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Chelsea 1-0 Everton: Instant Reaction

A late winner from Willian steals a deserved point from Everton.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

While the latest loss to Chelsea was not one that showed Everton at their attacking finest, their defence deserves credit for what is an unfortunate loss with all things considered.

Chelsea were dominant throughout this match but never really, properly threatened Everton throughout the game and just like last season, relied on a late goal to come away with the three points.

Having said that, it took a deflection to even make it's way past Tim Howard so the Blues can feel even more aggrieved given how well they'd played for most of the 90 minutes. Still, a bit disappointing all the same, here's your instant reaction:

Superb Defence

It seems that Everton have decided to stop shipping goals like a leaky ship, and have seriously improved defensively so far.

The defence held off Chelsea comfortably for most of the game, while the number of defensive mistakes seems to have been cut down as well. There's no escaping that John Stones has been the reason for that improvement, the youngster is just sheer class, and Phil Jagielka looks more comfortably alongside him as well.

Howard's Return

Much has been made of Martinez's decision to return Howard to the starting line up in the place of Joel Robles, with many saying it was unjustified given the Spaniard's growing confidence.

It seemed that the manager was right on this occasion though, with the American making several decent saves throughout the game and looking comfortable.

The only two times he was beaten was because of deflections, and Chelsea rarely threatened him properly. Still, nice to see him back and performing better than he has done this season.

Lennon decent, Naismith poor, Barkley absent

Starting with our deadline day signing, the Tottenham man looked decent at Stamford Bridge, but rusty given his lack of game time this year. One obvious point was his link up play with Seamus Coleman, who looked far more comfortable with Aaron Lennon than he has done with Aiden McGeady.

On the other wing, Steven Naismith had one of his worst games in an Everton shirt tonight. His passing was poor, his constant drifting inside left the side light on the left wing and he just wasn't on his game. You have to feel he was played there as a defensive option more than anything.

That brings us onto Barkley, who was equally disappointing. The youngster just isn't himself at the minute, with him failing to take responsibility and a particular pass to Jagielka in the attacking third just perplexing. Doesn't deserve a place at the minute, which is disappointing considering how good he was from the bench against Liverpool.