Row Row Row Your Boat….
Chelsea took yet another step in progression as we beat high flying Everton at Stamford Bridge in comfortable fashion. Tuchel made changes for this game with Mendy starting in goal, while Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Zouma made up the back 3. James, and Chilwell started as the wing backs with Jorginho and Kovacic back as the midfield pair. Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, and Werner started up front with Havertz playing as a false 9. Key players rested but also some important players getting a chance to show their quality to Tuchel. It was good to see Havertz start as the false 9.
Chelsea began the game on the front foot and had 81 percent possession in the opening 15 minutes. All the ball but very little in the final 20 metres as Everton sat back and defended. The first goal came in the 31st minute as Hudson-Odoi did well to create space on the left and passed the ball to Alonso who drove down the line and cut back for Havertz who’s shot hit Godfrey and deflected into the net. A 1 goal lead and worth the domination. The rest of the half saw Chelsea get some shots off but Everton stood strong to keep it 1-0.
The 2nd half started with Everton opening up and causing Chelsea some problems in defence. They created a couple of chances but Mendy and co stayed strong and dealt with any issues. Hudson-Odoi did well to get a great cross into the box for Havertz who chested and finished past Pickford but it was deemed a handball by VAR. Kovacic then put Havertz through on goal and the German was brought down by Pickford. Jorginho stepped up and finished to make it 2-0 in the 65th minute. Everton made some attacking changes as they chased the game which created more space for Chelsea to take advantage. Werner had a couple of chances on the counter and on any other day he probably makes better decisions in his choice of finish but Pickford made saves to keep it 2-0. The game ended with Chelsea cruising and it arguably should have been 4 or 5-0.
Chelsea Team Preview
Another clean sheet for Mendy in a game where he was fairly free in the 1st half. Mendy had to do some goalkeeping in the 2nd half but did it well and a clean sheet is all he can ask for. Doing brilliantly at the moment.
The defenders did extremely well in this game. Azpilicueta as usual was solid, while Christensen once again was probably the best of the back 3. Several blocks by the Dane and stopped a Richarlison counter effortlessly. Zouma was solid as well and he handled Calvert-Lewin brilliantly. Reece James was solid on the right providing threat going forward and handling the likes of Digne and Richarlison well. Alonso looked refreshed after having rested during the last few games and he made some great runs going forward. Arguably should have had a goal in the 1st half if there wasn’t a last minute tackle and top save by Pickford.
Jorginho and Kovacic were great with both of them carrying on from their previous games. They conducted the team well and Kovacic played a brilliant pass into Havertz for the 2nd goal. Jorginho set the pace of the game and defended brilliantly at times as well. Kante came on in the 2nd half but played further forward and almost got a goal as one shot was saved by Pickford and a header went wide. Mount also came on the in the 2nd half and provided some much needed energy.
Hudson-Odoi was key during the 60 minutes he was on the pitch. He created the 1st goal and set off some shots from the left hand side that made Pickford make some saves. Werner had a great 2nd half but again his finishing was lacking and he arguably should have had 2 goals. Still he pressed well and got into great positions as he is constant threat for Chelsea. Havertz was key for all the good play that Chelsea had during the game. As a false 9 he connected the ball well and drove in between the lines. Key in both the goals, and probably should have had a another goal if not for VAR. Top performance and hopefully the first of many. Pulisic came on for the final few minutes but didn’t get much game time.
Tuchel makes the changes and Chelsea still play a top class game to get 3 points. Some key rested players for a high intensity game on Saturday. Chelsea beat a rival for the top four position and create a 4 point gap between them and Everton. The decision to bring in Havertz, and Zouma paid off as well. Rotation with purpose.
Chelsea get 3 points and remain 4th in the table 3 points behind Leicester. We sit 2 ahead of West Ham who sit 5th in the table with a game in hand. Next up is Leeds on Saturday which will be our last Premier League game before the international break. COME ON CHELSEA!!!