Date:Monday September 16 2013
Saturday, September 14, 17:30
Roberto Martinez picked up his first win as Everton manager as Everton recorded their first win of the season in a hard fought 1-0 win over Chelsea at Goodison Park on Saturday. In what was a complete opposite to the first 3 games, which ended in disappointing draws, Everton were second best to Chelsea for large parts of the game, however, managed to grab the elusive goal on the stroke of half time courtesy of Steven Naismith to get their first win of the season.
Everton made two changes to the side that were held by Cardiff 0-0 a fortnight ago. Out went Fellaini and Martinez handed a debut to deadline day recruit Gareth Barry. Steven Naismith also replaced Steven PIenaar after he picked up a knock in training during the week. Chelsea handed a debut to Samuel Eto'o, however the other signing from Anzhi, Willian, was not in the match day squad.
The game was played at a very quick pace from the start and it was Chelsea that had the first chance of the match which fell to the new boy Eto'o. Ramires put in a brilliant cross but Eto'o could only manage to head it over the bar. Moments later, Everton had a chance to grab the lead after some nice work on the right, Naismith managed to put in a cross to an unmarked Jelavic in the box, however, the Croatian could only tamely hit it straight at the keeper.
Then Everton perhaps gifted Chelsea their best chance of the match courtesy of keeper Tim Howard. Whilst trying to play out from the back, Howard's pass was intercepted by Schurrle who then centred the ball to Eto'o, and it looked like he would grab a goal on debut, however, the other man making his debut Gareth Barry managed to put in a brilliant tackle to deflect the ball over the bar and save a certain goal.
In the last 15mins of the first half Chelsea again squandered some good chances with Ramires forcing a good save from Howard to parry his shot wide, Schurrle firing over the bar after a nice run from Ramires managed to give Schurrle a bit of space in the box and Ivanovic firing his header narrowly over the bar.
In the last minute of the first half, Chelsea were made to pay the ultimate price for their sloppy finishing. After Cech's misplaced throw, Everton found themselves in a bit of space on the right hand side, after some neat play from youngster Ross Barkley, he managed to slide a ball into Leon Osman, who put a cross to the far post, where Jelavic managed to get a head on it and centre the ball for Naismith to head in from close range and give Everton the lead heading into the break. This was also Everton's first goal since opening day after two successive 0-0 draw's. The atmosphere and the game totally changed with that goal.
The start of the 2nd half saw Chelsea, who most likely received a heavy spray from Mourinho at the half, utterly dominate the game with the ball effectively remaining in the Everton half for the first 15mins, and Schurrle again was wasteful after some nice work from Ramires again saw Schurrle find himself in some space but could only find the side netting.
With around 15-20mins left, Martinez decided to give a debut to 13mil deadline day signing James McCarthy as he came on at the expense of Nikica Jelavic and the change had a positive effect with Everton managing to disrupt the Chelsea onslaught. In the last 15mins of the game, it was Everton, who were playing on the counter with Mirallas up front, who had the best chance to extend their lead courtesy of Leighton Baines. The left back saw his brilliantly struck free kick hit the bar and go harmlessly over. After that, Chelsea didn't test Everton keeper Tim Howard at all as the final whistle blew.
The 3pts were massive for Everton, after three underwhelming draws to start the season, there was undoubtedly a little pressure building on Martinez and Everton to pick up their first win of the season, however that pressure was lifted after that result. Not to mention it was Everton's 3rd consecutive clean sheet, something that was a major question mark with Martinez at his time at Wigan.Hopefully the result will give the players and fans some confidence in Martinez and look to build from this result as they travel to West Ham next week looking to remain unbeaten, and of course, the first chance Everton fans will have to see Romelu Lukaku in action. COYB!!!
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Date:Monday September 16 2013
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