Chelsea and Everton played out an incredible match at Goodison Park with the away side winning 6-3 in an absolute thriller. Everton repeatedly tried to pull back into the match but were never able to get an equalizer, and Chelsea eventually got a few late goals that made the score line seem more drastic than it actually felt during the match. Even though it is very early in the Premier League season this will surely be remembered as one of the matches of the season.
Big news for Chelsea came in before the match that new striker Diego Costa would get the start after having an injury scare earlier in the week. Losing him would have been a great loss for the Blues especially with Fernando Torres leaving on loan to AC Milan during the week leading up to this match. Everton came in to this one after a heartbreaking draw with Arsenal the week previous. After two early draws for the Toffees coming in to this match, getting points at home against the Premier League leaders was crucial.
The first half started off with a bang for the away side scoring the opening goal only 34 seconds into the match. Chelsea was able to make the most of their first possession when Fabregas slid a pretty through ball into the path of Diego Costa who finished in between Tim Howard’s legs for his third goal of this early Premier League season. Only a few minutes later the Blues doubled their tally through Branislav Ivanovic. Some very good build up play was started by Costa and the ball eventually got to Ramires and he found the defender in the box who finished it very calmly. Tim Howard was upset about both the early goals not being called offside, and to be fair both calls were incredibly close. Still, in the early going, the Everton keeper was extremely lucky not to give away a hand ball when he gathered a through ball and looked to be just outside the 18-yard box.
After the early Chelsea onslaught Everton was able to settle into the match around the 15th minute. On their first corner, the home side nearly got their first goal as Romelu Lukaku rocketed a header off the crossbar and Sylvain Distin knocked in the rebound but was ruled offside. As both clubs settled into the match, the chances came harder to come by at both ends and each side settled for a few long efforts to no avail. Everton finally got the chance they needed to pull one back and make the score 2-1 at the half. Kevin Mirallas was able to get on the end of a perfectly placed Seamus Coleman cross and finish with a very nice headed effort.
Everton continued their improved play from late in the first half into the early part of the second half. Chelsea spent much more of their time early in the second half defending and not doing much with the little possession they were getting. That is, until Fabregas put Diego Costa through on the left flank and the striker could not finish a wide open chance. Howard made a very skillful kick save but Costa still should have probably done better with that open of a chance.
As the second half wore on, Everton seemed to be dominating more of the possession and looking much more confident on the ball. That was until a fantastic Eden Hazard run along the goal line ended with his cross being deflected in past Tim Howard. After the goal a little scuffle broke out as Costa grabbed the ball and seemingly taunted the Everton defense, which Howard did not appreciate. Howard and Costa had to eventually be broken up by teammates.
Almost immediately after Chelsea’s third, Everton got on the break and pulled one back with a great finish from Steven Naismith. The match was intensifying by the second and both teams looked determined to get the three points. Nemanja Matic brought the Blues lead to 4-2 in the 73rd minute with a great finish just outside the box. It may have taken a slight deflection because Howard stood completely still as he watched it go into the back of the net.
Responding immediately to Chelsea’s score, Everton scored again in the 76th minute to make the match 4-3. Former Chelsea man, Samuel Eto’o, was able to get on the end of a free kick and finish with a gorgeous curling header that barely beat Courtois.
The scoring did not stop there, as Chelsea again extended their lead with a very nice finish from Ramires. The Brazilian played a nice one-two pass with Matic and got open at a very close angle but was able to finish. During only about a 10 minute stretch, there were five goals overall for both teams going back and forth. Everton still had some chances to find more goals, with one very good chance from Mirallas being pushed onto the post by Courtois. The final goal came from Costa after a gorgeous back heel from John Obi Mikel freed up the striker to finish off a brace and cap this nine-goal thriller.
Both goalies had all they could handle in a nine-goal thriller that saw Chelsea beat Everton 6-3. This was one of the most entertaining Premier League matches one could ever watch with two quality sides going all out for three points. Even though Everton lost on home soil, their fans can be happy with the quality they showed against the League Leaders. Chelsea will be thrilled to get an emphatic win, especially on a day that saw title rivals Manchester City lose to Stoke.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius