Chelsea missed the chance to go level on points with fourth-placed Arsenal as we paid the price for not taking first-half chances.
Everton’s six-game winless run against us in the league was ended by two second-half goals, one scored by Richarlison shortly after the restart of Sunday afternoon’s game at Goodison Park, and as has been a pattern this season, Maurizio Sarri’s side could not respond. Everton completed their win with a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty which resulted in a goal despite an initial save.
Eden Hazard came closest to scoring for Chelsea when he rattled a post early in the game. There were plenty of other attempts too, and Pedro shot wide with a miscue from the type of chance he normally gobbles up, before going close with a sweeter struck shot.
There were not the problems of the Wolves game today, we had got in behind the opposition back line and worked their goalie, but Everton started the second period as Chelsea had the first, by flying out the blocks. The big difference was they found the net although Kepa can count himself unfortunate in that both goals were from rebounds after he made smart saves, from a corner for the opener and then from Sigurdsson’s penalty. The Everton player followed up to make it what proved to be an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Following Thursday’s long-haul trip to Ukraine, Maurizio Sarri reverted largely to the side which had started last Sunday’s Premier League hosting of Wolves, with two exceptions. Ross Barkley was handed his first start against Everton since leaving the Toffees. This was his first return to Goodison Park too. He replaced Mateo Kovacic.
The other difference was Marcos Alonso rather than Emerson at left-back. The Spaniard had played, and scored, in Kiev and he was involved in the first chance of the game today with five minutes on the clock.
Hazard had found space 15 yards from goal when he collected Alonso’s pass and with Jordan Pickford fresh from errors in his most recent outing, the Belgian tried to beat the England goalie at his near-post, but Pickford just about reacted quickly enough. Ninety seconds later, Hazard was shooting the other side of Pickford and this time his shot hit the post but fell safe for the Toffees.
That set the tone for a first half in which Chelsea regularly went for goal, but could not make the breakthrough.
Gonzalo Higuain, back from the illness that had kept him out of the Kiev Game, almost bundled the ball home from a pass over the top before the bright start gave way to a quieter period of play.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin fired the first shot by Everton over the bar before Barkley, receiving plenty of stick from the home fans, did well to get in behind the Toffees defence but then sliced his attempt to find the net directly from a very difficult angle.
Jorginho was on target with a straighter attempt which Pickford saved before Barkley did similar from further out.
On 25 minutes, Andre Gomes drilled a shot at the other end at Kepa. That was Everton’s first effort on target.
Chelsea’s best chance of the half since the Hazard woodwork strike came five minutes later. After a series of passes, Pedro had escaped attention inside the Everton box. Alonso picked him out but frustratingly, his compatriot screwed his shot wide. Higuain on the run then stabbed the ball over with the outside of his boot after Barkley, who was involved in many of the Chelsea attacks, had squared.
That was Chelsea’s seventh attempt at goal. Everton’s third was their best yet, a header over by Calvert-Lewin from Sigurdsson’s free-kick.
In keeping with the half, it was Chelsea who went close before the break, Pedro picking up the ball with Everton stretched and shooting narrowly wide.
Calvert-Lewin flashed a dangerous ball across our goal towards Bernard as a wake-up call right at the start of the second half, before Sigurdsson forced Kepa into a save, and in the 49th-minute Everton took the lead from a corner.
It was Calvert-Lewin who won the header, with Kepa saving low down. Richarlison was in the right place to make the most of the loose ball.
Alonso volleyed into the side-netting and Higuain forced a good save from Pickford as Chelsea tried to respond, but opportunity was knocking less frequently than in the first half. Everton had stepped it up.
Loftus-Cheek and Giroud came on with 25 left to play but the Toffees went 2-0 up just over five minutes later. Alonso caught the foot of Richarlison and a penalty was awarded. Kepa saved to his right from Sigurdsson but the Icelander’s blushes were saved when the rebound fell his way.
Before the end, Kepa saved from substitute Theo Walcott before another sub of our own, Callum Hudson-Odoi, cut inside and shot powerfully but saw his effort tipped over by Pickford.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta (c), Rudiger, David Luiz, Marcos Alonso; Kante, Jorginho (Hudson-Odoi 74), Barkley (Loftus-Cheek 65), Pedro, Higuain (Giroud 65), Hazard.
Unused subs Caballero, Christensen, Kovacic, Willian.
Booked Alonso 36, Rudiger 60
Everton (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Coleman (c), Keane, Mina Digne; Gueye, Gomes (Schneiderlin 68), Richarlison, Sigurdsson (Davies 86), Bernard (Walcott 78); Calvert-Lewin.
Unused subs Stekelenburg, Baines, Tosun, Lookman.
Scorers Richarlison 49, Sigurdsson 72.
Booked Gomes 59
Referee Anthony Taylor