Everton picked up their first win in almost a month thanks to goals from Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in Duncan Ferguson’s first game in charge of the club, with Chelsea losing the third of their last four games in the Premier League.
The hosts needed just five minutes to score the opening goal in their post-Marco Silva era, with Richarlison rounding off a brilliant team move by climbing the highest from Djibril Sidibé’s cross to put Everton into an early lead.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin came close to doubling their lead, while at the other end of the pitch a mistake from Michael Keane almost gifted Chelsea a route back into the match and Tammy Abraham only just missed two dangerous crosses.
While Richarlison needed less than five first-half minutes to open the scoring, Calvert-Lewin doubled Everton’s lead within four minutes after the break when he wrestled pass Kurt Zouma to fire the ball underneath Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Chelsea hit back instantly through Mateo Kovačić, who squeezed a volley past an unsighted Jordan Pickford to half the deficit at Goodison Park.
Rather than getting an equaliser, Chelsea shot themselves in the foot when Kepa’s pass turned possession over and after a scramble inside of the penalty area to keep Tom Davies’ shot out, Calvert-Lewin grabbed his second of the game to secure the win for Everton.
Key Talking Point
The players haven’t changed, but Duncan Ferguson footprint could clearly be seen on Everton’s first team this weekend as they hustled, harried and forced Chelsea into mistakes throughout the first half specifically.
The visitors were clearly caught off guard and needed some time to grow into the game, but Everton had a bee in their bonnet, always appearing to be first to the ball both in attack and defence.
It wasn’t a result that was ever going to leave Ferguson with a full-time contract waiting for him after the match, but Everton’s performance proved exactly what having someone who lives and breathes for the club around the dressing room can do.
Starting XI: Pickford (7); Sidibe (8), Holgate (7), Keane (6), Digne (8); Walcott (8), Schneiderlin (6), Sigurdsson (7), Iwobi (6); Richarlison (8), Calvert-Lewin (9*).
Substitutes: Davies (6), Baines (6), Bernard (N/A).
Richarlison might be the star player in Everton’s squad, but it was Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s combination of the beautiful and ugly sides of being a centre-forward in the Premier League that really changed the game for The Toffees.
The 22-year-old was a handful for Chelsea’s centre-backs throughout the match and did brilliantly to free up space for the likes of Richarlison, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott to cause problems in the final third.
Calvert-Lewin showed more desire and heart to win that, composed finish, 2-0 Everton getting tough tight to the Chelsea players not giving them a minute of peace this afternoon #EVECHE— Josh Bunting (@Buntingfootball) December 7, 2019
To be fair to Calvert Lewin he’s been affective today, looks decent with a strike partner— Danny #EFC 1878 (@DAndersson9) December 7, 2019
Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin could be a good partnership— Oliver (@Oliver_AM9) December 7, 2019
His goal at the start of the second half ultimately proved to be the winner for Everton as they returned to winning ways in the Premier League, moving clear of the relegation zone.
Key Talking Point
There’s always a risk when a team’s opposition have just appointed a new manager, and throughout the opening 25 minutes, it looked for all the world that Frank Lampard’s Chelsea would be the latest side to be on the wrong end of a new manager bounce.
They needed some time to grow into the match and gradually started to look more dangerous on the counter-attack as the clock ticked on, but it was still Everton who were dominating the pace of the match – even when they were out of possession thanks to their pressing.
Individual mistakes from Chelsea’s attacking players ruined some chances in the final third, but for the most part, it was Everton’s desire in defence which limited their chances and ultimately was crucial in keeping all three points on Merseyside.
Starting XI: Kepa (6); James (6), Christensen (6), Zouma (5), Azpilicueta (5); Kante (6), Kovacic (9*), Willian (5), Mount (7), Pulisic (7); Abraham (6).
Substitutes: Hudson-Odoi (6), Batshuayi (6).
Chelsea were always going to have an uphill battle in midfield without Jorginho, but Mateo Kovačić proved exactly why he was brought back to west London on a permanent basis during the summer transfer window.
The Croatia international was allowed to play slightly further forward alongside N’Golo Kanté and Kovačić was vital in turning defence into attack for Chelsea, as well as retaining possession when Lampard’s side were under pressure.
Kovacic is Chelsea player of the season at the moment.— General Batet (@6atet) December 7, 2019
Kovacic is — KINGEDI (@Phranklien20) December 7, 2019
Kovacic is unreal tho ain’t he— Troy Slater (@troyslaterr) December 7, 2019
Kovacic running the show yet again. When’s it acceptable to say he’s world class— Noah (@noahmolloy14) December 7, 2019
Kovačić’s standout performance in midfield wasn’t quite enough to help Chelsea pick up a point against a revitalised Everton side, but the Blues will still end the weekend at least three points clear inside the top four.
Things don’t get much easier for Ferguson at Everton, with a trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford next on the cards.
For Chelsea, French side Lille OSC stand in their way of qualification for the Champions League knockout stages, before Frank Lampard’s side return to league football at home to Bournemouth.