Everton looked on for a thumping early doors, but a second half resurrection saw the Blues seize control of the game.
Here are five telling stats from Everton’s 2-0 win over Chelsea.
A Game of Two Halves
Everton spring into life in second half
10 minutes in and it looked like it was set to be a long old afternoon for Everton. Chelsea looked a class above and it seemed inevitable that they would soon go in front.
But despite Chelsea dominating the entire half, Everton did just enough to hold on in there.
In the second half, though, it was Everton who came out all guns blazing. Playing the high-intensity, positive football that was a feature in the early months of Marco Silva’s reign.
In the first half, Chelsea had 10 shots to Everton’s three and dominated the ball with 66% of possession. Everton responded in the second half with no less than 12 further shots (seven of which were on target).
Gueye the Destroyer
5 interceptions for Senegal international
Once again, Idrissa Gana Gueye was stunning for Everton. He made five interceptions – which were key in breaking up Chelsea’s rhythm in the final third.
Gueye has been Everton’s best player this campaign and the Blues may struggle to keep hold of him come the summer.
Great all-round second half performance
Keeping his position out on the right-wing, Richarlison was a man on a mission in the second half, putting in a performance that was more reminiscent of the form he enjoyed when he first moved to the Blues.
The Brazilian scored a header and won the penalty, but his defensive work also impressed as he put in four successful tackles and two key interceptions.
Sig Off Pens?
Icelandic international has missed three of last five
Gylfi Sigurdsson may have a wand of a right peg, but he didn’t ooze confidence as he stood waiting to take Everton’s penalty.
He did turn in the rebound after seeing his shot saved by Kepa the keeper, but he was visibly frustrated to have missed his third penalty of the season.
Indeed, with a success rate of just 40% from the spot this campaign, it must be time to consider other takes. May be we’ll see Lucas Digne or Richarlison stepping up next.
First Win Over Top 6 in Two Years
Finally beat quality opposition
Prior to this game, the only top 10 opposition Everton have beaten this season was Leicester City – and they only moved into the top 10 on Saturday.
Even more disappointing has been Everton’s form against the top six. With the Blues last win over any of these sides coming way back in January 2017 with the 4-0 hammering of City at Goodison Park, 25 whole games ago.
Despite weathering a storm in the first half, Blues can take a lot of positives from the second 45. However, this second half performance from Everton needs to become the norm, not the exception.