass before the Scot did the rest with a neat dinked finish.
The Toffees almost took the lead in comical fashion soon afterwards when Darron Gibson's deflected shot ricocheted off the post into the face of Petr Cech and back onto the woodwork.
Torres and Kevin Mirallas should each have done better with good chances before Steven Pienaar curled just over the top of the bar as the two teams traded blows in an open game.
After the break it was Chelsea that stepped things up as they took charge of the contest with Howard saving well from Gary Cahill before Branislav Ivanovic should have done better.
Everton were rattled with Phil Jagielka losing the ball to give Ba a chance that Sylvain Distin did well to block, before the England man redeemed himself with a fine challenge to deny Cahill soon after.
Nikica Jelavic replaced Naismith midway through the second half and could have put Everton ahead soon after only to divert Leighton Baines' centre just wide of the far post when unmarked.
It proved costly when Victor Moses showed far better composure at the other end to head down for Torres to lash the winner past Howard and score his first Premier League goal since December.
Jelavic went close twice more but Everton could not find an equaliser so it was Benitez and not Moyes who would get to bow out with a win.
Benitez admitted he was happy with his achievements as he ends his spell as interim boss at Stamford Bridge.
He told Sky Sports: "It's not just what we achieved, it's the team we achieved these things with. It's a team in transition with young players and a lot of circumstances surrounding it."
Despite the defeat, Moyes was full of praise for the efforts of his players and felt Everton were unfortunate.
"We'd actually been the better team and they caught us a little bit on the break from a spill out by Tim that hasn't happened all season," he told Sky Sports. "So that gave them a pretty easy goal. But the players were magnificent today, they really were."
Barclays Premier League
Sun 19th May
Chelsea2 - 1Everton
Liverpool1 - 0QPR
Man City2 - 3Norwich
Newcastle0 - 1Arsenal
So'ton1 - 1Stoke
Swansea0 - 3Fulham
Tottenham1 - 0S'land
W Brom5 - 5Man Utd
West Ham4 - 2Reading
Wigan2 - 2A Villa
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||9||16|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||9||10|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||9||7|