Chelsea beat Everton 1-0 in their first Premier League match of the 2022-23 season at Goodison Park. Jorginho scored the only goal of the match on a penalty during first half stoppage time.
With the result, Chelsea are in sixth place of the league table while Everton open the season in 16th. On that note, we take a look at three things which stood out in the match:
Chelsea earned a lot of corners, but could not break the Everton defense
Chelsea were the dominant team from the beginning and had the lion’s share of the ball in the first half. However, they were not able to break the Everton defense as the Toffees defended deep throughout the first half.
Everton started the match with a 3-4-3 formation, but evolved into a 5-3-2 as both wing-backs remained deep, not allowing the Chelsea wingers any leeway. Chelsea also started the match with a 3-4-3, but of their front three only Raheem Sterling managed to have a significant impact in the first half.
Both Kai Havertz and Mason Mount struggled to find their rhythm, while Sterling troubled the Everton defense with his slippery runs and deft touches. He was primarily responsible for Chelsea earning seven corners inside the first 25 minutes.
Chelsea finally got goal in dying minutes of first half
Everton kept playing long forward balls towards the Chelsea defense, which troubled the latter to an extent. Anthony Gordon was impressive for Everton with his runs and work-rate, whereas Abdoulaye Doucoure won quite a few balls in the midfield with timely interceptions.
James Tarkowski almost succeeded in putting Everton ahead in the first half, but his header was tipped over the bar by a diving Edouard Mendy. Kalidou Koulibaly, Chelsea’s new signing from Napoli, impressed with his defensive work throughout the first 45 minutes. He exuded confidence while dealing with aerial balls and also made a few vital interventions.
Sterling put the ball into the net from a rebound after N’Golo Kante’s shot was saved by Jordan Pickford, but the 27-year-old English forward was already in an offside position. Chelsea finally got the goal after Ben Chilwell, who had a quiet first half otherwise, was tripped inside the box after receiving a pass from Koulibaly. Jorginho converted from the spot to put the Blues ahead.
Chelsea passed the ball around in second half to keep Everton at bay
Chelsea, who played the majority of the first half with a high defensive line, started defending deep in the second half and passed the ball around to keep the Toffees at bay. As a result, Everton struggled to find space in the opposition half and could hardly test Mendy after the break. Moreover, Thiago Silva ensured stability at the back as well.
Thomas Tuchel introduced Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Marc Cucurella, Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja in the second half and took off Chilwell, Koulibaly, Havertz and Mount. Loftus-Cheek and Cucurella played as the right and left-wing backs, respectively, while Reece James played as the right centre-back. Cucurella impressed with quick and deft passing during his brief stint on the pitch.
Meanwhile, Everton’s substitute Dele Alli had a good chance of scoring the equalizer, but he was prevented from taking a shot at goal from inside the penalty box by Cesar Azpilicueta. In the end, Chelsea had no problem maintaining the lead and securing all 3 points.