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Everton 3-1 Chelsea: Big Dunc leads Toffees to a hard fought win

Three thoughts from a memorable day at Goodison Park

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Everton take advantage of scoring chances

It has been rare this season that Everton have been able to take advantage of scoring opportunities presented to them. Too often these chances have fallen by the wayside leading to inevitable deficits that the team are unable to overcome. But in this match it was the opposite.

Save for a few stretches in the game Chelsea looked out of sorts. While the were able to string together a few good runs in Everton’s half, they were largely ineffective offensively. Defensively, Chelsea were even worse and Everton took advantage of that. Both of Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s goals came from errors by the Chelsea defenders.

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that this side continue to pounce on these opportunities when they present themselves. Also, massive credit to Duncan Ferguson, whose high energy, pressing gameplan allowed Everton to keep Chelsea unsettled and therefore more prone to errors.

Ugly but effective

This win against Chelsea was one of the most enjoyable matches I can remember watching over the past few years. The energy in the crowd and on the field was unlike anything I can remember seeing in recent memory. But make no mistake about it, this was an ugly win that may be difficult to replicate long term.

Ferguson opted to simplify things for Everton and went with 4-4-2 that featured long balls aplenty and a high-energy press. This was not beautiful football by any stretch of the imagination, but it was certainly effective. Everton’s strategy was much like that of the lower table sides that have given them so much trouble the last two seasons. Sit back with a organized defence, break on the counter and wreak havoc across the pitch.

It remains to be seen how long this more traditional strategy can work for Everton. But given how unpleasant this season has been, it may be wise to enjoy this win for a bit before worrying about the future again.

Goodison Park was rocking

I can’t remember the last time I heard the Grand Old Lady as loud as it was against Chelsea. Given how awful this season has been, it is understandable that the supporters have not been at full energy all that often.

Duncan Ferguson made the call to the supporters that he wanted Goodison “rocking” in this match and they did not disappoint. Richarlison’s goal in the first five minutes certainly helped things along, but there were still very few moments where the crowd was not at full voice.

This team may not be out of the woods yet, but the sight of Big Dunc jumping up and down on the touchline after every goal was a pure delight. He is very likely not the man to lead Everton forward, but all should relish in the passion he has brought to this side even if it is temporary.