Chelsea’s woeful start to the season continued in the lunchtime kick-off at Goodison Park. Everton demonstrated guile and intelligence in the final 3rd and patience in their build-up which was especially evident in their 3rd goal. As for Chelsea their defensive issues continue and far from keeping a clean sheet, they have failed to concede less than twice in their opening five games. Steven Naismith was the star of the show coming off the bench to bag a perfect hat-trick.
Everton 1-0 Chelsea: Naismith 17′
In the first scene Costa is isolated in trying to apply pressure from the front, Everton easily outnumber him and progress the play. Barry then has acres of space to move forwards into although this is not problematic for Chelsea at the moment as the midfield line is quite well positioned. He thus decides to play the ball wide to Galloway in an attempt to weaken Chelsea’s central focus.
Matic and Mikel have to screen the all-important 10 space (white rectangle) to avoid being penetrated centrally. As Everton play the ball wide they will have to move as a pair to prevent the 10 space opening up. However their movements lacked co-ordination as Mikel pushed up ever so slightly to the right, while Matic remained still, this created the slightest space for Naismith to receive the ball between the lines.
Both Matic and Mikel begin to apply backwards pressure but Naismith loses them with a quick step over, fooling them into thinking he was passing backwards. This bought him a crucial second to provoke the situation and commit Ivanovic by holding onto the ball. This in turn gave Galloway time to pick out his cross into the box and Naismith managed to ghost in escaping the attentions of Matic, Terry and Zouma. From a Chelsea point of view this was a shocking goal to concede, Matic and Zouma were drawn towards the ball too easily when it was played to Galloway and failed to track the run of Naismith. From the outside there appears to have been a lack of communication, it is difficult in such a short space of time but one of Matic or Zouma needed to track Naismith with the other moving out wide to reduce the distance to Ivanovic.
Everton 2-0 Chelsea: Naismith 22′
In the first scene Chelsea are trying to press Lukaku and Kone against the touchline but they, particularly Lukaku, demonstrate fantastic pressing resistance to escape with possession. In trying to press out wide Chelsea have, naturally, under loaded the far side of the pitch which makes it vital that the first wave of pressure wins the ball otherwise the far side of the defence will be vulnerable and understaffed.
Lukaku is intelligent here and commits Mikel by not releasing the ball too early, this forces Mikel to leave his central position thus creating the large space for Barkley in front of Chelsea’s defence, who Lukaku slides the ball into beyond the advancing Mikel. As for Chelsea they are still suffering the inevitable effects of a failed press which left 3 players (Hazard, Azpilicueta and Matic) out of the game.
Barkley then quickly pops it off to Naismith who also enjoys a lot of space in front of Chelsea’s defence. With no danger directly behind him, Ivanovic could and should have closed Naismith down quicker to try and prevent the shot. However the real issue here was the failed press from Hazard (who was half-hearted), Matic and Azpilicueta who were beaten too easily on the flank and taken out of the game.
Everton 2-1 Chelsea: Matic 36′
There is not much to say about this wonder goal from Matic. Everton could have made it more difficult for Chelsea to play into the middle from the throw-in, they committed only Galloway and Naismith who only applied moderate pressure to Pedro and Ivanovic.
As the ball reaches Matic, Barkley should have put him under pressure quickly, instead Matic was given time and space to hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Everton 3-1 Chelsea: Naismith 82′
First of all this was a fantastic team goal from Everton consisting of 13 passes. Everton were aware Chelsea’s desperation to regain possession in order to get an equaliser and passed the ball knowing that each pass would be moving players out of position and creating gaps for them to attack.
Once again Chelsea commit 3 players (again Hazard, Matic and Azpilicueta) to press Everton against the touchline however they fail to win possession and Barkley escapes attention via a quick give-and-go with Lennon. This is fatal for the defence as Barkley is granted freedom of the right half-space to move into. Chelsea have now lost all sense of teamwork and compactness which made it easy for Everton to play around and through in the build-up to their goal. The irony is that if Chelsea had remained compact and pressed in this fashion they would have better access and therefore a better chance of winning possession. As it turned out their attempts to press were detrimental as their midfield failed to shuffle across and left the half-space completely un-guarded.
Barkley dribbles infield slowly giving Naismith time to make a fantastic curved run behind Terry whilst also provoking Terry to confront him and leave Naismith unmarked. It was another example of good decision making and composure in the final 3rd (although it was not like this throughout the game).
Written by Judah Davies
- Tactical Analysis: Manchester City 1-2 Tottenham | Poorly organised City dealt body blow - February 17, 2016
- Tactical Analysis: Napoli 5-1 Empoli | Pressing resistance and half space switches - February 4, 2016
- Tactical Analysis: Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City | Man-oriented defences on top - October 28, 2015