Failure to create chances
Despite Everton having done an impressive job of hanging in yesterday, they largely struggled to get real chances at goal. Save for Gylfi Sigurdsson’s long range strike, Everton bungled the few chances they had on goal.
Credit to Chelsea, their defense kept Everton’s speedy attacking front from having much of an impact on this match. The handful of times that Theo Walcott or Richarlison had the ball on the break, there was a Chelsea center back nearby. Throw in the inability to create chances from the wing and Everton were relegated to trying to score from set pieces.
There were certainly some near misses, Walcott and Bernard come to mind, but more often than not Everton failed to get into the final third and really challenge the Chelsea defense.
Second half struggles
Everton’s performance in the first half was impressive against a team as solid as Chelsea. The possession seemed relatively even and Everton didn’t spend the half pinned deep in their own end. The opposite was true in the second half as Marco Silva’s men looked happy just to be leaving with a point.
Once the whistle blew to start the second half, Everton were almost immediately on the wrong foot. They were largely unable to relieve the pressure Chelsea were putting their defense under and the match quickly turned into one of desperate defending. While the Everton of the first half looked ready to take the game to Chelsea, the second half team we saw was one that didn’t look up to the challenge of playing a perennial top four side.
Fortunately, lady luck was not on Chelsea's side this afternoon as their big scoring opportunities went mercifully wide.
Defensive line up looks set
Despite the lopsided possession numbers, Everton’s back four looked rather impressive in the match. Yerry Mina finally made his Premier League debut for the club and he looked impressive. Replacing Kurt Zouma next to Michael Keane, Mina looked to be worth the big money Everton spent on him over the summer.
Even as Chelsea poured on the attacking pressure in the second half, the Everton back four held their own. Keane looks revitalized compared to last season, Lucas Digne has been great and Seamus Coleman is finally getting back into form. This is the first time in years that Everton seem to have a solid defense.
More importantly there is actually depth at all the defensive positions. For years Leighton Baines was the sole left back on the team. The center back depth typically consisted of players well past their prime or too young to be relied on. Now all four spots have reasonably serviceable back ups.