September 26, 2023

A clumsy penalty conceded by Abdoulaye Doucouré was the difference in the match as Chelsea beat Everton 1-0 on the opening day. Frank Lampard’s side lined up well and despite being short on strikers, were able to hang with Chelsea as the Blues struggled to start their season. Everton were hit with another injury blow just 18 minutes into the game as Ben Godfrey left the game on a stretcher after a long delay. Considering he had his leg immobilized, it doesn’t look good. He was eventually replaced by Mason Holgate.

From there, both teams lacked a true number nine, but it was Everton who fared better as Anthony Gordon led the charge. Everton were able to create chances on the counter but the final ball was not there. Ben Chilwell drew a penalty before half-time as Ducouret put both hands on his shirt while going down in the box. Jorginho made no mistake as he slotted home the penalty to give Chelsea the advantage.

The second half played out similarly to the first, but Everton will be the happier team for it. Amadou Onana was in the crowd watching as he will be in Everton’s midfield sooner rather than later after agreeing a deal with Lille, but for Chelsea, even with Armando Broja on the pitch, they lacked a proper back nine. Raheem Sterling filled the role but is better off the wing despite his strong work rate in the box.

He was brilliant alongside Kalidou Koulibaly on their debut on Saturday, but most of the squad didn’t shine with them. Nathan Patterson also created a good chance for Dele Alli when he came on, but Dele didn’t know what to do with the ball in the box as he let his chance go. A lot of work to be done for each team in a game that ended up lasting nearly 110 minutes due to various stoppages in each half.

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