Everton on wrong end of 9 goal thriller
Saturday, August 30, 17:30
Everton were left still seeking their first win of the season as the went down 6-3 in a thriller against Chelsea at Goodison Park on Saturday. Everton were their own worst enemies as a clinical Chelsea side punished a poor Everton defence. 2 early goals to Diego Costa and Ivanovic gave Chelsea a commanding lead, however Mirallas did peg one back on the stroke of half time. Chelsea then got a third courtesy of a Coleman own goal, however, this kickstarted a 10min spell where there were 5 goals scored. Naismith immediately responded for Everton to bring it back to 3-2, before Matic responded to make it 4-2 and then debutant Samuel Eto'o, with his first touch brought it back to 4-3, however that was went he comeback ended as Ramires added a fifth and Costa finished to scoring with his second and Chelsea's sixth.
Everton made one change to the side that drew with Arsenal with the injured Steven Pienaar being replaced by Aiden McGeady. After conceding 2 late goals to Arsenal the weekend prior, you would have thought that Everton would've started brightly, but that was not the case as they found themselves 1 nil down before they had even touched the ball. From kickoff, Chelsea strung a passage of neat play, and then Costa managed to get by a poor offside trap by the Everton defence and made no mistake with the finish to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead inside the first minute.
Chelsea then doubled their advantage in the 3rd minute, where again, another poor offside trap by Everton saw Ivanovic given space in the penalty box and punished the Everton defence, however replays did show that the Serbian was offside, which was one of many incorrect decisions by the officials.
After the 2nd, Chelsea began to sit back and invite pressure from Everton and Everton started to get into the game, after a string of nice passes which led to the ball arriving at the feet of Coleman, the right back picked out Kevin Mirallas who made no mistake with the header to give Everton a lifeline entering into halftime.
The 2nd half began with Everton again dominating possession and trying to find a way through a stubborn Chelsea defence, however it was Chelsea who found that important goal via Eden Hazard. The Belgian winger blew by James McCarthy and on the byline tried to cross the ball however it unfortunately deflected of Coleman and managed to squeeze by Howard's near post to restore Chelsea's 2 goal lead.
That goal would suddenly spark an avalanche of goals with 5 coming in the next 10mins. Everton got an instant reply in the form of Steven Naismith who pegged one back two minutes later. After a nice run from Aiden McGeady, the Irish winger played through Naismith who made no mistake with his finish, to continue his impressive goalscoring form this season and get Everton back into the game.
However, again Chelsea restored their lead a mere 5mins later through Matic. Matic was afforded time and space o the edge of the penalty area, and the Serbian picked his spot perfectly as his shot went off the post and in. Everton again, could have instantly replied, however Mirallas shot was brillainly tipped onto the post by Courtois to maintain their 2 goal lead.
However, that did not last long, as Chelsea old boy, Samuel Eto'o scored Everton's third via his first touch. From a whipping free kick, Eto'o managed to get a head to it and placed it perfectly into the bottom corner to get Everton back into it for a 3rd time.
But once again poor defending, this time from McCarthy, who failed to track a Ramires run, saw Chelsea score a 5th to make it 5-3. Ramires played a simple one-two with Costa and then the Brazilian found himself with space in the box and made no mistake with the finish.
Everton again continued to press for that 4th goal, however the contest was killed 5mins from time as debutant Muhamed Besic, with his first touch after coming on as a substitute, tried a flick in his own half and it inexplicably sent Diego Costa through on goal who slotted calmly to net his 2nd and Chelsea's 6th.
This game highlighted, what was a worry for Everton already this early on in the season, the defence is looking very poor. The Jagielka-Distin partnership looks frail with both struggling to find the form they have shown in years past. After a performance like this, there needs to be change, youngster John Stones needs to be brought back into the team, and in an ideal world, we find another young, left sided CB to start alongside him. With Jagielka 32 and Distin 37, questions are raised about whether time has finally caught up with them. The most frustrating thing is that we are looking very good going forward, we have 7 goals in 3 games, which is a good return, however, shipping 10 goals nullifies that completely. The form of Naismith has been a revelation for Everton this season, and Eto'o left a very good first impression for Everton fans, and is looking like a quality addition. Going winless into the international break is not ideal, and it does leave a sour taste in one's mouth, however, if we can fix the leaky defence, then we will soon be getting those wins. After the first 3 games, the game against West Brom in a fortnight is a must win for Everton, anything but 3pts leaves Everton chasing the rest of the pack, and at this stage, that is a very dangerous game.
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