Everton 1-0 Chelsea: As Frank Lampard and company continue to be plagued by injury, Thomas Tuchel’s team got off to the perfect start in the Premier League thanks to Jorginho’s first-half penalty.
Chelsea successfully opened their new Premier League season by holding off a tenacious Everton.
At Goodison Park, Jorginho’s calm penalty on the verge of halftime gave the Blues a 1-0 victory. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s careless foul on Ben Chilwell ultimately undid all of Frank Lampard’s team’s hard work, relieving pressure on Thomas Tuchel after a challenging preseason following the takeover.
Ben Godfrey’s horrifying injury, which required the Everton defender to be carried off the field on a stretcher after only 10 minutes, soured the first half and gave Lampard little alternatives. Tuchel, though, omitted Timo Werner and Marcos Alonso, two players who have been heavily linked with transfers away from Stamford Bridge before the summer transfer market closes.
Three talking points from Goodison Park are included below.
New players on display
Both Thomas Tuchel and Frank Lampard had two recent additions to their starting lineups. James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil, who both joined Everton from Burnley during the summer, were involved. Tarkowski was brought in on a free to help shore up the Toffees’ leaky defence, while McNeil will offset the £60million departure of star man Richarlison.
Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling, two players with experience at the pinnacle of European football, were positioned at each end of the field for Chelsea. Following an eye-catching deal from Brighton that might be for a total of £62 million, fellow newcomer Marc Cucurella was named to the bench.
Jorginho spot on.
Abdoulaye Doucoure’s careless foul on Ben Chilwell ended Everton’s hope after such a positive first half from both a team and individual perspective.
Following a deft through ball from Kouliably, the Chelsea winger wriggled into the box and was brought down by the Toffees midfielder, forcing Craig Pawson to point to the penalty spot.
The only time either team came close to scoring before the break was when Edouard Mendy saved a goal from Tarkowski for the Blues, but Jorginho finally broke the scoreless tie in the eighth and final minute of extra time. Pickford was turned away as the Italian cooly tucked home in the bottom left corner.
Godfrey wasn’t the only center-back forced to leave early; teammate defender Yerry Mina did so not long after. Midway through the second half, the Colombian, albeit grudgingly, hobbled off to make room for Ruben Vinagre, a recent addition.
With Salomon Rondon suspended and Dominic Calvert-Lewin sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury, Lampard is left without his two primary striker options and two first-choice defenders. The Toffees clearly need reinforcements, so it’s fortunate that new addition Amadou Onana was observed watching from the stands.