Mourinho Punished at the School of Science

Steven Naismith's hat-trick capped an excellent home performance against the reigning Premier League Champions

Lyndon Lloyd 12/09/2015 50comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 3 - 1 Chelsea

After their dogged pursuit of John Stones over the last month of the summer transfer window and Everton's steadfast refusal to sell their prodigiously talented defender, it was deliciously fitting that the first visitors to Goodison Park following the deadline would be Chelsea.

That Jose Mourinho's side were struggling in the very areas of the pitch that the Portuguese was trying so hard to address by signing him added another dimension to an occasion that promised and delivered a raucous atmosphere inside Goodison Park and a stirring performance from the home side.

If there were any observers left questioning why Chelsea had ended up lodging four separate bids for a 21-year-old with just a handful of England caps to his name, Stones would have left them in no doubt after today as he rubbed Mourinho's nose in it with a majestic peformance of staggering maturity given the circumstances and the quality of the opposition.

A late booking picked up for impishly kicking the ball away may have been the only betrayal of his comparatively tender years, while a delightfully audacious Cruyff turn past Pedro inside his own area perfectly illustrated why the young lad from Barnsley has become the hottest English property in his position.

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On another day, talk of Stones's performance and the response it represented to the summer's biggest transfer saga might have dominated the aftermath of this tremendous Everton victory. The headlines were deservedly stolen, however, by Steven Naismith who scored his first competitive hat-trick in Everton colours to stun the reigning Champions and deliver a vital victory to Roberto Martinez.

Like Stones, he too might not have been on the team sheet today had the Blues not dug their heels in to keep an important player on the books by rejecting a deadline-day offer from Norwich City. Furthermore, he might not have even been in a position to become the first player in the Premier League to score three times in the same game against a Chelsea team managed by Mourinho were it not for Muhamed Besic's misfortune to be struck down by Goodison's hamstring curse just minutes into the game.

The substitution enforced on Martinez in the ninth minute introduced to the contest a player who relishes the big occasion and Naismith grabbed the opportunity with both hands, scoring twice in five first-half minutes to put Everton 2-0 up and then finished off a fine move to deliver the hammer blow to the Londoners eight minutes from the end after Nemanja Matic's impressive strike had kept Chelsea alive during the second half.

In truth, Naismith and Stones were the headline acts of a quite brilliant Everton display, one under-pinned by excellence all over the park.

Phil Jagielka was an immovable presence alongside his younger protege in central defence, the pair of them keeping Diego Costa in their pocket throughout and largely marshalling Hazard into areas where he couldn't trouble Tim Howard in the Blues' goal. The Spanish striker had run amok in this fixture last season; a year on he was left a scowling picture of frustration with just one shot to his name.

Brendan Galloway, inconceivably still 19 years of age, turned in arguably his most comprehensive performance yet since graduating to the senior side at the end of last season in what is essentially an unfamiliar fullback role, grabbing a superb assist and adding further weight to the belief that he could soon merit comparison with Stones's stratospheric reputation.

Gareth Barry, who has betrayed signs this season that age is catching up with him and that the defensive midfield axis he forms with James McCarthy has become something of a hindrance, was a commanding presence orchestrating proceedings from in front of the back four while his partner chased and harried.

Continuing his impressive start to the new season, Ross Barkley weighed in with another mature showing and a couple of assists of his own while Arouna Kone and Romelu Lukaku, either of whom might have scored on another day, played a vital supporting role up front, acting as the decoys and distractions that allowed Naismith to plunder a memorable treble.

Despite Chelsea's sluggish start to the season and the defensive issues with which Mourinho has been wrestling, few might have predicted the magnitude of the overall performance and victory in the early going. Despite adding Gerard Deulofeu and Aaron Lennon to his squad over the summer and taking his tally of wingers to five, Martinez had strung three defensive midfielders across the centre of the park behind a forward three of Barkley, Lukaku and Kone.

As demonstrated against the so-called bigger teams in the past, the Catalan is not averse to mixing up his formations and while there some disgruntled reactions to another starting XI seemingly devoid of width, Besic's first and, sadly, only burst forward down the left flank suggested that Martinez had more enterprising ambitions than just sitting three defensively-minded players in front of his back four. Given that the Bosnian lasted just nine minutes, the majority of those under a cloud of frustration as he first received treatment and then tried to run the injury off, we'll never know and what followed from his replacement will go down in Goodison folklore.

Certainly, the Blues responded to the atmosphere inside the stadium with a purposeful and composed start to the game as they zipped the ball about confidently and established a rhythm that would result in a fine opening goal after 16 minutes. As the ball was worked neatly through the centre of midfield, Galloway stole down the left flank to collect Naismith's pass and it was his pin-point cross that met the Scot's rapier-like run between two visiting defenders where he steered a deft header into the roof of Asmir Begovic's net.

It was apparent that Everton were in one of those moods last witnessed in these parts when Manchester United were demolished 3-0 at the tail end of last season and were it not for a flying save from Begovic, it might have been 2-0 just minutes later. Kone rose to meet Seamus Coleman's cross from the right but the Bosnian 'keeper managed to paw his header past the far post.

The second goal was not long in coming, though. Great work by Lukaku on the right touchline ended with him passing infield and when Naismith found himself with space to engineer a shot from 25 yeards out he picked his spot beautifully with a crisp left footer that glided into the far corner. If there was one thing that Martinez's Everton of 2013-14 had for the most part it was confidence and the Blues' No.14 exemplified its apparent return.

They're still blighted by a propensity to leave gaps behind the fullbacks and a failure to adequately press the ball at times and while they got away with it when Cezar Azpilicueta popped up in oceans of space in the right back area vacated by Coleman and Stones recovered well to block the ball behind for a corner, they were not so fortunate in the 36th minute. With Barkley a spectator and McCarthy withdrawn to the edge of his own area, Matic had the freedom to line up a shot from 30 yards and proceeded to welly it emphatically past Tim Howard to halve Everton's lead.

A robust response from Chelsea would have been expected and it resulted rather unnervingly in the home side losing all their momentum while the visitors forced a flurry of corners and went close when John Terry headed narrowly over, Branislav Ivanovic almost turned Hazard's low shot in amongst a crowded box, and Jagielka deflected an effort from Costa behind.

Everton's defence held firm going into the break, however, and they emerged from half time in similarly resolute mood. Indeed, they succeeded in largely snuffing Chelsea's much-vaunted attack out and nearly increased their advantage when Lukaku was played in but Begovic blocked his effort from the angle and referee Andre Marriner bottled a hairy decision over what looked to be a backpass by Terry in his own six-yard box.

Desperate to score a point-proving goal against the manager who sold him, Lukaku hammered a shot into the side-netting, Barkley spurned a very promising counter-attack opportunity with a poor final ball to Kone and Lukaku forced another save from Begovic from another tight angle as the Blues remained on the offensive.

One more saving tackle from Jagielka shut down a counter from Chelsea and substitute Radamel Falcao fluffing his lines with a close-range header represented the death throes from Mourinho's men before Naismith put the icing on the cake by finishing off a brilliantly-constructed third goal.

Stones, now operating at right back after Coleman had been withdrawn with an injury of his own, was involved in a quick-fire passing move that went through substitute Aaron Lennon and James McCarthy before Barkley drove towards the box and slipped a pass in for Naismith who took two touches before firing under the goalkeeper's legs from the angle to complete his hat-trick. He was, predictably, mobbed by his teammates including a beaming Stones and Goodison erupted into a repertoire of songs at full volume to see out the last 10 minutes or so of action which featured an encouraging cameo from Ramiro Funes Mori.

As the likes of Arsenal, United, Lille and Wolfsburg have found to their cost over the past couple of seasons, when Martinez's Everton are firing on all cylinders, in the mood and backed by a bouncing Goodison, there's not much to do but get flattened by the juggernaut. Since assuming the role, the manager has overseen some wonderful victories and made Evertonians believe that the School of Science really is on its way back.

Today, the Toffees shrugged off the supporters disappointment with what felt like unfinished summer transfer business with the failure to add that sought-after "No.10" with an irresistable performance; the key now, as before, is to carry this result forward against the kinds of teams who will make things a good deal more difficult in the final third than Chelsea did today.

What this result will breed, however, is confidence that precious commodity that was so instrumental in carrying Everton to a fifth-place finish in Martinez's first season in charge. Retain that, weather the injury storm and the Blues stand a good chance of coming through this difficult run of 10 matches to start the season in very good shape vis-a-vis a challenge for Europe.

Man of the Match: Steven Naismith

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Reader Comments (50)

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James Marshall
1 Posted 13/09/2015 at 06:51:12
With regard to the formation that so many of us slated before the game started - at the start I was moaning about us having no width, especially given how Chelsea set up with Pedro, Hazard, Ivanovic and Azpiluceta all out wide at any given time but as the game wore on it occurred to me that it was a deliberate ploy from Martinez to let them play out wide where they’re less of a threat than they are in front of goal.

Chelsea like to play through teams and we doubled-up on them continuously when they had the ball out wide.

When they had the ball centrally, it was clear that we were keen to push them back with our centre-halves coming out to meet them which in turn meant they had to play wide again, where (as above) we doubled-up leaving them with lots of crossing attempts from way out on the touchline - one reason why they had so many corners.

Chelsea were nullified by this apparent tactic, and they grew more and more frustrated that we were packing the middle of the field and squeezing them out wide all the time. It seemed odd that we were so narrow, but it worked a treat at stopping them getting in front of goal, all bar their one real shot on target that went in.

The only other ’shot on target’ they had was Falcao’s awful header from 3 yards out that dropped harmlessly into Howard's arms. The only ’save’ had made in the entire game.

Tactically spot-on from Martinez, and executed perfectly by the players.

I just hope he can find a way to play against teams who carry less attacking threat, and don’t keep the ball as well as Chelsea.

Dick Fearon
2 Posted 13/09/2015 at 07:39:35
Hey Lyndon, your thoughts on Funes Mori. In his short cameo appearance he seemed OK.

ps: Very good report. I am still wallowing in the glory of it.

Lyndon Lloyd
3 Posted 13/09/2015 at 08:08:54
He did do well, Dick. Didn't seem over-awed by the occasion, hammered it unfussily into row z when needed and then went on that excellent run straight down the pitch before being chopped down by Costa.

Too little to judge him on yet but Galloway (not to mention Stones who almost signed for Wigan) is certainly showing that Bob's top man, Kevin Reeves, has an eye for a defender so let's wait and see.

Kevin Tully
4 Posted 13/09/2015 at 08:20:34
it was great to see us go for jugular yesterday! Too many times we have taken a lead and tried to defend it against these 'big' clubs. It's always a recipe for disaster. I think yesterday's performance was up there with the Arsenal game of two seasons ago. A memorable day, with a memorable headache this morning!
Tony Cheek
5 Posted 13/09/2015 at 09:38:49
Great report Lyndon. Spot on. I would also laud the much improved Kone who looked real class yesterday. Still picks

The wrong pass but his skill and technique cant be faulted. Brought the ball out of tight situations and is definitely growing in confidence. Onwards and upwards!

Trevor Peers
6 Posted 13/09/2015 at 09:53:51
Kone is the surprise player so far this season, dropping him into that midfield role is fast becoming a masterstroke by Roberto. He now looks composed and comfortable on the ball and is giving the midfield some shape and cohesion.

And when he runs out of gas we have Lennon and Deulofeu to provide interesting changes in tactics when required. All-in-all, it’s looking like a promising season in store.

Martin Mason
7 Posted 13/09/2015 at 10:13:31
I'm very unhappy to see two good players lost to these scissor tackles from behind/side. They seem to inevitably lead to very serious ligament damage caused by player momentum coupled with trapping the ankles causing major twisting around the knees and ankles.

There may be a case to be made though that we may only find our best side due to loss of players. Galloway is 3rd or 4th choice LB but he could be the best and a catalyst for the performance of the rest of the team. Kone would never have got another game for Everton if most fans had their wishes granted and yet he is a key player now.

The number 10 position? It's filled, getting Ross Barkley back is like having spent £30 MM on a new marquee signing. He has a way to go yet but his game has taken a massive step change up, his link up play for the third goal was as good as anything I've seen in many years and he had another assist to boot. If he really get's his act together he may be that elusive 15 goals a season midfielder who moves us on to better things. Our best or probably only route to increased club performance will be the miracle of producing a team that can compete at the highest level without the obscene spending of the franchise clubs. We are tantalisingly close.

Very good things may be happening at the club and yet the new Everton tragedy is that it is us that can't see what the rest of the football world can see clearly.

Laurie Hartley
8 Posted 13/09/2015 at 10:15:52
I really enjoyed your report Lyndon especially the title.

What a fantastic performance from every Everton player and the manager.

We would have rolled over last season after Matic scored but it appears we have found our fighting spirit again - of which Steven Naismith has in abundance.

I have a tremendous feeling that justice was seen to be been done on our famous ground yesterday - for everyone in football to see.

There is something wonderfully satisfying when right beats might.

Adam Luszniak
9 Posted 13/09/2015 at 10:18:25
What I like most about this win is that on paper it was not a strong team selection. I myself was harping on about having Barkley, Mirallas, Deulofeu and Lukaku all on the pitch at the same time.

In the end, Martinez proved he has depth in the squad and that he knows how to use it. They tore us apart last year because we were so terrible in defence, yet this year it was us exposing their frailties at the back.

James Marshall
10 Posted 13/09/2015 at 10:21:45
A team with Barkley, Mirallas, Deulofeu and Lukaku in it would have been murdered by Chelsea yesterday!
Richard Lyons
11 Posted 13/09/2015 at 10:45:34
Really good report, which perfectly captures the team performance, atmosphere and its effect on everyone. We were definitely "firing on all cylinders", and the confidence shows that the sin miedo of Bobby's first season is returning. Key away games against Swansea and Reading, then the next home game is the RS... bring it on!!
Paul Thompson
12 Posted 13/09/2015 at 11:07:43
James (#1) makes an astute point about the ’playing narrow’ tactic suiting the game. This was also another example of playing better against a good side willing to attack us that we could hit on the break. All 3 excellent goals were a result of moving the ball quickly, which you can do when playing a counter-attacking game. We may need more width and a different set-up against park the bus. lesser sides.

None of this is to take anything away from a great performance, with barely a weak contribution from anyone.

Peter Mills
13 Posted 13/09/2015 at 11:51:57
Lyndon, it was actually Naismith's 2nd hat trick in Everton colours, he also scored one on his pre-season debut at Goodison. This was when he first showed his knack for finding space, and excellent finishing.

Some people have criticised Lukaku's performance. He was not at his rampaging best, but he put a shift in and was instrumental in creating the space exploited by Naismith.

Mike Allison
14 Posted 13/09/2015 at 12:18:48
Okay I've read the OP from Lyndon but no comments yet, but here's my initial thoughts.

1. Diego Costa should have been sent off for a forearm smash into Coleman's face, but neither MotD or Lyndon's report mention this. Am I alone?

2. It was only about 10 minutes, but the initial impression of Funes Mori is that Phil Vickery has his head up his arse, let's hope it stays that way. He is certainly physical enough, and he looks to have the technique and character to match.

3. Ross Barkley is as good as we've all hoped, and can still get better. He occasionally still makes the wrong decision and turns down an easy pass, but he has the skill and strength to get away with it. I hope someone is helping him analyse these moments and work on his decision making. I disagree with Lyndon's description of a 'poor final ball' to Kone. Although he should have played it sooner, in the end that ball was perfect, but Kone had stopped running and misjudged the situation.

4. This is the most important point, we have shown we can match anyone (except Man City in form!), but our issue is that we seem to be a big game team, and we really need to work on picking up points relentlessly against 'smaller' teams. The other teams in the Premier League around our level are all faltering. We do not need to fear Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham or anyone else who finished above us last year. We can realistically aim to finish above all these teams if we get the consistency. All the things that looked great yesterday, and the McCarthy/Barry axis was one of them, don't look so great when we are the 'bigger' team and have to break someone down. This is the key to our league season now, meaning when our 'horrendous' opening ten games is up, we will have just as big a challenge to be relentless against those other clubs who mostly finished bottom half last year, or are newly promoted. Mirallas and Deulofeu, two of our most talented players, will surely start games and play a big role when it comes to these different type of fixtures.

5. Finally, I wonder if Yarmolenko watched the game. January is generally a bad time to sign players, but with the Ukrainian league finishing, and the possibility that they're out of the Champions League, it could actually work out perfectly, he could be that mid-season boost we seem to want and need every year. We'll just have to hope that by then bigger fish aren't sniffing around him.

James Marshall
16 Posted 13/09/2015 at 12:58:22
Mike - you could also argue Naismith should have been sent off for kicking Ivanovic on the floor when it was 0-0.

Swings & roundabouts.

Tony Hill
17 Posted 13/09/2015 at 13:11:45
Yes, watching the game back you realise how good Barkley was yesterday. All right, he still frustrates but he was quick and incisive when it mattered. Interesting to hear the otherwise intolerable Kevin Nolan single Ross out on Goals on Sunday.
Colin Glassar
18 Posted 13/09/2015 at 13:20:25
Great points Mike. All the players were great yesterday. They had a plan to nullify Chelsea (no wingers) and they stuck to it magnificently.

Regarding your point 5 (Yarmolenko) I wonder if Shaquiri is now regretting rejecting our season long loan offer? I know he (and his club) wanted a long term deal but I wonder if he is looking at the table with a tinge of regret.

Duncan McDine
19 Posted 13/09/2015 at 13:22:32
I'm glad you said that Tony... I didn't think Barkley played that well until I watched it back.
Tony Marsh
20 Posted 13/09/2015 at 13:23:26
It appears that, without the dreaded Europa League dragging us down, we are back to where we were in Roberto's first season. Martinez has put together a fantastic squad and it’s now paying off. We hammered last season’s Champions yesterday and all the media want to do is show how poor Chelsea were??

Brilliant performance from the lads and the manager yesterday. I only wish the derby was this week before the RedShite get a chance to sack Brenda. Fantastic weekend for us Blues.

Sean Patton
21 Posted 13/09/2015 at 13:30:43
I've not wanted Everton to win a match so much for a long time and to do it in such style in front of the watching tv millions was extra satisfying, maybe going through all that nonsense in the summer was worth it seeing as we kept Stones and then gave them a bit of a hiding.
David Ellis
22 Posted 13/09/2015 at 13:52:23
Mike Allison #14- yes very good post. That is indeed our challenge in a very open league (apart from 1st place) - at least at this stage
Trevor Lynes
23 Posted 13/09/2015 at 13:54:54
Fine report of a brilliant victory against the odds. I was really dreading the game when I saw our line up as I could see us being murdered down the vacant flanks. However, I was really pleased to be totally wrong and Martinez tactics worked perfectly by the team playing for each other without weak links.

Lukaku is much happier playing with Kone (who has been a revelation) all that Arouna needs is a goal and then we will see the best of him. Between those two and Barkley they created so much space for Naismith (the ruthless) to score his hat trick. Jags and Stones were equally immense in my view and Stones owes so much to Jags and the departed Distin for the experience that is rubbing off on the lad. His positional sense is improving almost week by week.

My only negative is still the size of the squad and the lack of cover in key positions. Tactics will need to change according to the opposition as the tactic used yesterday will not work against every team. Galloway will make the grade as I have always said but it is a shame that we only seem to be bringing through defenders.

If we continue to play in the same manner we will be difficult to beat as our defence is very solid. Great to see every player doing so well and I hope that Coleman’s injury is not bad as full back cover for him is not good. I do not like to see players playing out of position.

Great to see a top result and this should give us bags of confidence.

Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:18:16
The most pleasing thing about Barkley, yesterday was he kept playing, even when he made mistakes. It's the only way he's going to reach the very top, it's all about belief with young Ross.

Mike, I also thought it was a poor ball to Kone, and felt Ross, should have played in Lukaku, down the side, when he first turned.

You forget how old some of our better players really are sometimes, I even seen them having a few disputes with each other at times which showed me how much they wanted it yesterday. Very good report Lyndon, I enjoyed reading it mate.

Mike Allison
25 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:38:16
You could argue that James, but it's far less clear cut, especially as Naismith actually kicks the ball.

Costa simply got pissed off with the defender and lashed out an arm in his face, no? I don't see any mitigation in that instance.

Bill Gall
26 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:44:23
The only sour note from yesterdays excellent performance was listening to these so-called pundits analyzing the game.

Instead of looking at the performance of Everton, both tactically and in effort, they tried to put a spin on it by just talking and showing the poor Chelsea performance as an excuse for Everton winning ,and not being out-thought and outplayed by Everton.

Well played, Everton; keep this performance and attitude going for the rest of the season.

Aidy Dews
27 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:44:26
Great result and some good performances. Naismith obviously gets the plaudits for his perfect hat trick but Stones was immense, Jags brilliant along side, Barry even had a good game, McCarthy put himself about, Kone did well, Galloway is getting better with every game and although Barkley did well all in all, he still frustrates the life out of me at times.

Like someone said previously, he avoids the easy pass too much sometimes when it’s the better option. Unnecessarily over complicates his game by not playing a simple pass or give and go and instead, turning back on the ball and running into trouble when there really is no need and he really does need to start ironing that kind of stuff out of his game and fine tuning it!

I don’t want him to stop getting on the ball and bursting through, taking men on, but he can’t do it every time and in certain circumstances and he needs to learn that. Also he needs to work harder, track back and close men down, maybe if he did that with Matic he wouldn’t of took the shot on and scored that worldy?!

And Lukaku for me was poor and as been since the Southampton game. Gives a great performance in that game, talks himself up and says there is no reason for him not to play like that more often than not, then he hasn’t backed it up and played like that! We all know his touch isn’t great and he can be lazy but his movement throughout the whole game isn’t great. He rarely spins the CB and makes that run between FB & CB and gives the likes of Barkley, when he bursts through, a through ball to make. Naismith twice yesterday made 2 great runs in behind and got 2 goals. Even Kone after dropping in deep to get involved with the play first half, nearly broke his neck to get in the box and on the end of Coleman's cross and nearly scored as well with the header and Lukaku just doesn’t do it enough.

If he did we’d create an hell of a lot more chances and possibly score a lot more goals than we do.

We did play well, we played the game perfectly and credit to Martinez for getting his tactics spot on and the whole team in general played well but for me Lukaku more than most needs to up his game again.

Mike Allison
28 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:55:53
Completely disagree about Lukaku, Aidy; he occupies both centre backs, meaning people like Naismith and Kone are able to find space. His link-up play was excellent, and he made the run you mention on at least three occasions yesterday, leading to shots on goal.

No player could be faulted yesterday; if it weren’t for Begovic and a stunner from Matic, the score would’ve been bigger.

Tony Hill
29 Posted 13/09/2015 at 15:02:43
I agree, Aidy, that Lukaku wasn’t one of our better players yesterday but I do think that his role in our second goal may have been overlooked. His close control on the touchline and flick inside to Kone ignited the move.

He also showed some pace and strength to make the opportunities later on which, admittedly, he wasted. I think he’ll be important for us this season. Entirely accept though that there is much room for improvement.

Tony Hill
30 Posted 13/09/2015 at 15:07:53
Sorry I got the contributions of Lukaku and Kone a but confused there but the point holds that Rom was important in that goal.
Ajay Gopal
31 Posted 13/09/2015 at 15:17:12
Aidy, I agree with Mike about Lukaku; Rom never stopped running the whole game and was always on the mind of the CBs. His effort in winning the ball led to the 2nd goal.

Also, I would like to take you on about Barkley, I saw a huge improvement in his game yesterday. Yes, he gave away the ball a few times - but was always looking for the ball and protected the ball well. He had 2 assists, for Gods sake!

The only complaint I have about him is that he still tends to go to ground far too easily -- he should realise that he could be building up a reputation and it just needs a comment by a ’Top 4’ manager (a la Wenger -- Andy Johnson) and he could be targeted by the refs.

Dave Pritchard
32 Posted 13/09/2015 at 15:53:54
I thought Lukaku was generally good yesterday and was only missing a goal. Barkley did have 2 assists but these two were very different. 2nd one was a great killer pass which is what we need to see from him more often but the first was really just a basic pass. He does frustrate at times and agree with an earlier comment about him not making the obvious pass at times. Still want him in the team every week though as he is prepared to try things.
Raymond Fox
33 Posted 13/09/2015 at 16:15:09
I’ll eat my hat if Galloway doesn’t make another £30M+ player, but it will be as a central defender – Jags replacement.

Lets keep an even keel though when we lose to a ’lesser team/s’ as we are almost certain to do sometimes this season. Were looking pretty strong though, so we’ve every right to be optimistic I’d say.

Were still 7th in the betting for the league, a top 6 bet looks a good idea.

Jay Harris
34 Posted 13/09/2015 at 18:27:44
Great report as always Lyndon.

A happy weekend for all Blues.

When the manager, players and the crowd are up for a game I think the tactics and team selection are secondary.

We were going to win that game yesterday no matter what.

The next 2 games may define our season.


David Israel
35 Posted 13/09/2015 at 18:43:05
Mike Allison, # 14, with a surname like that, it is no surprise you obviously know your football!


Scott Bosworth
36 Posted 13/09/2015 at 19:54:03
Anyone (I’ve only seen a few) not impressed with Lukaku’s performance yesterday needs to rewatch the buildup for one of Naismith’s goals (can’t remember which) yesterday.

That run started with Lukaku deftly snatching, controlling, dribbling, and generally out-hustling multiple Chelsea players until he found the outlet pass on the counter that led to the goal. He did the same thing leading to one of his own goals in Southampton.

Now, much of that activity is not what we necessarily want a big striker to do all of the time--get in front of the net, big fella!--but it’s a level of play and skill and ENERGY that Rom simply didn’t have in him last year. Goal tally is great, but it ain’t everything.
Duncan McDine
37 Posted 13/09/2015 at 20:02:31
You're right to point that out Scott... I actually overlooked just how good Barkley and Lukaku played until I watched the game back (extended highlights anyway). Not one weak performance in the team yesterday.
Ian Jones
38 Posted 13/09/2015 at 21:42:32
It's a shame that Naismith hasn't received the plaudits in the media. An example of this is the Daily Mail which published a story about Man Ure's 'new Henry' going shopping at Boots.
Barry Lambert
40 Posted 13/09/2015 at 23:30:16
Did anyone notice the face on Mirallas after the second goal? The rest of the dug-out were jumping up and down, he looked like he'd just had his favourite toy nicked.He is clearly not a team player.I'm sure he was pissed off when Naisy got the call ahead of him. I can understand that but you don't see the rest of the subs sulking.

He needs to remind himself that we are a squad.His attitude worries me.Perhaps I'm wrong.

Thoughts anybody?
Michael Penley
41 Posted 13/09/2015 at 23:47:21
I noticed that too Barry. And it doesn’t worry me as much as it should, because Martinez rewarded Naismith for his enthusiasm. If we’d thrown Mirallas on, we’d likely have lost 0-1.

I’m aware of Roberto’s shortcomings but one of his best traits is acknowledging passion as integral to team performance. Hopefully Mirallas learns this too but at the moment he looks like he belongs at Chelsea - apathetic, thinking he deserves everything.
Gerry Quinn
42 Posted 14/09/2015 at 00:11:07
While Mourinho refused to give his players a public dressing-down following their third defeat of the campaign, he was furious with counterpart Martinez after the Everton manager conducted his post-match press conference first.

As Martinez held a customary separate briefing with some newspaper journalists, Mourinho interrupted, saying: "Roberto, next time tell me to go before you because we have to travel."

Martinez responded by telling his opposite number "I don’t control that" before Mourinho shouted "Fucking hell" as he marched away.

The former Wigan boss then added: "When he beat us 6-3 last season he was such a nice man. I prefer him like that."

Speaking before the game, Martinez had denied any issue between himself and Mourinho over Chelsea’s failed pursuit of defender John Stones during the transfer window."
Andy Crooks
43 Posted 14/09/2015 at 00:12:06
I thought Lukaku had a good game and is a total handful for defenders. Ross is a confidence player and he is getting it back.

We have some really top players and it will get better and better.
Si Cooper
44 Posted 14/09/2015 at 01:10:19
Just like the Southampton game, I loved watching that match. Thought the effort and contribution from all of our players was excellent.

On TV coverage you could hear some fella screaming at Ross at an early stage because he was being a bit more mazy than this aficionado wanted him to be. For me the lad was the best player of his type on the field by a mile from start to finish.
Funes Mori gave a a very promising little cameo, displaying good heading ability along with the composure to carry the ball out of defence.
Jakob Herd
45 Posted 14/09/2015 at 01:29:26
I agree with Raymond Fox (#33)

Brendan Galloway... this 19-year-old is another outstanding acquisition from the lower leagues. Two more years (if we keep Stones) and we will have two classy ball-playing centre-halves.

Exciting times with young players who are just developing:


I hope my pessimism after last season was totally unfounded.

Jim Knightley
46 Posted 14/09/2015 at 01:38:56
It was a fantastic win for many reasons. It underlined our potential, with some super players left on the bench. It was a great response to last season's drubbing, both in attack and in defence. It justified Martinez's decision to keep Naismith. And there was Stones. He was brilliant. Possibly the best player on the pitch bar Naismith. And we rubbed Mourinho's face in it.

I'm particularly glad for the last part. Some on here kiss Mourinho's arse. The amount of idiotic posts I've read which state that Lukaku is crap because Mourinho let him go. The same Lukaku with more goals than Costa this season. The same Lukaku who looks better than Costa this season. The same ruffled Mourinho looking for one excuse after another. The same Mourinho who let De Bruyne go, and Robben. The same Mourinho's whose Chelski side will out of the title race by October at this rate.

We were better than them and deserved too win. Martinez's is doing what I didn't expect him to do. He is being tactically fluid, and we look solid again. We are sixth in the league, after the hardest start in the league.

As I pointed out over the summer, and as many of the sensible Evertonians understand, we have some superb quality in this squad. If we get that quality to gel, then we can beat anyone. We have plenty of young players capable of achieving brilliant things in football. Fingers crossed that they start achieving them this season.

Michael Polley
47 Posted 14/09/2015 at 03:26:38
Great report. It was one of those games that will be remembered in Everton folklore. Sheer brillance.

Now let’s build on it and maintain some consistency

Paul Kelly
48 Posted 14/09/2015 at 04:00:04
Quality game. Nuff said.
Jim Lloyd
49 Posted 14/09/2015 at 09:55:04
Well said Jim.

I agree with you regarding all your points. I think last year, Martinez had to make do with the players available after so many injuries in such a small squad. I think we also saw how difficult it was for some of the players last season, especially young Ross, who was hit by ever closer making and this deeply affected his confidence.

He’s coming on a bundle. Though he still likes to beat every player in front of him, when he could be more effective releasing the ball earlier, he’ll become the fantastic player with the talent he has.

Now were beginning to see the results of his determination to get some good young players in while trying to get the best out of some players who are into the "veteran" stage and some who are good experienced players with years left.

To have players like Deulofeu and Mirallas on the bench with Pienaar and Gibson near full fitness is great and I really liked the cameo from the young Argentinian, he looks classy indeed. He took to the game which was 100 mile an hour, as though he was a regular performer in the team.

Brendan Galloway isn’t only a top class talent, he lets no one intimidate him, so wins those personal battles that go on. I think Bainsey’s going to have some challenge there.

I think Gareth Barry was superb, Stonesy came through what he,perhaps, felt would be a torrid afternoon, as a totally class player and cool as ice. Well done lad. I’m chuffed for Arouna Kone, he’s taken some crap while coming back from injury and he’s made such a difference taking some of the weight off Rom.

And Naisey! Well, what a great bloke he is and he totally deserved that hat trick.

And the manager. Well, I think he’s top class and have always thought so. I think this next twelve months we’ll see him use more tactics because he has the players to slot in now. I think he’s made mistakes but I think it will be a fairer assessment of him this year.

Brian Baker
50 Posted 14/09/2015 at 10:49:25
Unfortunately, with the all our back slapping and going on, wearing our blue tinted specs, the media, including the BBC insisted on focusing on how bad Chelsea were, which took some shine off an almost perfect Everton performance.

Southern biased media!!

Doug Harris
52 Posted 14/09/2015 at 23:02:01
Chelsea have been what they are from the start of the season...classless

Everton just emphasised how a team that gets their act together can match and even better these mega buck no marks.

Early days yet but looking quite promising. I was looking at 9 points from our first 6 games from the 10 thrown at us.
We're on the march with...
Tony Waring
53 Posted 16/09/2015 at 17:24:32
I was especially pleased for young Galloway. He looked lost against Man City and picked up an injury and his confidence could have been dented. Full marks to him for making his mark against Chelsea. Nothing seems to phase him and as for that cross for the first goal... sheer perfection.

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