Chelsea edge closer to title with resounding 3-0 win at Everton

Match Summary

Chelsea overcame arguably their biggest test remaining with a comfortable 3-0 win against Everton, and their first clean sheet in 11 matches.

With Tottenham playing later this evening, the Blues had the chance to throw down the gauntlet at their London rivals, but were made to wait until the 66th minute before Pedro made a stunning break-through. In the end, Cahill and Willian rounded off the win, as too did Tottenham in their game against Arsenal.

It means it is as you were in the Premier League table, with still four points separating the two sides, but with Chelsea left to face sides currently 19th, 8th, 13th and 20th, it would appear Conte has passed his biggest test, as shown by his reaction at full-time.

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Koeman’s heaviest league defeats in charge of Everton came against Chelsea earlier this season, but any hope for a similar rout was too optimistic. In fact, inside a minute, Barkley worked the ball well to Calvert-Lewin who hit the post, and it needed Cahill to deny former Chelsea man Romelu Lukaku a tap-in.

Lukaku’s opposite number, Diego Costa, did soon get stuck into the action, but neither he, nor Hazard, nor an advanced Matic, could produce a real tangible chance. Costa then had another glorious opportunity but lashed wide.

Lukaku was not proving his former employers wrong to the extent he would have undoubtedly have liked, but he did go close from 25 yards.

Tit-for-tat ensued for the remainder of the first half with neither Courtois nor Stekelenburg troubled closed up, and it looked like if Chelsea were to get their noses in front, it would need something special from afar.

Enter Pedro.

25 yards from goal and collecting a pass from Matic, the Spaniard dallied around the edge of the penalty area, and with little options, decided to bring the ball onto his favoured left foot and just hoof it. It was a spectacular drive and one which nestled into the top corner.

That opened things up for the visitors, who had before then been well-contained by a good man-marking system employed by Koeman, but with the shackles off, Cahill pounced for another.

A low Hazard free-kick was saved by Stekelenburg but not smothered, and Cahill pounced quickest from two yards out to tap in.

With nine minutes remaining and Conte satisfied to sit on the two-goal advantage, Ake, Willian and Fabregas came on in quick succession, but the latter two would add further delight to their boss’ face with the third seconds after coming on.

Fabregas did well to drive the ball to Everton’s by-line, and a neat cut-back for Willian’s first-touch presented the Brazilian with an open goal to aim at with Stekelenburg dragged out of position by Fabregas.

Especially pleasing for Conte will be Chelsea’s first clean sheet in the Premier League for some three months, especially knowing Everton have averaged 3.7 goals per game at Goodison Park in 2017 prior to this defeat.

Next stop Middlesbrough, but Tottenham will play first, some 72 hours before the leaders kick off.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

GARY CAHILL: The clean sheet cannot be underestimated against such a potent an attack as Lukaku and Everton, and with little defensive solidity from Chelsea for the past 11 Premier League matches, it is about time to recognise the contribution of Gary Cahill. Leading the line well in Terry’s continued absence, dealt with the threat of Lukaku all afternoon, and popped up with the big second goal to kill off all Everton hopes. 7/10

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Manager Reaction

Conte was staying calm: “We must be pleased because we played a game with the head and, at this part of this season, it is important to use our head, then your heart and then your legs. I think we must continue this way — to play game by game and take three points in every game. We know every win in this part of the season is very important. The road is long so we need to rest and prepare in the right way.”

Koeman saw positives: “We did well, until 1-0 maybe. After that we had more problems but that was all about their quality, before that we played well and made it tough for them. It is really tough to beat Chelsea.”

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Fan View

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Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had five 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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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2017. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Five-star Chelsea dismantle Everton in stunning 5-0 win

Match Summary

Chelsea climb to the top of the table after delivered a scintillating five-star performance against Everton on Bonfire Night.

The Blues lit up Stamford Bridge in special fashion as Hazard, Pedro, Costa and Alonso tore Everton, who held the league’s second-best defensive record, apart on a memorable night for the watching Chelsea faithful and Roman Abramovich.

It means the Blues have now won five league games in a row, a feat last achieved in December 2013, but particularly special will be the fact they have all been clean sheets since Conte changed to a 5-2-3 system.

And with Liverpool and Arsenal set to play tomorrow, it means Chelsea sit pretty at the top of the table with 25 points from 11 games.

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It was the most dominant Chelsea first-half performance in many a long while, with the Blues recording nine shots to Everton’s zero and 61% of the possession.

Whilst not getting off the mark as quick as either against Manchester United or Southampton, the signs were there from the off. Moses sent an inswinging cross from the right, slightly too long but found Hazard who teed up Alonso, only for the Spaniard to mis-kick in a good position.

Everton were sitting back and happy to defend, and despite having the league’s second-best defensive record in the run-up to the game, Koeman felt it necessary to switch formations to match Chelsea with a 3-4-3.

Alonso and Moses were both sending in good crosses but Stekelenburg was equal to it. But ultimately that move backfired in double quick-time as Chelsea grabbed two in two minutes.

First, Hazard cut in despite having two defenders hot on his heels and his shot curled past the Everton goalkeeper. Pedro did expertly to cause confusion in Stekelenburg’s mind, but not illegally in the way said referee Madley.

23 seconds after the restart and it was two. Hazard was again involved, turning brilliantly and laid off a great ball to Pedro, who squared just behind Costa. No matter though as Alonso was following up to strike it between Stekelenburg’s legs.

Barkley’s free-kick nearly found Ashley Williams but Chelsea’s run of 440 minutes without conceding was never in trouble of being broken in this first half.

There were chances galore to make it three: firstly Costa could not get the ball out of his feet to free Hazard, then a stray backpass nearly had Hazard running in.

Moses had the best chance when Alonso’s floated ball found the right wing-back floating at the back post and his half-volley smashed the outside of the post with some venom.

But it was three soon after. Hazard’s corner was not dealt with by Everton and, at the second ball, Costa smashed home his ninth Premier League goal of the season.

Pedro was on fire all game and keen to get his goal, but should have had an assist when his amazing turn found Costa one-on-one but the Spaniard fired wide just before the half-time whistle.

Would the energy sap in the second-half and Everton re-group? No.

Moses and Matic tried to walk in the fourth, and Costa’s strike was blocked superbly by Williams. Costa had another try when Pedro found him, only for Stekelenburg to read it perfectly and smother.

The fourth goal came in superb fashion. Hazard passed to Pedro, who returned it to Hazard with an exquisite back-heel, and the Belgian cut in from the right-wing and took his left-footed shot early to catch Stekelenburg out, who could only watch the ball creep into his goal for the fourth time this Saturday tea-time.

Pedro was fully deserving of a goal and got his in the 65th minute via a tap-in. The fearsome trio of Costa, Hazard and Pedro all raced ahead and the Belgian’s shot was well-saved by Stekelenburg, but directly into the path of Pedro to volley home.

It was all becoming fun and games as Hazard was in an advanced position but opted to not pass but slickly find Alonso. A flurry of goal-bound shots later saw Costa attempt an overhead kick, but all the action was in Everton’s half, so much so that their first attempt on goal came only in the 71st minute from a corner.

Oscar was introduced to the party and found Costa with an excellent through ball but Williams smothered before Costa could get his side’s six, before Luiz tried a half-volley which Stekelenburg tipped over.

Moses, the perfect wing-back in this Chelsea system, was cutting in from left and right to get his goal, but it remained five, and five wins on the bounce for Chelsea, all of them without a goal being conceded.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

eden-hazard-thumbnailEDEN HAZARD: Pedro has been truly unplayable tonight, with bags of energy and finesse and on any other day and with any other player would have secured my Man of the Match, but sadly for the Spaniard there is a little Belgian magician who has equally the same energy, the same finesse and provided two crucial goals today. An absolutely delight to watch as he glides across the pitch. 10/10

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Manager Reaction

Conte was not getting carried away: “It was a good performance, I am pleased. I think we played good football, we created chances to score and kept a fifth clean sheet in a row. I am pleased for the players, they were fantastic. We must continue to work hard. It is fantastic to be top of the league, today it was important to play and to win.”

Koeman was resigned: “They played very well, I expected more from my team. It was a big difference in every aspect. You have to accept sometimes n life your opponent is by far the better team.”

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Fan View

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Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had five 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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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2016. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Chelsea season left in tatters as Everton knock Blues out of FA Cup

Match Summary

Chelsea’s season ends in early March as the Blues lose their cool in the final 15 minutes to crash out of the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage.

Lukaku scored two excellent goals either side of the 80-minute mark to kill off all hope for his former side, as Costa appeared to bite Barry to earn his first marching orders for the Blues.

It means the visitors make the long journey home to SW6 knowing a week-defining season ends with nothing, after the mid-week exit of the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain, meaning Hiddink and Terry leave Chelsea trophyless.

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It was a first half of much rough and tumble but zero quality. Kenedy charged down the left and a quick one-two off Pedro saw him blast the ball wide, but there would be limited quality on show from either side thereafter.

There would be plenty of players winding each other up though. Costa felt he was being picked on by Barry, and instantly reacted with a disguised elbow just seconds later. It earned him a yellow card and is the side to Costa’s game he cannot seem to shake off.

Pedro and Kenedy equally went all-in in challenges but it was not all rough from the visitors, who were on the receiving end of many a challenge themselves from Everton aggression, who clearly were set up to press high by Martinez.

The 25-minute mark had passed before a meaningful chance. Barkley floated a great ball to Cleverley, who turned but shot from too far out to trouble Courtois.

Everton were very strong on the right-wing as Lennon was keen to exercise his experience over Kenedy’s youthfulness and, with the occasion helping hand of cover from Pedro, the Brazilian handled the half very well.

The main cause for Chelsea concern would always be from Lukaku, their ex-player, and he had a free header from a Coleman cross but the teasing ball was just too high.

Fabregas found Pedro who rounded Robles but just ran out of space to do anything meaningful with the ball, nor was their sufficient contact to even attempt hitting the deck.

Willian had a free-kick well tipped over from a central position, whilst Cleverley was allowed another shot when Baines was given room to charge forward, but ultimately both sides were far too intricate and over-passed the ball in a cagey first 45 minutes, with both sides eager to make the semi-finals knowing there was no other competition to play for.

The second half started in Everton’s favour. Funes Mori headed over from a corner when in a good position, whilst Cahill needed to be quick to make a last-ditch slide tackle on Lukaku else the Belgian would have been in after Barkley beat Kenedy.

Costa should have scored when Fabregas found him but,after rounding Robles, was in too tight an angle and the ball ran agonisingly parallel to the goal-line without creeping over.

The game was becoming more and more open. Lukaku was proving a handful but Cahill was on his toes; meanwhile at the other end, Pedro was one-on-one with McArthur.

Courtois had to race off his line to beat Lukaku to a through-ball by Cleverley, but Lukaku would soon score his 24th goal of the season.

A through-ball behind Cahill to Lukaku looked innocuous but the rest was the Belgian’s work and what fine work it was too. The former Chelsea man beat four of his old team-mates, left Cahill for dead and raced into the box and beat compatriot Courtois with a composed finish. It was an excellent goal.

Chelsea now needed to react and Remy came on, but no sooner had he come on did Lukaku score his second. A Kenedy throw-in saw Everton pounce and the Brazilian played Lukaku on to rifle through Courtois’ legs.

The misery was just beginning. Costa looked to bite Barry and was sent off, as Terry came on to act as centre-forward. Even though Barry would then get sent off, everything went wrong in 15 minutes and Chelsea’s season ends in March.

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Man of the Match

Kenedy.thumbnailKENEDY: The youngster had a good game containing Lennon and was the defender not at fault with Lukaku’s first goal when Azpilicueta, Ivanovic and Cahill all were. He was the culprit to play Lukaku on side for his second goal though, but no other Chelsea player did anything of merit or looked bothered enough to turn in a Man of the Match performance as Chelsea need a quick rebuild. 5/10

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Manager Reaction

Hiddink knew this was the end of the season for his side: “I cannot criticise our attitude but the sharpness was left around the box. Everyone knows where Chelsea were. The first task was to get out of the relegation zone and we did that fast. There were two cups at stake [but] it is important now that we have the pride to play when there is nothing much at stake.”

Martinez was full of joy: “It is a fantastic feeling, more than anything the atmosphere that was created. every one of us will take it away. Romelu Lukaku’s goal was one of the great goals we will see in the FA Cup.”

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Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had five 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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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2016. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Terry saves Chelsea with 98th minute equaliser in thrilling 3-3 draw against Everton

Match Summary

John Terry salvaged a point on the 700th appearance of his club career to rescue Chelsea in an enthralling 3-3 home draw against Everton.

The two sides played out a dull first half in which no goals were scored, but when Everton scored two quick second-half goals, Chelsea responded in even quicker fashion through Costa and then Fabregas. Funes Mori looked to have snatched all three points when he slid home in the 91st minute but Terry made amends in the 98th, albeit from an offside position.

The Blues were set for their 10th Premier League defeat of the season and would have had no complains were this the case, but in the end it is another point away from the relegation zone and the point was met with huge roars at the final whistle, such has been Chelsea’s demise as the Blues continue to languish in 14th position.

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The start of the match could have not predicted the frenetic end we were in for. Two defensive midfielders for Chelsea at home in Mikel and Matic limited Everton’s creativity coming from Lennon or Barkley but meant Chelsea’s were limited too, with Fabregas playing in a more advanced position from which he could not ping his trademark long balls.

It means Chelsea’s play reverted to the more intricate short passing between the trio of Pedro, Willian and Fabregas all to Costa, who created Chelsea’s first chance when he found Ivanovic running forward who in turn found Willian, but the Brazilian was denied by Howard.

Terry and Zouma, who had conceded two against West Brom mid-week, needed to be at their sharpest to keep the likes of ex-Chelsea man Lukaku at bay, and whilst they did that, Oviedo was left unoccupied and should have done better with his attempt.

Mirallas’ long-range shot just before the half-time whistle looked to be heading in were it not for Courtois, but it would set the tone for the second half and Everton were not messing about.

Just five minutes into the restart and Baines was not tracked by Ivanovic and when the left-back’s cross needed to be blocked out else Lukaku would have raced onto the end of it, it was left to Terry to unfortunately guide the ball into the net himself.

It was unfortunate but there was nothing unlucky about Everton’s play in the following moments. Barkley was again left free by Ivanovic down the Chelsea right and his shot hit the post with Courtois well beaten. It should have been two there and then, but all Everton had to do was wait a couple more minutes.

Another Baines cross from the left was controlled expertly by Mirallas in the penalty box and despite plenty of players around the Belgian, with Mikel the closest, the Nigerian could just not get tight enough to close down Mirallas’ stunning left-foot half-volley. It was a special goal seeing as the Everton man had his back to the goal initially but expertly finished against his compatriot Courtois.

Matic came off as Hiddink looked to rescue something and this meant Fabregas could revert to a deeper role where he could read the game a bit better. Utilising his skills in this department, he pinged a delicious long ball to Costa, who just managed to squeeze in the tiny gap afforded by Jagielka and Howard’s combined hesitation about who would clear the ball. The Spaniard rolled into an empty net.

The home faithful were buoyant again and roared their side to the equaliser seconds later. Again the move started with Fabregas passing to Costa, but this time the striker returned the favour by playing the one-two back to Fabregas, who fired home via a deflection.

Chelsea were happy again, as was Roman Abramovich, who went from texting away on his phone disgruntled to beamingly high-fiving everyone in sight within those two quick goals.

But it seems Chelsea only know how to play football when they are behind and, having equalised, felt a sense of complacency and could not kick on.

Costa went off injured, as did Oviedo, and it was Oviedo’s replacement, Funes Mori, who looked to have stole the match for the visitors in injury time. A routine corner was not dealt with and it was either Funes Mori or Lukaku who would have tapped in totally unmarked one yard from goal.

The long balls came in but Chelsea were not done. A full 53 seconds after the seven injury time minutes were played, Terry back-heeled in to squeeze in a precious equaliser. He was a yard offside but the assistant was not to see the ball came from a tiny Oscar flick else Terry would have been onside, but in the words of Terry post-match, he, and all the Chelsea fans, “don’t really care”.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

cesc-fabregas.thumbnailCESC FABREGAS: Everyone was poor first half but, once Hiddink moved Fabregas further back, the Spaniard took charge of the match. For all the negatives of Fabregas sitting in a defensive midfield position, it is clear his positives also lie here, which is his ability to read the game and float those perfect long-balls to Costa. Grabbed the equalising goal himself too and had good energy about him after a sub-standard season so far. 7/10

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Manager Reaction

Hiddink was relieved his mid-game tactical switches paid off: “I took some risks [at 2-0 down] and it paid off in a spectacular way. The team is very resilient. I will not deny it: it was offside because Oscar touched the ball, even though John was technically perfect [with his finish]. There was seven minutes extra time [but] they are celebrating at least one minute in the corner.”

Martinez was livid: “It’s a clear-cut offside that should have been spotted. It’s something that’s not good enough. To make it worse, it’s 50 seconds over time. Maybe the referee needs help with a clock where everyone can see it. It’s heartbreaking because I thought it was a terrific game of football.”

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Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had five 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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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2016. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Everton 3-1 Chelsea

Match Summary

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.

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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.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

nemanja-matic.thumbnailNEMANJA MATIC: He scored a goal. And was part of a team that conceded three. For him to be my Chelsea man of the match says it all. 4/10

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Manager Reaction

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.”

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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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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Chelsea 1-0 Everton: Match Reaction

Match Summary

Chelsea produced late drama as Willian’s superb effort with one minute left on the clock preserved the Blues’ seven-point lead at the top of the table.

The hosts, who had been matched by the visitors in every sense, were struggling to find a break-through, despite dominating large parts of the game. Howard and Cech were particularly on top of their game, and it required a belter from Willian in the 89th minute to settle things.

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It was a frentic first half, with Chelsea firmly in the ascendancy. The Blues recorded 11 shots in the first 45 minutes and really ought to have at least put away one, though the level of dominance would have pleased the manager.

Remy came close with a header, drawing out a top save from Howard, before Cuadrado, on his first Chelsea start, unleashed a shot just wide from a tight angle. Willian was equally enjoying his outing as Chelsea’s centre man, with Oscar injured, and fizzed a delicious curling shot just wide.

Hazard too had his sublime moments, drawing fouls, free-kicks and cards out of Everton players, but he also has a tremendous eye for goal and his left-footed shot nearly found a way past Howard. Moments before, he was an inch away from connecting with Azpilicueta’s delightful lofted ball.

It was pretty much all Chelsea but Everton always have strength through Lukaku and pace with Lennon. The former was nearly back to haunt his old club, nearly wrong-footing Cech who made the most unconventional of saves, but a save none-the-less.

The second half would build on the fast-paced intensity of the match. Lukaku has the best chance from two yards but Cech’s pure instinct stopped it being a certain goal. It was a superb stop.

Chelsea flung bodies forward, with Ivanovic readily being a secondary striker. Drogba came on to add a little presence as the flair was not working. Corners were wasted as neither Cuadrado or Fabregas could deliver the correct ball.

A flurry of chances came Chelsea’s way in the last five minutes. Matic thought he had scored but his volley brushed Ivanovic’s ear, who was offside. The Serbian duo were to be left disappointed as the goal was ruled out.

Tensions rose and Barry received his marching orders with a second yellow card, as eight cards were shown in the game.

But then came the 89th minute. Howard did well to punch away a corner, but the ball fell invitingly to Willian from 25 yards. If you want anyone to unleash one from there, it would be Willian. The Brazilian delivered.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

petr-cech.thumbnailPETR CECH: When Big Pete’s happy, we’re happy. Never hidden my love for the giant and tonight proves it. Not rusted one bit sitting on the bench, with his catching, throws and, most importantly tonight, his reflexes still on point. Two huge saves to deny Lukaku, both with his left leg. The first was a good reaction; the second was pure instinct. There was no time to react; he made a calculated guess, and with all his experience, he guessed right. You can understand why Mourinho made special effort to find him at the end. 9/10

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Manager Reaction

Mourinho was happy to see his side cross the line: “We are very very happy and we think we deserve it. We fought so hard to try and win the game. We risked a lot to try to win. Everton defended really well and made lots of intelligent fouls.”

Martinez was left to rue it was Big Pete in goal: “We were in control. We had clear-cut chances, the best ones of the game – they needed world-class saves from Petr Cech. It’s a shame we couldn’t convert the chances.”

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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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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Everton 3-6 Chelsea: Match Reaction

Match Summary

Chelsea and Everton served out a nine-goal thriller as this classic match was ironically helped by some shocking officiating.

The likes of Diego Costa, Ramires, Matic and Ivanovic all were on the score-sheet for the Blues, whilst ex-Blue Samuel Eto’o scored on his debut.

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The Londoners started with immense power: Costa slided the ball home after 35 seconds after great work by Fabregas.

But then the dodgy officiating kicked in. Ivanovic was a leg’s width offside whrn he doubled Chelsea’s lead within minutes. Referee Moss should then have sent off Howard for handling outside the box, and failed to make amends even when he later headbutted Azpilicueta.

Thankfully, the sheer number of goals should take the headlines, for it was that sort of yo-yo game.

Mirallas’ delightful header just before half-time made it game on, but a Coleman own goal early in the second looked to settle things.

Everton had other ideas as Chelsea became complacent. Naismith toe poked home, but Chelsea restored their two goal lead through Matic.

That was halved — again — through a sublime Eto’o header, but no-one could control anything as Ramires slid one home just a minute later.

Ten minutes of protective Chelsea play then allowed for Costa to grab his brace in injury time.

It makes it three wins from three, but it could have been much easier.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

diego-costa.thumbnail DIEGO COSTA: Such a high-scoring game and Matic and Cahill can be proud of their defensive efforts despite the score-line painting a very different picture, but Costa has to be praised for starting and ending the rout. Effortless commitment and tireless approach, but must cut out the petulance because he is waiting for a red card if he keeps falling for opponents’ smart provocation. 8/10

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Manager Reaction

Mourinho was unhappy with aspects his side’s performance: “It was wonderful for everyone at the stadium and watching television around the world — but not for me. We are improving in other areas but not keeping the balance in defence. Wednesday afternoon we spent 90 minutes defending corners and free-kicks but today we conceded from a free-kick so I cannot be happy with the ridiculous goal we conceded.”

Martinez was likewise disappointed: “We started too slow. But even then I felt we showed great character and great belief and I felt we were getting back into it, but every time we did we were dealt a sucker punch. Our defending was not as good as it should be.”

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