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Everton 3-6 Chelsea: Player Ratings

Sorry defensive display Costa the Toffees dearly

Chris Brunskill

Tim Howard – 5

Made a great save to Diego Costa but other than that, the American only found himself picking the ball out of his net. Howard was extremely fortunate to stay on the field when he handled outside the area but it went unnoticed by both the referee and assistant referee – typical of both their performances.

Seamus Coleman – 7

Nullified Eden Hazard’s threat for most of the afternoon and even his own goal, when Hazard ran through it wasn’t Coleman who the Belgian skipped past with ease. In the first half the full-back was Everton’s most creative threat and he whipped in a terrific cross for Kevin Mirallas’ goal.

Phil Jagielka – 3

A shadow of the resolute, rock-solid defender we all think of when Jagielka is mentioned. Costa gave both centre-halves problems from start to finish. Usually, on the ball, Distin looks the more uncomfortable out of the two but yesterday Jagielka was consistently caught in possession and gave the ball away regularly with stray passes. Despite there being a suspicion of offside for the first goal in real-time, there was no question when on replay it appeared Jagielka tried to push out and lay an offside trap for Costa, failing in the process.

Sylvain Distin – 4

As with Jagielka, Distin was run ragged by Costa throughout the evening. I really don’t want to say that time has caught up with the veteran, so I won’t; I’ll just suggest it. There is time for change though, John Stones is waiting in the wings and it’s time for his inclusion replacing one of the two.

Leighton Baines – 7

Like Jagielka for the first goal, Baines looked to push out and play an offside trap for the second, again failing. By Roberto Martinez saying the defence should go ‘back to the basics’, hopefully this failing feature is what he means because even if the offside trap is successful your relying on assistant referees to make the right decision every time, something which the second goal proved not to be the case. Aside from that Baines defended well and was a good option going forward as per usual.

James McCarthy – 8

The only player in a blue shirt who started from the kick-off, after the first 10 minutes his teammates eventually caught up. Having said that, he was one of the few Blues players to press the man on the ball and as always was more than comfortable in keeping possession which helped to start to build up attacks. Without McCarthy, Cesc Fabregas would have had much more domination on the game than he did yesterday.

Gareth Barry – 6

Barry kept the ball well but didn’t pressurise the ball enough. To be fair to both Barry and McCarthy, Chelsea didn’t play a number 10 – an excellent tactic in retrospect because it cancelled out both as they were too deep.

Aiden McGeady – 5

An incredibly frustrating performance from the winger especially with the few flashes of brilliance that he showed; his corner for the disallowed goal and assist for Steven Naismith.

Steven Naismith – 8

Speaking of Steven Naismith, what a performance. Disappointingly the result didn’t match Naismith’s excellent display. Up against two tough centre-halves in Gary Cahill and John Terry, and one of the strongest defensive midfielders in world football, the Scot was in for a tough evening but this is a completely different player to twelve months ago.

Kevin Mirallas – 8

The biggest attacking threat for the Toffees yesterday, with his pace and skill he worried the Chelsea defence every time he had the ball. I can’t recall the Belgian winning too many headers in his Everton career but you wouldn’t have guessed that with his Tim Cahill-esque finish. Much improved from last week and now not only looks up to speed but one of the sharpest in Blue.

Romelu Lukaku – 6

Lukaku did have some involvement in Everton’s play but Terry and Cahill defended and marked him extremely well which didn’t allow the Belgian to be on the end of too many chances.

Subs

Samuel Eto’o (Aiden McGeady 70’) – 7

Disbanded any fears that the three-time Champions League winner is finished, in his first 20 minute spell in an Everton shirt. Took his goal well and hopefully his effort levels won’t deteriorate when it’s not his debut and against his former club; possibly trying to prove to Jose Mourinho he isn’t too old. 

Muhamed Besic (Romelu Lukaku 89’) – N/A

Usually for a player who comes on in the 89th minute, I’d say ‘it wasn’t enough time for him to have a real impact on the game’ but wow. Not the first touch of the ball in the Premier League that Besic would have wanted and if his nonchalance is anything to go by, there won’t be a dull moment with this lad around.

Everton Man of the Match: Steven Naismith

If ever a performance deserved a goal, it was Steven Naismith’s – actually it deserved to be on the winning side, and if it weren’t for defensive errors it would have been. Naismith has now scored three goals in three games and may long that continue throughout the season. Naismith took his goal well with cool composure – something that he has gained with his new found confidence. Naismith hassled the Chelsea defence and centre midfielders all game by pressurising and gave the seven of them problems when they had the ball and also when he had it. Mirallas, McCarthy or Baines could have been giving the man of the match but I thought Naismith just edged it through effort and end product. Attacking wise, it was a good performance from Everton and the interplay between the attacking options is promising going forward but what is a concern, uncharacteristically is the defence which will have to be addressed during the international break. The Toffees also showed good character, which Steven Naismith epitomised, because there would have been a completed comeback if not for so many individual errors in defence.