Nobody really knew what to expect from a side managed by Duncan Ferguson. In hindsight, we probably should have. For at least one Goodison Park afternoon, this was the heartiest, most piss-boiling Everton side in years. It was not - by any stretch - the most tactically astute performance, but for for today, who cares? Blood and thunder ruled the day. Nobody stopped running, the tackles were flying, and the lads? The lads got stuck in.
After barely four minutes, Djibril Sidibe connected with Richarlison (again) on a header so thunderous that you wouldn’t have been wrong to think it was Ferguson himself. It was a great goal, but more than that, it was a relief.
Truth be told, Chelsea dominated most of the match, but it never felt like they truly had a foothold. The possession numbers were hilariously lopsided in their favor, but every time a threat emerged, there was a blue shirt there to snuff it out.
It felt like a match from a bygone era, and Goodison Park certainly dialed back the clock to become a bear pit once again. When Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his second and Everton’s third, it sounded like the whole place was going to just up and float away.
Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott both picked up knocks - which resulted in Leighton Baines’ first appearance of the season (rather fitting, honestly) - but even injuries couldn’t take the sting out of Everton’s fight today.
Nobody is going to mistake Duncan Ferguson for the permanent manager. What is clear now, though, is why he’s stuck around the club so long, and that the mighty damn Blues have someone to rally around.