?Chelsea’s unbeaten streak continued in lacklustre fashion as they laboured to a 0-0 draw against a resilient ?Everton side.
The first half involved very little action in front of goal, with the talking points instead involving the referee, Kevin Friend. Jorginho was lucky to avoid a red card for a dangerous challenge, whilst both Bernard and ?Antonio Rudiger were cautioned after what appeared to be a headbutt from the Brazilian. However, with very few notable chances, the first half ended goalless.
Within seconds of the restart, ?Jordan Pickford had to be alert to make an instinctive save to deny ?Alvaro Morata, as Chelsea looked to take immediate control of the match. The Blues had great chances through ?Marcos Alonso, ?Willian and ?Eden Hazard, but they could not find a way past Pickford.
Morata did manage to get the ball in the back of the net, but his close-range effort was correctly ruled out for offside. Chelsea continued to press, but failed to break down a stubborn Everton defence, before the referee blew the full-time whistle.
Key Talking Point
If you ignore Maurizio Sarri’s preferred style of play and instead simply looked at his team sheet, you would question why ?N’Golo Kante plays ahead of Jorginho. The latter’s sublime passing abilities are crucial to Sarri’s tactics, but he was certainly exposed as a defensive midfielder against Everton, whilst Kante’s attacking limitations were also on show.
Jorginho is a respectable defender, but was lucky to remain on the pitch after a shocking challenge on Gylfi Sigurdsson during the first half. Going forward, Kante was rarely involved, meaning the two players were both inefficient.
Sarri will never move Jorginho from his position, but maybe he should consider allowing Kante to drop back when Chelsea are defending. The Frenchman is at his best when he is defending and, even if Sarri is insistent on fielding Kante as a box-to-box midfielder, perhaps he should allow the the duo to switch roles in defence.
Starting XI: Kepa (6); Azpilicueta (6), Luiz (5), Rudiger (6), Alonso (7); Kante (6), Jorginho (6), Kovacic (6); Willian (6), Morata (5), Hazard (6).
Substitutes: Fabregas (6), Pedro (6), Barkley (6).
STAR MAN – Marcos Alonso
Even though Chelsea failed to find the back of the net, Marcos Alonso was at his attacking best against Everton. He was a constant menace down the left side of Chelsea’s attack, and most of Chelsea’s best chances came via the Spaniard.
He connected with a fantastic volley which drew an excellent save from Pickford during the first half, whilst he also struck the base of Everton’s post shortly after. He will be frustrated not to have found the back of the net, but he was certainly impressive, and fans took to Twitter to praise Alonso.
Marcos Alonso is our best striker
— (kraf twerk)ton ?? (@mangkbfromearth) November 11, 2018
Marcos Alonso has the left foot of a god though and was unlucky.
— James Pettit (@JamesPettit6) November 11, 2018
Marcos Alonso is such a great player
— odogwu kenneth (@ancientmind) November 11, 2018
WORST PLAYER – David Luiz
?David Luiz is given a lot of responsibility in Sarri’s side, and is tasked with using his passing abilities to keep Chelsea flowing. However, he looked completely incapable of doing so against Everton. Luiz attempted multiple simple passes which ended up at the feet of an Everton midfielder, and he even missed a great chance to open the scoring for his side.
With Andreas Christensen watching from the bench, Luiz cannot afford many more performances like this.
Key Talking Point
During the summer, Everton were part of a hectic transfer deadline day. They brought in the likes of ?Andre Gomes and Bernard, whilst they also parted with £27m to bring in an injured Yerry Mina. The Colombian made his first competitive start for the club against Chelsea, and fans can certainly get excited about his presence.
The towering Mina looked incredibly composed in defence and was happy to play with the ball at his feet. Before the Chelsea match, Everton had kept just two clean sheets, and it is unsurprising that Mina helped guide the Toffees to their third.
He was the recipient of an early yellow card, but Mina did not allow this to govern his performance, as he looked eager to deal with Chelsea’s attack. It looks as though Mina could prove to be a smart bit of business for Marco Silva’s side.
Starting XI: Pickford (8); Coleman (6), Keane (6), Mina (6), Digne (8); Gomes (6), Gueye (6); Walcott (6), Sigurdsson (6), Bernard (5); Richarlison (5).
Substitutes: Lookman, Jagielka, Calvert-Lewin.
STAR MAN – Lucas Digne
What a superb performance it was from Digne. The Frenchman was dominant throughout, looking incredibly composed defensively as he regularly subdued the threats of Willian and Eden Hazard.
In attack, he was a constant threat. He made a number of dangerous runs forward, and his delivery from free kicks and corners was superb. He provided Everton with some of their finest chances during the match, and fans on Twitter were clearly impressed with Digne.
Don’t care what anyone says that’s a great positive point away from home, thought Mina was good but what a player @LucasDigne is motm for me #efc #coyb
— duff (@efcpaul123) November 11, 2018
Lucas Digne at £12m is an absolute steal, the lad is class week in a week out! Perfect for us.
— Harky ?gbeng (@PHarky83) November 11, 2018
WORST PLAYER – Richarlison
Questions have been asked about ?Richarlison’s capabilities as a striker, and critics will certainly use this match as evidence. The Brazilian looked completely ineffectual spearheading his side’s attack, whilst wingers Bernard and Theo Walcott were both presented with good chances to run with the ball. Perhaps Marco Silva should consider moving Richarlison back to the wing.
After the international break, Chelsea will travel to Wembley Stadium to face rivals ?Tottenham Hotspur, in what will likely be a serious threat to their unbeaten record.
As for Everton, they will next welcome ?Cardiff City to Goodison Park, before readying themselves for an exciting Merseyside derby with ?Liverpool in December.