Chelsea defeated Everton 6-3 in a thriller at Goodison Park on Saturday as The Blues sailed to the peak of the Barclays Premier League.
Many fancied Everton to cause an upset but it was Jose Mourinho’s men who stunned the Toffees early on when Cesc Fabregas set Diego Costa free after just 34 seconds, the Brazilian expertly finishing past Tim Howard in the Everton goal. Costa was a fitness doubt before the game due to a ‘minor hamstring’ problem but the former Atlético Madrid man showed no signs of any injury, bagging his third goal of the season. Serbian Branislav Ivanovic was then on hand to double the lead in the 3rd minute. Jose Mourinho would have been delighted with his side’s comfortable start, but the boys from west London were far from convincing at the back from then-on.
Romelu Lukaku started the game, making his first appearance against Chelsea since his £28M move to Goodison Park earlier in the summer. However, the Belgian struggled for large parts of the game and made very little impact against a brittle looking Chelsea rearguard. But it was fellow Belgium team-mate Kevin Mirallas, who got Everton back in the game on the stroke of half time, heading home in impressive fashion after getting in front of Gary Cahill.
Tempers began to flare mid-way through the second half with the stakes being raised as the game went on. Chelsea were keen to see the Toffees off after Manchester City were defeated against Stoke City in the 3pm kick-off at the Etihad, the Blues looking to take advantage of Manuel Pellegrini’s men’s slip up. And the Blues seemed to have done just that following a dazzling run by Eden Hazard down the left flank, cutting the ball back for an unfortunate Seamus Coleman to deflect it into his own goal. Chelsea in full control? Not exactly.
Just a mere two minutes later, Stevie Naismith pulled one back after racing on to Aiden McGeady’s pass before slotting past the helpless Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois. The Goodison faithful were brought to their feet in the stands when Roberto Martinez introduced former Blue Samuel Eto’o, the Cameroon legend penning a two-year deal with Everton this month after being released by Chelsea following a loan spell at Stamford Bridge last season. Everton’s comeback didn’t appear to last too last long when Nemanja Matic extended Chelsea’s advantage with a neat finish into the bottom corner from the edge of the box on 74 minutes, the midfielder’s first goal for the club. 4-2.
Written in the script, Eto’o got on the score sheet, heading in from a terrific Leighton Baines delivery to make it 4-3. Finishing off an incredible sequence of events, Ramires turned home from inside the penalty area, very much illustrating some abysmal defending from Martinez’s troops. Filipe Luis then came on to make his Chelsea debut, replacing Eden Hazard to tighten affairs up for Mourinho and his men. Then, Costa then put the icing on the cake, scoring his second goal of the game and his fourth of the campaign, capping off a frantic but satisfying day for Mourinho and his side. Mourinho will no doubt have something to think about as the international break approaches. The Chelsea boss will be furious with his team’s defending at times and it may force him to dip back into the market for another defensive asset to shore matters up after Everton exposed some frailties in The Blues’ defence. Maybe yet, he might just go for more fire power with Loic Remy apparently on the brink of a move to SW6.
Only time will tell as Chelsea continue their very impressive start to the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign, but do you think that this performance is a sign of things to come? Can the Stamford Bridge side dominate all opponents? What does Everton’s start mean; if anything, to their ambitions for the rest of the Premier League season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .