Goals; Chelsea- none
Everton – none
Alonso’s drilled effort off the post was Chelsea’s best chance to grab a winner, as Everton picked up an impressive point at the Bridge.
Surprisingly in the first half, Everton were arguably the better team considering that they were the underdogs in this encounter. Early on in the first half, Everton put Chelsea’s defence under a lot of pressure especially from set pieces, where they nearly had chances through Keane and Mina. Everton’s best chance of the half went to Bernard in the 11th minute when an Everton corner fell to the Brazilian on the edge of the box, and his effort sailed wide of the upper left of Kepa’s goal who looked worried watching Bernard’s effort just drift wide of the goal.
Chelsea’s best chance of the first half came to Alonso in the 39th minute when a well-worked free-kick landed eventually at Alonso at the back post unmarked and his Van Basten Esque effort was very well saved by Pickford. Other than that, Chelsea only had a penalty shout through Morata and the referee made the right decision in not giving the penalty, as Morata fell to the ground to easily after good link-up play with Hazard.
Hazard looked very off the pace in the first half. Was the decision to take him to Belarus the right one?
So at halftime, it was 0-0, with Everton really frustrating Chelsea and limiting the Londoners to very few chances and looking very dangerous on the counter-attack. They had set up as a 4-4-2 in defensive situations holding compact and not allowing Chelsea to play through the midfield. Other than that, there were some debatable challenges in the first half from both teams which the referee gave as a yellow card, but all 3 challengers could have easily been seen as a red card on another day. So as we headed into the second half, Sarri surely would have ordered Chelsea to create more and up the intensity. Does this game call out for Ross Barkley? For Everton, Silva’s message would have been more of the same as they would see a point at Stamford Bridge as a very positive result considering their poor record at the Bridge in recent years.
Maurizio’s Sarri’s team talk looked like it fired Chelsea up for the second half, because 10 seconds after the second half started, Chelsea nearly went 1-0 up when Hazard’s cross into the box found Morata and his scuffed attempted effort was well saved by Pickford. However, Chelsea’s bright start to the second half didn’t hinder Everton, as in the 48th minute, Sigurdsson delivered a lovely pass over the top of the Chelsea defence and Walcott failed to control, but if he would have found his first touch then he would have been one on one with Kepa.
The game turned into an end to end game in the second half with both teams having chances, with Willian and Hazard having great chances for Chelsea, and Sigurdsson and Bernard having decent chances for the Toffees, but no one could find the back of the net. However after the 60th minute, Chelsea took control of the game and looked more likely to win the game, with Hazard deflected shot causing problems for Pickford, but the English goalkeeper did well to tip it over his own bar. Chelsea’s best chance to get the winner came in the 65th minute when Alonso was found on the left-hand side and his drilled effort grazed the post and after that chance, it looked like it wouldn’t be Chelsea’s day.
As the game entered the last stages, Chelsea committed more men forward and this left a lot of space being open at the back, which Lookman and Calvert Lewin had chances to exploit and nearly mustered chances from, especially Lookman who slalomed his way into the Chelsea box in the 80th minute, and good goalkeeping by Kepa prevented Lookman potentially grabbing a surprise winner for Everton. But when Jagielka came on for Everton, you could see that Marco Silva’s side wanted to shut up shop and they did that successfully as the game ended 0-0.
Maurizio Sarri has now had the longest unbeaten start as a Premier League manager as he is now undefeated in 12 Premier League games! So as Chelsea fans may be annoyed with the result today, one aspect which is positive is that Sarri has broken a longstanding premier League record. And also it’s not all doom and gloom for Chelsea as they are still undefeated in all competitions.
Possession (%) 69 31
Shots 15 6
Shots on Target 4 1
Corners 5 5
Fouls 7 10
Player and Manager ratings out of 10
Kepa- 8 (Played really well today and made some vital saves and interceptions)
Azpilicueta- 6 (Average- a little suspect defensively but played well in the attacking sense today)
Luiz- 7 (Calm and composed performance)
Rüdiger- 8 (Very solid defensively)
Alonso- 7 (Suspect defensively but unfortunate not to score today)
Jorginho- 3 (Looked very poor and lethargic today)
Kante- 5 (Very average surprisingly)
Kovacic- 5 (Average, didn’t do enough in the attacking sense)
Willian- 7 (Poor first half, but stepped up in the second half)
Hazard- 7 (looked relatively poor today, but stepped up in the second half and looked dangerous)
Morata- 5 (Average- kept complaining and going down too easily)
Fabregas- 6 (Looked better than Jorginho)
Pedro- 7 (Hardworking but didn’t have enough time to impact the game)
Barkley-5 (Looked very nervous when he came on)
Manager rating- Maurizio Sarri- 6- Chose the right team, on the whole, however, he should maybe have brought on Giroud for Morata, as Morata looked frustrated at the end of the game.
Pickford- 8 (Made some excellent saves.)
Digne- 7 (Good in the first half, but Willian got the better of him in the second half.)
Mina- 10 (Man of the match for me. Looked superb today- added composure to the Everton backline.)
Keane- 7 (Played really well alongside Mina.)
Coleman- 7 (Looked very good defensively.)
Gomes- 8 (Made it hard for Chelsea to play through the midfield. Solid performance.)
Gueye- 8 (Same reasons as Gomes.)
Bernard- 7 (Played really well, but could have scored but lost his composure in a crucial moment.)
Sigurdsson- 8 (Excellent today. Instrumental in creating Everton chances.)
Walcott- 5 (Didn’t do a lot today. Had a big chance but his first touch let him down.)
Richarlison- 7 (Played really well in the striker role. Caused Chelsea’s defenders’ multiple problems.)
Lookman- 8 (Added a lot of energy to the Everton attack)
Jagielka- 5 (Came on and helped Everton obtain the clean sheet)
Calvert-Lewin- 6 (Didn’t have a lot of time to impact the game)
Manager rating- Marco Silva- 8- Picked his strongest 11 today and his side performed so well to gain a valuable point away from home at a bogey ground for Everton in recent years.
Position in PL table
Chelsea misses the chance to go top momentarily and now find themselves in third place with 28 points. Everton remains in 9th with 19 points. And if Manchester United lose in the Derby then they will only be one point off Jose Mourinho’s side.
Next Games for both teams
We enter the international break now, so both sides are next back in action in two weeks time, with Chelsea playing away at Tottenham at Wembley at 5:30 pm, which will be a crucial encounter in the top 4 race. Everton also play on 24th November at home to Cardiff in the 3:00pm kickoff.
Check out Chivers and Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris’s Post-match analysis review podcast for Sportstalkline.com
Check out my Match report article from Chelsea’s midweek trip away in Belarus- http://soccertalkline.com/soccer/premier-league/news/2587/bate-borisov-vs-chelsea-0-1-match-report.html/
By Danyal Khan