Chelsea got off to a good start despite a sluggish performance in the Premier League opener by claiming a 1-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday night.
A quiet first half saw the home side enjoy the better part of the chance but it was Thomas Tuchel’s side who took the lead after Abdoulaye Doucoure fouled Ben Chilwell in the box for Jorginho to score Chelsea’s first goal of the season. The Toffees reacted well after the break as Demarai Gray found space in the box before testing Edouard Mendy, and it was the home side who again came close to finding the equalizer but for desperate defending.
Chelsea continued to struggle to create meaningful chances despite a few substitutions which saw Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek brought in, with a cautious approach preferring to resist pressure from the home side who lost patience as the game went on. 10 minutes of added time following a medical emergency in the stands forced Chelsea to remain resolute until the end of added time, and they were able to save three vital and hard-fought points.
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Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy were the stars for Chelsea that day, with their input key to helping earn a clean sheet.
Chelsea’s attacking play was too often predictable and poor, which saw them struggle to create chances from open play. Thomas Tuchel must also find a way to help support Raheem Sterling who was ousted by the opposition.
Manager rating (out of 10)
4 — A win for Chelsea is all that matters but Thomas Tuchel has a lot to do after his side’s performance today. The Blues could easily have been punished with their style of play not doing enough to sustain the attack, and that’s something that needs to be improved in the next game.
Player ranking (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Edouard Mendy, 7 — A strong hand in the first half prevented James Tarkowski from opening the scoring, and the Senegal international then fended off Demarai Gray’s effort moments after the start of the second half.
DF Kalidou Koulibaly, 6 — The former Napoli centre-back looked positive in dealing with some defensive situations, particularly flying balls, but an overall mixed Premier League debut for Everton could have been better with more care given to some of his passing in the middle of the field.
DF Thiago Silva, 8 — A vital interception stopped a pass from Demarai Gray that would have created the best chance of the first half that epitomized the 37-year-old’s defensive display that day. Thiago Silva’s reading of the game set the standard for his team.
DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 6 — Azpilicueta kept it simple and didn’t seem to make many mistakes, although he could have been closer to Thiago Silva at times when Everton were quickly crashing down the flank.
Mr. F. Ben Chilwell, 6 — The 25-year-old took advantage of contact in the penalty area from Abdoulaye Doucoure to win a penalty just before the break to squeeze the maximum dividends from an instinctive run into the box.
MF Jorginho, 6 — A cool penalty saw Jorginho send Jordan Pickford the wrong way to give Chelsea the lead. He had plenty of the ball throughout the 90 minutes but didn’t look to make enough interventions on the defensive side of his game.
MF N’Golo Kante, 7 — The France international interrupted play several times, with N’golo Kante quick to stop the danger, while keeping things simple when transitioning from forward play.
MF Reece James, 5 — James regularly looked to stretch play down the right flank, but Everton looked to counter his influence well by ensuring he was closed. The 22-year-old was shown an unnecessary yellow card for wasting time before the hour mark.
F.W. Raheem Sterling, 6 — The England international had some promising moments in which he looked on as Chelsea’s brightest player, but he was often left isolated and surrounded by Everton shirts.
Forward Kai Havertz, 5 — An anonymous display from the German who struggled to make a significant impact on the game.
FW Mason Stand, 5 — Mount hit a shot early in the game to test Jordan Pickford in an otherwise quiet game for him. A shrewd move helped Chilwell navigate his way until Chelsea were awarded a penalty.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chilwell, 65″), 6 — A powerful run forced a foul from Vitaliy Mykolenko to give Chelsea a free kick in a dangerous area.
Christian Pulisic (Mount, 65″), 5 — The USMNT star replaced Mount just after the rush hour, but Pulisic didn’t get the serve he needed to make an impact. Marc Cucurella (Koulibaly, 75″) N/R – Cucurella almost registered a first assist with his well chosen pass for Raheem Sterling, but the shot was blocked by Mykolenko.
Armando Broja (Havertz, 75″), N/R — Substituted for Havertz for the final 15 minutes.
Conor Gallagher (Jorginho, 90+8″), N/R — A Chelsea start saw Gallagher brought in for the final two minutes of the game.