Everton 1-0 Chelsea: Chelsea punished
How many times have we heard it before? You MUST take your chances in the Premier League and if you don’t, you will ALWAYS be susceptible to being punished. That is exactly what happened to Chelsea yesterday and it’s the first major blip of our season.
Yes, it’s early days and we shouldn’t get carried away but we should all be waking up this morning sitting top of the league with three points last night.
Before we look at the Chelsea performance, I have to hold my hands up and congratulate Roberto Martinez on his first win as Everton manager and his team. On paper and you have to be honest, Chelsea have by far the better quality and I mean no disrespect when I say that but, those players have to perform.
Every single Everton player worked their socks off and you have to admit that Gareth Barry was outstanding on his debut. The thought of adding Romelu Lukaku up front to give them a better focal point up top will excite the Evertonians and I predict that Everton will have a cracking season.
Now as for Chelsea, where do we start? I was surprised that Eto’o was thrown straight into the starting line-up. Despite saying that, I would start him personally in the week. He did okay but has had little time to work in training with his team mates to get used to playing with each other. In saying that, he should have done better with his header from a Ramires cross and should have scored when Andre Schurrle squared the ball to him. But for a last ditch tackle from Gareth Barry, he would have done.
His movement was okay but there is a lot more to come from him. Torres came on and hardly had a touch of the ball. If anything, I would have brought him in for Eto’o earlier.
Juan Mata remains a concern for me. Again, I would have made a different decision to Jose and would have kept him on the pitch. The thing we have to remember about Mata is his ability to pick up the ball and see a pass to open the door. It doesn’t matter if he hasn’t been effective for 89 minutes, all it takes is the one ball to unlock the defence. I will admit that he should have done a lot better with the chance he had late on in the first half after some good interchange play between Hazard and Eto’o.
Andre Schurrle also did okay when he played. Yes he should have done better with the chance he had in the first half and once again showed he is willing to work hard. However, he wasn’t influencing the game enough so I would have replaced him with De Bruyne as a like for like change.
Ramires was his industrious self. Mikel was solid enough in midfield and looking at the game, it’s important that Chelsea fans can see that at times, if it wasn’t for Mikel making interceptions or tackles at key moments, things could have been a lot worse.
Ivanovic was solid again but his delivery from wide areas was disappointing. Ashley Cole spent too much time arguing with the officials and giving away free kicks in the game. He was done on more than once occasion for pace and was caught out of position on more than one occasion.