Chelsea grind out scruffy win at Everton despite lacking a centre-forward
Jorginho gives visitors the win with first-half penalty
Play stopped for three minutes in second half after medical emergency in crowd
Godfrey taken off on a stretcher with serious injury
Chelsea made scrappy, character-building wins in hostile venues their forte for most of the Roman Abramovich era.
The faces may have changed in the boardroom more than on the pitch during a transitional summer at Stamford Bridge, but Thomas Tuchel will be reassured by the consistency of purpose, having silenced a Goodison Park crowd which overcame his team last season.
Jorginho’s penalty in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time – necessary because Everton’s Ben Godfrey required prolonged treatment after suffering what was later described as a “small leg fracture” – gave Tuchel’s side a steady, if unspectacular, start.
“A win is a win,” Tuchel said. “There is a lot to improve, but a lot to be happy with.” Raheem Sterling shone on his first appearance– denied a debut Chelsea goal by the woodwork – as did imperious defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
N’Golo Kante looked revitalised in midfield, too. Chelsea’s most visible deficiency was the lack of a centre-forward they are still pursuing. As was the case a year ago, they have the tools to go the distance everywhere, except the opponent’s six yard box. The foundation of this win was flawless defending by their three centre-backs. Rolls-Royce should name one of their models after Thiago Silva, and only cramp got the better of Koulibaly, his exertions taking their toll late on to ensure Marc Cucurella could make his debut.
Silva’s partnership with Koulibaly will have masters of the defensive art purring, although they were ably protected by their midfield shields.
In truth, little new was learned for both managers. Tuchel – who confirmed he granted Marcos Alonso’s request to be left out of the matchday squad to finalise a move to Barcelona –will have more potency once he finds a goalscorer with nothing whatsoever in common with Romelu Lukaku or Timo Werner. Here, he indulged in a false nine fiesta, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz completing a fluid front three.
Sterling showed up immediately. There is no more underrated player in Europe, the frustration being whenever he took possession in dangerous areas he was generally the furthest forward and desperately in need of someone to receive the final pass or cross. Not unlike Gabriel Jesus for Arsenal, each accomplished touch made one wonder why Manchester City allowed him to leave, especially to a top-four rival.
Everton – also bereft of a recognised No 9 – could not land a meaningful punch, a first-half header from James Tarkowski the only significant action for goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
“The performance was good, but we missed that clinical edge. The only difference was the penalty,” Lampard said. “Dominic (Calvert-Lewin) won’t be out forever – a few weeks. But if we can find other options, that can help us because we gave them a lot of problems. On another day, you don’t lose that game.”
Lampard was right to be more enthused than deflated, Everton’s area of weakness as obvious as Chelsea. Bereft of a direct replacement for £60 million Richarlison, Lampard entrusted Dwight McNeil and Demarai Gray to lead Everton’s running from deep while Anthony Gordon tried to temporarily reinvent himself as a centre-forward. Gordon is more effective with the ball at his feet, slaloming towards the penalty area, not with his back to goal and Koulibaly’s breath on his neck. Everton were at least competitive enough to suggest prophecies of impending doom are premature.
There were several reassuring sights for the home crowd, and it speaks volumes for their situation that a ‘not that bad defeat’ represents a glimmer of hope, generous applause offered by the Gwladys Street for their players’ efforts.
Tarkowski looks like he could be a bargain free transfer, a figure of authority and – perhaps more surprisingly given the long-ball taunts that shadowed his Burnley career – poise in possession in the back four.
Alex Iwobi continued his revival, which began when Lampard was appointed, and there was a long-awaited debut for right wing-back Nathan Patterson, one of Rafa Benitez’s farewell gifts. Sadly for Lampard, no sooner was he ushering in one defender, he lost another in the most bizarre circumstances in the 10th minute. Godfrey, who has endured a luckless run with injuries, overhit a back-pass to Pickford, which the keeper scrambled to prevent going for a corner.
He failed, but the officials played on. Godfrey was forced into a last-ditch tackle on Havertz and was injured, requiring seven minutes of treatment before being carried out of the stadium and driven to a Liverpool hospital.
It was during the subsequent injury time that Chelsea broke through the well-organised Everton defence. Koulibaly picked out Ben Chilwell in the penalty area and the left wing-back cleverly invited a clumsy shove from Abdoulaye Doucoure. The video assistant referee’s confirmation was unnecessary and Jorginho slotted past Pickford.
Everton’s cause was not helped by another defensive injury, groans greeting the sight of Yerry Mina pulling up holding his hamstring. The Colombian is a fine player, but spends more time in treatment than on the pitch.
Chelsea eased their way to full time, assisted by Everton’s blunt strikeforce.
Lampard wants to make unity his most potent early-season weapon, fostering the spirit that kept Everton up. Deep down, he knows boisterous welcomes for the team coach on Goodison Road can only push a team so far before the usual cul-de-sacs return to view.
This week’s signings of midfielders Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gueye will help. The manager revealed he organised a staff barbecue ahead of the season, bringing together all departments of the club. Owner Farhad Moshiri was not there. Pity. Plenty would like to give him a thorough grilling about when he plans to buy a striker, too.
Chelsea win at Everton, as it happened
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Three points and a clean sheet for Chelsea so Tuchel will be pleased. For Everton, the injury issues are mounting for Lampard and it looks like being another tough season for them.
Read the match report above and relive the match below.
Worrying injury update from Lampard
It [Godfrey injury] feels like it is a small fracture of his leg. We are assessing that. He will be out for a while, Mina is an ankle injury and could be out for a while. When it rains, it pours.
A win is a win, that's the most important thing. But we have to get better, we are not at our highest level but some of our situations were very good.
It was a strange second half but we hung on and did what was necessary, a clean sheet is a positive. 1-0 with a Jorginho penalty, classic!
World class goalkeeper
47% - Chelsea keeper Édouard Mendy has kept a clean sheet in 47% of his Premier League starts (31/66) – only Ederson (50%) has a higher clean sheet ratio among keepers to have started at least 50 games. Safe. pic.twitter.com/BcD9fSRKpE
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 6, 2022
FULL TIME: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Gray's free kick is met by an Everton player but Mendy comfortably catches the ball and the final whistle goes.
Jorginho's penalty proves to be the difference at Goodison Park.
90+9mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Last chance for Everton after a foul by Sterling. Cucurella is booked for kicking the ball away.
90+8mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Yellow card for Holgate after pulling back Pulisic when the attacker dispossessed Pickford.
Fifth change for Chelsea: Jorginho off, Gallagher on
90+5mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Chelsea just about doing enough to see out Everton's attempted fightback.
Mendy hasn't been tested for a while now.
90+2mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Silva is down with cramp and in need of a stretch.
90mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
10 minutes of stoppage time at Goodison!
87mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
After a three minute pause in play, the match resumes again.
85mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Medical emergency in the stands forces a stoppage in play. A police officer came on the pitch to stop the game.
A new rule was put in place this season stating the match won't be stopped for incidents in the crowd.
So this must be particularly bad.
84mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Sterling inches away from a debut goal but his effort from a Cucurella cross is deflected just wide by Mykolenko.
A vital block to keep Everton in the game.
82mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Mykolenko is booked after bringing down the rampaging Loftus-Cheek.
Cucurella looks like he fancies it but James takes the free kick and shoots over.
80mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Haven't seen much of Sterling in the second half. It's been a quiet debut for the former Man City attacker.
77mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Chelsea's defence is now - Loftus-Cheek RWB, James RCB, Thiago Silva CB, Azpilicueta LCB and Cucurella LWB.
75mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Another double Chelsea change: Havertz and Koulibaly off, Cucurella and Broja on.
73mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Chance for Alli. He gets the ball from Patterson but he takes too long and Azpilicueta denies him.
Koulibaly is down for the second time in the match with cramp.
70mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Mina is up but hobbling. Looks like Vinagre will replace him. Everton have two subs left but they won't be able to use them now.
67mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
More injury problems for Everton as Mina goes down holding his right ankle.
64mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Double change for Chelsea: Loftus-Cheek and Pulisic on, Chilwell and Mount off.
61mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Apart from that lapse in concentration by Doucoure, Everton have defended well today.
A change for Everton, McNeil off, Alli on.
59mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Chelsea happy to keep the ball and take the sting out of the match. Given their recent record here, they will be delighted with how the match is going so far.
56mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
James is booked for time wasting by the referee Pawson.
54mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Everton should be encouraged by how things are going but can they take their chances?
51mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Scramble in the Chelsea box. An Everton corner is collected by Iwobi, he tees up Doucoure who forces Mendy into a fine save.
The ball spins away and Azpilicueta has to make a goalline block. Good start to the half by Everton.
48mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Silva wants Mendy to come and collect a ball over the top. The goalkeeper opts not to and Gray beats Silva to the ball.
Gray gets his shot away but Silva deflects it wide for a corner, which Everton fail to take advantage of.
Second half: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Back under way. No changes for either side. A reminder that both sides can make 5 subs if they choose to.
Unfortunate news for Everton
We can confirm Ben Godfrey has suffered a lower leg injury and has been taken to hospital.
We're all with you, @BenG0dfrey! 💙 pic.twitter.com/7gQ1VHQUEK
— Everton (@Everton) August 6, 2022
HALF TIME: Everton 0 Chelsea 1
Everton lost their focus and get punished. That was a very even half until that moment. Uphill task for the hosts now.
45+8mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 1 GOAL Jorginho
Jorginho sends Pickford the wrong way, tucking the ball away in the corner. Very well taken.
Big blow for Everton.
45+7mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Mina is booked for trying to distract Jorginho.
45+6mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Penalty Chelsea. Doucoure bundles over Chilwell. Stonewall penalty. Jorginho to take.
45+5mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Everton are unbeaten on the opening weekend of the season in the last 10 years. Can they make it 11?
45+4mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Mykolenko concedes a 10th corner for Chelsea. It is cleared again but Chelsea manage to get another corner.
Pickford misjudges the flight of the ball and Mina clears out for a 12th corner.
Koulibaly manages to get a header on goal but Pickford saves easily.
45mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Eight minutes added on due to the earlier injury to Godfrey.
42mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Relief for Everton. Sterling taps in after Pickford spills Kante's shot. But the flag goes up for offside.
And replays show Sterling was in an offside position.
40mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Everton fans willing their players to be more expansive and forward thinking. But the quality just isn't there at this stage.
37mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
End to end stuff as both teams give the ball away and counter on each other. Chelsea looking to find Havertz aerially with several crosses while Everton try and find Gordon down the sides.
33mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Koulibaly is lucky to escape a booking after pulling the shirt of Gordon, who goes down and wins a free kick.
30mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Stering is involved in a sprint race with Mina and Iwobi. The Chelsea attacker goes down and gets a free kick.
James and Chilwell stand over the ball again. James takes and Everton head the ball clear.
27mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Chelsea are in the ascendancy at the moment with Everton forced on the back foot.
24mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
A fine save by Mendy to palm away a Doucoure header. Best chance of the match so far.
19mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Godfrey, who is taking in some oxygen, comes off the pitch on a stretcher. On comes Holgate.
Everton have to defend a corner. Holgate gets his first touch when he heads clear. A second corner is cleared.
From the third corner, Mount drills a shot from distance that's pushed away by Pickford. Chelsea get a fourth corner but James' effort goes over everyone and out of play.
15mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Could the injury have been avoided if the linesman had flagged for a ball that was clearly out of play? We'll never know but it is another injury blow for Lampard and Everton.
13mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Godfrey can't continue. Looks like a serious injury with a stretcher ready to carry him off.
Holgate will come on in his place shortly.
10mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Almost a calamity for Everton. Godfrey plays a blind back pass which catches out Pickford. Pickford scrambles to keep the ball in play but only gives the ball to Havertz.
Havertz drives into the box and Godfrey makes a last-ditch challenge to deny him. But it looks like he's injured himself in the process.
9mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Boos for Sterling every time he touches the ball. Presumably due to being a former Liverpool player.
7mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
First shot on target of the match. Tarkowski fouls Sterling and that gives Chelsea a free kick in a promising position. James whips the ball in and Havertz gets his head on it but Pickford makes a comfortable save.
5mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Lampard clearly a fan favourite at Goodison.
2mins: Everton 0 Chelsea 0
Promising start bt Everton as they pass the ball around nicely. Chelsea yet to have the ball for a prolonged period.
Kick off: Everton vs Chelsea
Chelsea get us under way at Goodison Park...
Here come the teams
The Everton fans have been handed blue fans and are waving them excitedly as the players stride onto the pitch.
A reminder of the teams
Everton: Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski, Mina, Godfrey, Mykolenko, Gray, Doucoure, Iwobi, McNeil, Gordon. Subs: Holgate, Keane, Allan, Begovic, Alli, Gbamin, Ruben Vinagre, Warrington, Mills.
Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Koulibaly, James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Havertz, Sterling. Subs: Cucurella, Arrizabalaga, Kovacic, Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Gallagher, Ziyech, Broja.
Referee: Craig Pawson (England)
Gordon to play up front?
With Calvert-Lewin and Rondon unavailable, Lampard has a decision to make on who leads the line for Everton.
Speaking on Sky Sports, former Everton coach Duncan Ferguson reckons Gordon will be the furthest forward attacker.
Pre-match stats via Opta
Everton have won each of their last four Premier League home games against Chelsea – only once in their history have they had a longer run against the Blues, winning seven in a row between 1923 and 1935.
Everton have kept a clean sheet in five of their last nine Premier League meetings with Chelsea (W4 D3 L2), as many as they had in their previous 27 against the Blues.
Chelsea have lost just four of their 28 Premier League away games under Thomas Tuchel (W18 D6), with all of these defeats coming by a margin of just one goal. However, one of those losses (and the most recent one) was at Frank Lampard’s Everton in May.
New Chelsea signing Raheem Sterling is one of 10 players to have scored a hat-trick on the opening weekend of a Premier League campaign, doing so against West Ham in 2019-20. Meanwhile, coming into 2022-23, only Aston Villa (25) have had more different players score on their Premier League debut for them than the Blues (24).
Team news explained
Everton give debuts to two of their new signings - James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil - with Demarai Gray given the centre-forward role in the absence of the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin and suspended Salomon Rondon.
Chelsea hand debuts to summer signings Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly.
Defender Marc Cucurella was named on the bench just over 24 hours after his £60million move from Brighton.
Tarkowski makes his first start for Everton
A Chelsea debut for Sterling
Chelsea XI to play Everton
Here’s your Chelsea team news this evening! 🤝@ParimatchGlobal | #EveChe pic.twitter.com/qwq01jSTyw
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 6, 2022
Everton XI to play Chelsea
Our first XI of the season 🔵#EVECHE pic.twitter.com/GPBxd6XMxz
— Everton (@Everton) August 6, 2022
Hello and welcome to coverage from Goodison Park as Everton host Chelsea.
Frank Lampard heads into tonight's fixture without a recognised central attacker after Dominic Calvert-Lewin was ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury.
Salomon Rondon is suspended for the visit of Lampard's former club, while Richarlison has been sold to Tottenham.
Everton avoided relegation to the Championship on the penultimate day of last season after coming from two goals behind to win at Crystal Palace.
Dwight McNeil, James Tarkowski and Ruben Vinagre have bolstered Everton's squad for the new campaign.
But Lampard, who took over from the sacked Rafael Benitez in January, has warned that his side must improve to avoid another relegation scrap.
"We must work on every side of our game to be sure that we are not in a situation like we were in last season," said the 44-year-old.
"It's nice to have a relative clean slate. I never felt that we had that in my period at the club and that is important, because it should hopefully give us a fresh idea and feeling of confidence.
"We are all level, while at times last year it felt like we were chasing, especially if you're five points from safety. That's something we overcame and that's testament to the group of players we have, the club and fans.
"There are still things I want us to do going forward to try to make us play more the way I want us to play - to be more consistent in what we can deliver.
"That will be a mixture of work on the training pitch and the players we can hopefully strengthen the squad with.
"We are working on and off the pitch and trying to improve the club in any way possible. There are a lot of good people at the club, but we have to get the culture right and move forward. We have to keep this unified feeling we have."
Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel was not keen on setting any goals for Chelsea in the new season, saying they were still a club in transition following their takeover, which was led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.
"I don't want to lower our ambitions. But I don't want to put the pressure on us," Tuchel said.
"We are a club in transition still. A team in transition still. But at the same time, I don't want to limit us from the beginning and say what is possible."