Bonfire Night Roasting at the Bridge

By Michael Kenrick 05/11/2016  224 Comments  [Jump to last]

Idrissa Gueye's absence through suspension was keenly felt but it's unlikely he could have saved what was a dreadful display
Chelsea 5 - 0 Everton

Ronald Koeman's side were left badly burnt as Chelsea lit up Stamford Bridge like a bonfire with a scalding display of consummate football that the yellow shirts had no answer to.

Ronald Koeman's side for the evening clash at Stamford Bridge included Tom Cleverley as expected for the suspended Idrissa Gueye.

Koeman started with three centre-backs, Funes Mori retaining his place as skipper Phil Jagielka returns to the side. Kevin Mirallas was dropped to the bench where Tom Davies hasd been elevated from the Under-23s. Stekelenburg returns in goal.

Everton kicked off in their yellow shirts but soon gave the ball away through a bad Barry pass and the pressure was on. But it was inconsistent play from each side until Lukaku tried to wriggle free and run with the ball but David Luiz was across to snuff out the danger.

Williams was clumsy in pulling down Hazard and after the free-kick, Coleman had to lunge in on Costa, catching his ankle right in front of the ref... play on! No yellow card.

Costa lay writhing, needing treatment, and eventually hobbled back on. Chelsea undeterred attacked with some force, yellow shirts chasing shadows in a panic-striken defence. When the visitors did try and break, their passing let them down badly.

Bolasie felled Moses and earned the first yellow card, the kick well overhit by Chelsea as the Everton defenders were keeping the home side at bay. But on their next attack, some Hazard magic saw Williams beaten and then Stekelenburg at the far post, Pedro perhaps unsighting him unfairly (offside). And less than a minute later, Alonso made it 2-0 through Stekelenburg's legs. Shockingly poor defending from Everton.

Everton tried a slow build-up, Coleman's cross coming to Lukaku but his form was all wrong. Bolasie then almost got forward before Oviedo gave the ball away, but Cahill then fouled Bolasie, giving Everton a good set-piece. Barkley curled it in superbly but the entire attacking line was offside.

Twice, Barkley picked the ball up deep but played it backwards. However, they did start to pass the ball better until Lukaku was robbed and it almost let Chelsea break again. Jagielka was then booked apparently for dissent. (Isn't the captain allowed to talk to the referee now?)

Another Chelsea attack, with good ball movement around the Everton area, a deep cross from Alonso saw Moses in like a flash, smacking his shot into the post.

Chelsea continued to look very comfortable, ready to pounce on any mistake, and were getting forward with too much ease. Koeman had seen enough and decided to switch formation to 4-2-3-1, with Mirallas on in place of Oviedo, after 35 mins.

Funes Mori gave away a clumsy foul, and from it Hazard lashed in another cross that somehow evaded Costa and ended in the first corner, flicked on deep to Costa for a fierce volley at the far post: 3-0.

The visitors worked on building another attack, Bolasie doing well to get in a couple of crosses but the ball ended up with Courtois. Costa beat Jagielka with ease and somehow firing into the side netting.

The match restarted but Everton struggling badly, first time Barkley plays a decent forward ball to Lukaku and clips off the back of his heel. Better possession but an overhit cross by Funes Mori won Everton's first corner off a mistake by Alonso but nothing developed from it. At the other end, Matic almost walks it in, Costa called offside.

After a brief lapse, Chelsea were passing it around with aplomb, an exhibition in store with a superb back-heel from Pedro inside to Hazard who danced in and lashed home a fourth. A brilliant goal off 23 passes, probably unstoppable, but all the more painful for being the fourth Everton conceded.

Koeman could do little, but decided to put Lennon on for the completely ineffective Bolasie. More slick Chelsea passing saw Everton's defense in tatters, a difficult volley from Costa well saved by Stekkelenburg. Barry picked his 5th yellow card for a poor block on Pedro.

Number five was a laughable waltz through the nonexistent Everton defence, Costa leaving Jagielka for dead, Stekelenburg saving the first shot but Pedro following up. Koeman hauled Barry off an gave Tom Davies a baptism of fire as the Everton fans left en masse with half-an-hour still to play.

Davies did well to win a corner off Moses, Mirallas heading just over from Barkley's deliver. Everton's first attempt to score. Barkley tackled Alonso. as Chelsea sat back, taunting those yellow shirts to come at them.

Costa looked for the 6th on a simple ball over the top but Williams prevented him from scoring as Hazard was replaced. Off the corner, a brilliant strike by David Luiz brought out a fantastic finger-tip save from Stekelenburg.

Funes Mori did well to keep Moses at bay in the final minutes, but then he did beat thee Everton man and fired in a fierce low shot that Stekelenburg was down sharply to stop.

Sad and sorry stuff from an Everton team completely outplayed in every department and utterly unable to present any kind of meaningful response.

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