"Chelsea are back" - Three things learnt from Chelsea 2-0 Everton
Chelsea welcomed Everton to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon looking for their first home win of the season against a side who have proven their credentials after only just being held to a draw by Manchester City.
On this occasion though, the visitors could not compete with the quality of the Blues and they dominated Ronald Koeman’s side. Cesc Fabregas opened the scoring after a clever move with Alvaro Morata saw him poke the ball beyond Jordan Pickford, and from that moment on there was little chance of a recovery from the Toffees.
Morata added a second with a flicked header and from that moment on it was game over. Chelsea continued to boss the tie, with Everton putting up very little in the way of a fight.
Here are three things that The Boot Room learnt from the game…
Chelsea are back
The Blues were dominant from start to finish and had the kind of attacking swagger that was characteristic of their play last season. In the first few weeks of the season, that had all but vanished, but following on from victory over Tottenham last weekend, it was back in abundance at Stamford Bridge.
Solid at the back and dominant in midfield, Chelsea did not allow Everton to look in control for a single second. That restricted the away side to long balls forward in the hope of breaking down the hosts and they were largely unsuccessful in causing any kind of danger against the Blues who held out for an easy win.
Everton are just too defensive and too slow to react
Ronald Koeman may argue that his system is more of a 3-5-2 than a 5-3-2, but he would be one of few to argue that Mason Holgate and Leighton Baines are out and out wing-backs. Both are more defensively minded and struggled with the attacking side of their roles, Baines in particular lacking the pace to bomb down the wings.
With two holding midfielders on the field too, it left the Toffees struggling to find a way through after going behind. Even when Koeman made a change at half-time, he merely swapped two holding midfielders. It wasn’t until the 83rd minute when he really looked to be going for a goal with the introduction of Aaron Lennon in place of Phil Jagielka.
Alvaro Morata proved the doubters wrong
After an anonymous display against Tottenham in which almost his only involvement was to miss a sitter, Morata upped his game massively against Everton on Sunday. He was at the heart of everything that Chelsea did when they looked to break through an overcrowded Everton defence.
Setting up Cesc Fabregas to score with a smart assist in a neat one-two move, he added the second goal himself with a perfectly weighted header after a delightful cross from Cesar Azpilicueta. That took his tally to two goals and two assists from three games for Chelsea, an impressive return.