Chelsea’s season is now effectively over. As Roberto Martinez becomes just the third manager to have beaten a Chelsea team led by Guus Hiddink, the Blues have now been dumped out of the Champions League and the FA Cup in the space of four days.
Everton will now go onto the semi-finals of the famous trophy thanks to two goals from former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku as the Toffees hunt for their first FA Cup trophy since 1995.
Summary of the game
The first half was a very forgettable 45 minutes of football. Neither side had any clear cut chances, the only thing that could have been a subject of conversation was the ever debatable Diego Costa. The Spanish international was involved with a number of incidents on and off the ball that saw his name written down in the referee’s book.
The real action began in the second half when Costa had a chance on the inside of the left flank when he flashed a shot just wide from a tight angle. The away side looked comfortable on the ball when they were attacking but really threatened Joel Robles in the Everton goal.
The home side also looked threatening, and this all came to ahead when Lukaku powered by a number of players with ease, and slotted the ball into the far corner. The Belgian really showed his strength when he powered past defenders but the Chelsea manager should be asking questions of his back four.
Lukaku then made his former side pay again when he slammed the ball through the legs of Thibaut Courtois after being slipped in on goal. It’s difficult not to questions former manager Jose Mourinho’s decision to sell Lukaku after the Belgian international puts in performances like this.
Costa again attracted controversy as he appeared to attempt a bite on Gareth Barry later in the match, but the referee only saw him gesture his head towards the midfielder which was enough to see the former Atletico Madrid forward see his second yellow card and his first sending off in his Chelsea career.
Barry himself then saw red after his second yellow card leaving both teams down to 10 men in the late stages of the game.
What is next for Hiddink?
It is undeniable that the Dutch manager has done a fantastic job since taking over the Blues. Seeing them rise steadily up the table and has only lost two matches after his December arrival.
Yet this is one of Chelsea’s worst seasons in recent history. Paris Saint-Germain knocked out the Premier League champions on Wednesday with a 4-2 aggregate score line. The French champions have only been beaten twice this season so they were always going to provide a very difficult task for Chelsea to oust.
Now that Everton have dumped Hiddink’s men out of the FA Cup, the only thing that they can aim for is to continue to move further up the league. The Blues currently sit in 10th position 11 points away from the top four with nine games to go.
The former Holland manager may have wanted to delivered a trophy to Stamford Bridge this season, but just finishing in the top eight of the league has to be seen as a remarkable turnaround performed by Hiddink.