A 31st minute own goal from Ben Godfrey and a 65th minute spot kick from Jorginho, helped Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea to a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge. The victory ensures that the Londoners remain well placed to finish in the UEFA Champions League places and extend their unbeaten run to 11 games, conceding just two goals in the process- an Antonio Rudiger own goal at Sheffield United and a Takumimi Minamino goal in the 1-1 draw against Southampton.
How it unfolded
Tuchel made 5 changes from the win against Liverpool; Odoi, Kovacic, Havertz, Alonso, and Zouma coming in for Ziyech, Mount, Rudiger, Kante, and Ben Chilwell. The visitors who were on their own good run of form struggled to make things happen, giving the ball away in good areas of the pitch. Although Chelsea controlled possession early on, they also rarely threatened Jordan Pickford’s goal. But a brilliant pass from Hudson Odoi picked out Marcos Alonso’s run in-behind the Everton defense, who then cut the ball back for Kai Havertz. Havertz did enough to divert the ball goal-wards and a huge deflection off Ben Godfrey ensured the ball ended up in the Everton net. Just before halftime, Marcos Alonso had a glorious opportunity to put the hosts 2 goals up, but for his lack of pace, allowing Micheal Keane to make up ground and get a block on his shot with Pickford doing the rest to keep the ball out of the net.
Everton tried to take the game to Chelsea in the second half, but as soon as the hosts settled back in, it was another one way traffic- Jorginho and Kovacic brilliantly controlling the tempo of the game. Kai Havertz thought he had finally got his goal but the referee adjudged him to have handled the ball before slotting past Pickford, and rightly so. However, it didn’t take too long for Chelsea to add a second. This time, Havertz picking up the ball in behind the Everton back-line and rounding the goalkeeper, only for the English man to foul him in the box. Jorginho stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and sent Pickford the wrong way.
The game became somewhat stretched at the closing period and Chelsea should have had more goals if not for Pickford and Timo Werner’s lack of precision in front of goal
Man of the match: Kai Havertz
Havertz may not have scored but, his performance would have pleased his manager. Often switching positions with Wener and playing as a false 9, his movement without the ball was superb and caused problems all through the game for the Tofees. If this was a step by Tuchel to blood him for the 2nd leg UCL last 16 tie against Atletico Madrid, with Mount suspended, then it was really a step in the right direction for the German sensation.
Chelsea go to Leeds on Saturday, kickoff 1:30 PM before hosting Atleti in the Champions League on Wednesday while Everton host Burnley, same day by 6:30 PM.