International breaks over! Time for some real football!
With 4 points in 4 games and 8 points behind the leaders, it was time for Chelsea to show the world why they deserve to be Champions!
A trip to Goodison Park, more so when you are out of form, is never a good idea, but a 3 point was a must as Chelsea buckled up to square off against John Stones and co.
For Chelsea, Begovic replaced the injured Courtois while Mikel came on for Willian. Meanwhile, Ivanovic retained his place in the lineup.
Let’s get on with the initial reaction to find out how the game panned out for the Blues:
– As expected, Everton were a bit cheeky with their taunts of “Money can’t buy you Stones”. Yeah, we’ll see about that in January!
Meanwhile, the arrival of Mikel meant that Fabregas could float forward without the defensive responsibilities. How he pans out at the CAM role remained to be seen!
Everton, on the other hand, had to deal with an early blow as Besic had to be subbed off with a hamstring injury inside the first 10 minutes!
– Chelsea did look a bit improved in their outing at Goodison Park but, unfortunately, our defensive woes continued as Steven Naismith opened the scoring in the 16th-minute mark.
The substitute was brilliant in the build up play as shrugged away the pressure from Terry and Zouma and buried his header behind Begovic to make it 1-0. Good start from the home side!
– Kone almost made it 2-0 a minute later, only to be denied by a fantastic save from Begovic.
It was all Everton after that goal as Naismith tried his luck from a long range shot, but again a very good save from Begovic denied the home side.
Just a couple of minutes later, some constant pressure from Everton resulted in Naismith making it 2-0 with a crunching shot into lower side corner. Do I need to mention that it was Ivanovic who backed off too much resulting to that goal?
– Diego Costa, meanwhile, looked like a shadow of his older self as the Spaniard kept losing the ball inside the opposition box.
Chelsea did, however, made it 2-1 in the 36th minute with a thunderbolt strike from Nemanja Matic.
It all started with nothing more than a simple throw in for Chelsea as the ball fell for Matic and the Serbian’s 35 yard strike was always aiming for the bottom right corner of Tim Howard! Incredible strike!
– As we approached the end of first half, the Blues started to mount some pressure on the home side. Diego Costa started to make some deep runs that caused a few problems in the Everton’s backline while, Nemanja Matic definitely looked to be the one coming back in form!
– The first half ended with the scoreline of 2-1.
The home side started the game brilliantly as they buried a couple of goals behind Begovic at the 20th-minute mark.
The Blues, almost done and dusted, did show some character to come back strongly and pull one back with a Matic’s screamer. The presence of Mikel meant that Matic had the license to go forward and the midfielder, for the first time this season, looked like a player he is supposed to be! But, could we have continued this form in the second half to grab the 3 points? Let’s find out!
– There was a definite feeling that another goal was gonna decide the outcome of this game. Another Everton goal would be curtains for us, but an equalizer from us, and we were back in the hunt!
The second half started with no changes from Jose Mourinho. We quickly looked to find our late first-half form and get an early equalizer underway.
– Mourinho looked to be more proactive this time around as the Portuguese introduced Robert Kenedy in the 55th minute at the expense of Mikel.
The arrival of Kenedy meant that Fabregas would drop deeper alongside Matic as Pedro dropped behind Costa, Hazard floated around and Kenedy slotted in the Left Wing.
– Time was running out for the Blues as Begovic made a good save to deny Lukaku in the 68th minute.
Radamel Falcao replaced Pedro in the 69th minute as Blues continued to search for the equalizer.
– Chelsea had a brilliant chance at the 70th-minute mark to score on the break, but Ivanovic delayed his pass too long for Costa who failed to get it past Howard eventually.
Blues made their third and final change in the 74th minute as Willian replaced Fabregas to spark some magic.
– As we reached the 80th-minute mark, Chelsea mounted some continued pressure on the home side but struggled to break open their resolute defense and create meaningful chances.
Everton, meanwhile, created one chance and scored the third goal to make it 3-1. It was that man again, Steven Naismith, who scored his hat trick, coming off the bench. A defense-splitting pass from Ross Barkley was all that was needed as our defenders fell asleep once again!
3 losses and 4 points from 5 games and potentially 11 points behind City!
– There was no twist in the tale, I didn’t expect there to be, as Chelsea succumbed to their 3rd loss in 5 games. It’s a crisis situation and if you weren’t panicking till now, ’tis the time!
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