Chelsea maintained their perfect start to the season by beating Everton in a nine-goal thriller at Goodison Park. The Blues led from the first minute to the last in the game, but Everton didn’t give them an easy ride in what could turn out to be the game of the season.
The Blues raced in to a two-goal lead through Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic, before Kevin Mirallas pulled one back before half time. A Seamus Coleman own goal made it 3-1, before Steven Naismith got the home side back in the game. Nemanja Matic scored his first goal for Chelsea, then former Blue Samuel Eto’o scored for Everton. Goals from Ramires and Costa sealed the points for the visitors.
Before the game there were doubts about Costa’s fitness, with the striker struggling with a hamstring injury. Despite not being at 100% he started the game, and he started with a bang. Cesc Fabregas played a brilliant through ball, and Costa got on the end to put the Blues ahead after just 35 seconds.
Their great start didn’t end there, with Ivanovic doubling the lead just minutes later. The Serbian latched onto a Willian cross and fired past Howard, but he looked to have been in an offside position, much to the annoyance of the home fans. Everton looked shell-shocked, but they got back on track and controlled the end of the half, grabbing a goal back through a Mirallas header.
Everton came out looking for blood in the second half, and the Blues initially looked vulnerable. Romelu Lukaku went through on goal, and it was only an incredible last gasp tackle that kept the Blues ahead. They then regained their two-goal lead when Eden Hazard ran down the line, and his cross was accidently turned into his own net by Coleman.
That kicked off the game’s goal rush, with Naismith cutting the lead just two minutes later. Matic then grabbed his first Chelsea goal shortly after, with his shot deflecting off Sylvain Distin and nestling in the bottom corner. Everton went straight up the other end, and Eto’o scored to make it 4-3. Barely a minute later Ramires went up the other end of the pitch and it became 5-3 to the Pensioners.
That seemed to be the end of the scoring, but Costa wrapped up the game with a great finish in the 90th minute. Substitute John Obi Mikel picked up on a mistake by Besic, before back-heeling into the path of Costa, who wrong footed Howard and Phil Jagielka with a step over before slotting home.
It rounded off an impressive evening for Costa and Chelsea’s attack, but there were defensive mistakes to bemoan as well. After the game, Mourinho tried to look at the positives, and gave an update on the pursuit of Loic Remy. “I think if the salt and pepper of football is goals then to have nine goals in a Premier League match is fantastic ingredients so I think (we saw) two teams that played the offensive way fantastically well.”
“We were killers in attack, especially on the counter-attack, so when you come to this stadium and get three points it is a reason to be happy. When you come here and score six goals, obviously my players did well.”
On Remy, Mourinho said, “I know that we’re trying since yesterday to get Loic Remy, since we knew Fernando was leaving. Now it’s time to make some calls and have news. We have a fantastic doctor and I trust him completely. They will identify any problem.”
LCN Man of the Match: Diego Costa