Chelsea are 11 points behind leaders Manchester City after just five matches as they were pulled apart by Steven Naismith and Everton this Saturday lunch-time.
The Blues, who only lost three matches last campaign, have already lost three in their opening five, conceding a league-topping 12 goals in the process.
It is a far cry from the defensive rigidity shown last season and raises serious questions about Mourinho’s future, despite winning two trophies just a few months ago. How quickly things change.
After 13 days of no Premier League action, Chelsea should have been racing out of the blocks, eager to put to bed the distrarous form before this international break.
Afforded that opportunity were the likes of Begovic, Zouma and Mikel, who displaced Courtois, Cahill and Willian, with John Terry returning after suspension.
The Chelsea back-line has conceded nine goals in four games this far, with three of those defeats, so it was no surprise to see Martinez’s men target them, and in particular Ivanovic, from the off.
And boy did it pay off, with Besic’s injury the blessing in disguise. This introduced Naismith into the action in the ninth minute, and it took him just eight minutes to break the deadlock, and only five further minutes to secure a second.
The first was as simple as it got. Naismith drove the ball forward and passed out to Galloway. One touch past the retreating Ivanovic and a second touch to swing the ball into the area and Naismith headed home, having been allowed ample space between Zouma and Terry. It was textbook stuff, and damningly the Champions League-winning Ivanovic and Terry were pulled apart by players who nearly joined Noriwich and who was signed from MK Dons. Something was going gravely wrong.
The second was, again, as simple as it got. Given yet more room, this time by the midfield duo of Matic and Mikel, Naismith took the ball and leathered it left-footed past Begovic. What have Chelsea done to upset the footballing gods this way?
Was the match over after 22 minutes? Matic would have something to say about that, with Everton suffering from a momentary lapse of concentration and themselves gifting Matic room to strike home from 30 yards.
Where would the Chelsea goals come from, if there were to be a resurgence in the second half? The answer is it would not.
Hazard, Fabregas and Costa were anonymous and Pedro was stifled by a tight Everton back-line.
Naismith would tear Chelsea apart one more time, though, slotting low past Begovic with Terry pulled out of position. It was his, and Everton’s day. Something is very, very wrong at Chelsea HQ.
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Man of the Match
Mourinho was defiant after his own fans started to turn against him: “I don’t blame my players, I don’t blame myself. I don’t accept the result. I’m not feeling under pressure. I’m feeling the results are the worst ever in my career. I’m the man for the job. I’m the man who did so many good things for Chelsea. I’m the man.”
Martinez was delighted: “I react to this victory with incredible satisfaction. A performance like this gives you a feeling of pride, it was an incredible team performance. We knew from last season in Europe that if we wanted to be a winning team you need to retain a strong squad.”
Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had four years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.
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