Blue on Blue

A History of Chelsea vs Everton at Goodison Park By Chelsea Fan Ashley Khossousi.

Jose Mourinho's men have made an impressive start to the new season, recording 3-1 and 2-0 wins over newly promoted Burnley and Leicester City respectively.However, the first real test of the season awaits Chelsea on Saturday evening when we travel to Goodison Park to play Ever

Last season's corresponding fixture in early September saw Everton edge out Chelsea with a narrow 1-0 win, the only goal of the game coming in first-half stoppage time from Steven Naismith. That win for Everton was their first of the campaign after drawing their opening three games and it's a similar story this season after drawing their first two games 2-2 against Leicester away and Arsenal at home.

Last weekend, Everton's performance against Arsenal proved trips to Goodison Park certainly make for a very tough away day for visiting teams. Everton outplayed Arsenal for much of the 90 minutes, however they let a two-goal lead slip in the last minutes of the game. Chelsea will take solace from this and look to capitalise on any uncertainty in the Everton defence which has already conceded four goals this season - only Crystal Palace have conceded more (five).

With two comfortable wins over new Premier League opposition under their belts, a trip to Goodison will be a very different test for Chelsea. Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa have both made instant impacts with three assists for Cesc and two goals from two for Costa, with many pundits claiming that the new boys were the missing pieces in Mourinho's jigsaw puzzle, a view shared by many fans.


Quick History Lesson

History tells us that Everton have the edge over Chelsea when playing at home, with the Blues winning just 18 out of a total 80 encounters at Goodison Park in all competitions. Everton have won 37 times, with the other 25 matches ending in a draw.

However, looking at the last 10 years, the tide has certainly swung in Chelsea's favour and there are certainly reasons to be optimistic ahead of the game on Saturday night. Back in 2004/05, when the Special One took his side to Goodison for his first visit, Chelsea came away with all three points in a 1-0 win. Chelsea have recorded six wins and four draws at Goodison out of 14 games in all competitions since that day.

The most memorable win of those six came in the 2006/07 Premier League fixture which saw Chelsea come away with a hard-fought 3-2 win. Chelsea were 2-1 down with nine minutes to go before Frank Lampard arrowed in a sublime effort past Tim Howard to level the game up.

Didier Drogba then unleashed an unstoppable dipping volley to snatch the game for Chelsea with three minutes to go, one of my personal favourite Drogba goals.

Indeed, Drogba has a good goalscoring record against Everton and was on the scoresheet when the two sides met in the 2009 FA Cup final- a 2-1 victory for Chelsea, another reason for Chelsea fans to be cheerful! If as expected he starts, with Diego Costa nursing an injury, it will be the first real chance for Chelsea fans to see Drogba back in action. Let’s hope he picks up where he left off in his last start for the club in Munich 2012.

Chelsea's most recent three points at Goodison came in December 2012 with club legend Lampard bagging a brace to secure a 2-1 win to end Everton’s unbeaten home record which stretched back to March of that year. Indeed Everton will be glad to see the back of Lampard, who scored an impressive 10 goals against Everton while wearing a Chelsea shirt.


Chelsea's Old is Everton's New

Everton's signing of Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea on a permanent basis will see the big Belgian line up against Chelsea for the first time in his career and he will no doubt have a point to prove to his former employers. Samuel Eto'o also joined from Chelsea on a free and will certainly bolster Everton's attacking threat, though they will be without Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu.

Everton have strong attacking options and a great recent home record in the league to boast about, having only lost three times there last season. Chelsea will have to be at their very best to overcome the Toffees and really step it up a gear from the wins against Burnley and Leicester.

Chelsea had a great record against the top sides last season and Mourinho's team became the first side not to lose a single league game against 'big six' rivals for the past five years. Standout wins against Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and then against Liverpool were not enough to bring the Premier League title back to the Bridge but direct wins against your rivals is more often than not the crucial factor in winning the league.

If Chelsea reach the levels of performance they did against Burnley in the first half and Leicester in the second, then Everton will have a tough time recording their first win of the season.  I’m confident that we will come through our first real test of the season and return to Stamford Bridge will all three points. 

By Ashley Khossousi, Chelsea fan.

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