Everton ripped to shreds by rampant Chelsea

Saturday 5 November 2016  0 Comments  [Jump to last]
Chelsea 5 - 0 Everton
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Everton suffered their worst defeat in seven years as they were ripped apart by a rampant Chelsea team at Stamford Bridge.

Eden Hazard underscored his transformation from the shadow of a player he was this time last year during the meltdown of Jose Mourinho's second tenure in West London by helping himself to two goals, the latter of which was perhaps the starkest illustration of the gulf in quality between the two sides on the day.

With the score at 3-0 and already well beyond the reach of a shockingly poor Everton, the Belgian collected a brilliant back-heel from near the touchline and raced towards the area where he drilled a low shot inside the near post with Ashley Williams back-pedalling in vain.

Hazard had begun the rout of Ronald Koeman's Toffees in the 19th minute when he picked up Diego Costa's pass on the left, found Williams and Seamus Coleman at cross purposes as he cut inside and fired a shot towards the far corner that crept past the slow reactions of Maarten Stekelenburg.

1-0 became 2-0 less than a minute later with Hazard involved again as he drove through the centre of midfield and picked out Costa in the opposition area who centred to where Marcos Alonso was arriving to fire through Stekelenburg's legs.

Everton simply had no answer to Chelsea's power and movement and they almost fell three behind when Victor Moses popped up at the back post to collect Alonso's flighted ball but his shot cannoned off the woodwork.

The inevitable third goal did arrive in spite of Koeman abandoning the three-man defence he had employed to try and counter Chelsea's dynamic 3-4-3 system after just 36 minutes, hooking Bryan Oviedo and throwing on Kevin Mirallas. A 42nd-minute corner from the right was glanced on by Nemanja Matic and Costa smacked the ball home with a first-time finish, although David Luiz's positioning in front of Stekelenburg aroused more than a suspicion of offside.

What might have been a controversy on any other day was rendered moot by Chelsea's sheer dominance of the contest that restricted Everton to a solitary, off-target shot on goal in the entire 90 minutes. And it took the home side 11 minutes to score the fourth with that combination of Pedro and Hazard before Costa forced a save from Stekelenburg when he volleyed Hazard's chipped cross goal-wards and the Dutchman parried it over the crossbar.

That merely delayed the fifth which came two minutes later in the 65th minute as Costa picked up the ball after Romelu Lukaku had lost the ball up front for the visitors and made a beeline for goal before laying it off to Hazard to his left. The Belgian's shot from the angle was saved by Stekelenburg but the ball feel straight to Pedro who tapped into the empty net.

Chelsea were denied a sixth later on when Williams made a last-ditch tackle on Costa as he bore down on goal but it was an afternoon of almost no positives for Everton who were soundly thrashed on the day by Antonio Conte's impressive-looking outfit.

Full details: ToffeeWeb match page