Chelsea made it two wins from three with a 2-0 defeat of Everton at Stamford Bridge. Goals from Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata made the difference for the champions, who move up to fifth place in the early-season standings. This was a first loss of the campaign for Everton, who were second best throughout Sunday’s encounter.
Here are a few talking points from the game:
1) So far so good for Morata
Alvaro Morata is by no means the same physical presence that Diego Costa was up front. But he showed on Sunday that he can lead the line just as effectively. His intelligent runs, excellent link-up play, and selflessness offers Chelsea a different dynamic up front. He impressed against Burnley in the 31 mins cameo and backed it up with a goal and an assist in his first home start and surely made up for the glaring miss against Tottenham. With Hazard’s return imminent, Chelsea fans will be relishing the prospect of an exciting partnership.
2) Everton have a long way to go
Everton have spent close to £150 million most of which was funded by the sale of Lukaku in an attempt to close the gap between them and the top 6 but Sunday’s performance shows they are still quite far from doing so. They did miss few big names but breaking into the top 6 will be a tough task for Koeman just yet.
Cesc Fabregas gave a timely reminder of his class with the performance against Everton. He absolutely controlled the midfield, created chances for his team mates, and distributed the ball extremely well. He scored with a beautiful shot from the outside of his right boot and made it look effortless. Conte’s decision to play him over the new signing Bakayoko was vindicated by the Spaniard’s display.
4) Rooney looked more like his late United self
Wayne Rooney started off his second stint with Everton well with 2 goals in 2 games but he looked like a shadow of himself against Chelsea. He looked too slow and struggled to make an impact against a quick and resurgent Chelsea side. He spent most of the game arguing with referee Jon Moss and eventually talked himself into trouble when he was booked for dissent. Meanwhile, a scuffed attempted volley that drifted apologetically wide summed up his afternoon going forward.
5) Chelsea still need reinforcements
Chelsea fans have forgotten about their bleak transfer market activity with two emphatic performances but the reality remains that they need to strengthen their squad if they want to compete with full strength in all 4 competitions. Even by Chelsea’s standards, they have let an inexplicably high number of players to leave the side on loan this season and having sold certain players, the squad lacks depth. Wingbacks and attacking midfield are key positions that require reinforcements and with just 3 days to go, Chelsea have their work cut out.