I wasn’t looking forward to writing this one…
Everton suffered their first home league defeat of 2017 as Chelsea romped home to get one step closer to the Premier League title. Everton put out an attacking side, a bold move by Ronald Koeman after a poor showing against the league leaders at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.
An eventful first half ensued, as the game started at scintillating pace with a clang off of Thibaut Courtois’ post after a low drive from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Romelu Lukaku’s follow-up was crucially blocked by David Luiz. Chelsea arguably had the better of the chances, however, with Eden Hazard rounding Stekelenburg, but his tight-angled shot only finding the side-netting, and Diego Costa blasted an effort from six-yards into row Z.
Later on, Enner Valencia very nearly pounced on a bizarre throw-in attempt which nearly resulted in the decapitation of Marcos Alonso, but he failed to put his shot on target. Yet the scoreline remained goalless heading into the break.
Alas, it was not to be for the blues in the second half, as Pedro opened the scoring on the 66-minute mark with an absolute screamer hitting the top corner from 25 yards. Gary Cahill doubled the lead on 79 minutes, with his shot ricocheting in off of a hapless Stekelenburg, who had a very poor game. Willian added a third seven minutes later, finishing off a sweeping move from the probable champions.
Everton looked really poor, with the defence seeming to have lost the ability to pass, and despite having three men up top, the majority of attacks were lacklustre. The only saving grace was a decent performance from the midfield trio (in particular Idrissa Gueye, who did a solid job of marking Eden Hazard) and an impressive showing from Calvert-Lewin, who was a lone bright spark amongst a poor front thre.
The result firmly sits Everton in seventh (like I needed to say that) with no chance of finishing lower and very little chance of finishing higher.