In what could well be remembered as the most exciting game of the 2014/15 Premier League season, Goodison Park hosted an absolute classic this afternoon as Chelsea’s visit to Everton finished, rather incredibly, 6-3.
The Blues went 2-0 up in the first five minutes and maintained their lead throughout, but the Toffees showed they were no pushovers. They clawed their way back into the match on several occasions, but Chelsea pulled away after the 77th minute with goals from Ramires and Diego Costa to assure the three points.
That sees the Stamford Bridge side take top spot in the Premier League table, and at the heart of their victory was key performances from several summer signings, whilst one Blues departee, Romelu Lukaku, now with Everton, had a rather lukewarm afternoon.
Thus, here’s a list of THREE ways Chelsea won the summer transfer window, that became evident throughout their clash with Everton:
When other European clubs are prepared to pay in excess of £60million for a star striker, you might be forgiven for thinking that Chelsea took a gamble on £32million signing Diego Costa.
But once again, the Spain international proved against Everton that the Blues have wrapped up a top talent for a sensational price. He found the net in under a minute at Goodison Park! Check out the strike – that came with a slight wiff of offside – below:
He also got Chelsea’s last goal of the afternoon, courtesy of some classy footwork from John Obi Mikel:
That makes it four-in-three thus far in the 25 year-old’s Premier League career. In fact, his efficiency in front of goal since arriving in England has been nothing short of incredible:
— EPL Stat Man (@EPLStatman) August 30, 2014
As well as being potent in the final third, the 6 foot 2 forward is a real beast with a phenomenal work-rate. These fans felt compelled to comment on Twitter:
Great work rate from Diego Costa. As the momentum is with Everton, he defends deep in his own half. Haven't seen it since Demba Ba vs PSG.
— Robert T. Błaszczak (@RobertBlaszczak) August 30, 2014
— Nick Xydias (@Greekbluenose) September 28, 2013
If I were Diego Costa, that last tweet would offend me slightly. But in all seriousness, Costa’s all-round performance was vital to his side’s 6-3 win:
Costa vs Everton: 2 Goals, 4 Shots [All on Target], 2 chances created, 46 touches, 2 aerials won, 4 successful tackles, 2 intercepts. #CFC
— Chelsea Statto (@ChelseaStatto) August 30, 2014
Chelsea’s other major scoop of the summer was Cesc Fabregas, and just like his adopted country-man, the Spain international was at the heart of Chelsea’s performance once again.
The former Arsenal captain set-up Costa’s opening goal with a defence-splitting pass, making it four assists in just three Premier League appearances for the £30million signing.
Fabregas was brought into the Chelsea side to unlock defences, and that’s exactly what he did today. No player on either team beat the 27 year-old’s three key passes, as detailed below:
He also made the most through balls of any Chelsea player:
And took the third-most touches:
Chelsea have changed the entire dynamic of their midfield for a mere £30million – which makes you wonder why Arsene Wenger refused to re-sign the ex-Barcelona playmaker.
On the other hand, it was a pretty bad day at the office for former Chelsea youngster Romelu Lukaku, who joined the Everton ranks permanently this summer after bagging 15 goals on loan at Goodison Park last season.
Many were surprised that Jose Mourinho opted to let the 21 year-old go, considering his vast potential. But the decision was justified by the £29million striker’s lukewarm performance this afternoon.
Despite the Toffees netting three times, the Belgium international only managed one shot on target, as viewable below:
This Everton fan was particularly unimpressed:
That's Jelavic 2013 onwards behaviour from Lukaku. #EFC
— Matt Driver (@mdriver11) August 30, 2014
Lukaku’s disappointing afternoon, ending with a substitution at the 89th minute, is summed up perfectly by the below vine:
No doubt the 6 foot 3 striker is an immense talent – but clearly, he’s not at Chelsea’s level just yet.