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Chelsea 1 - Everton 0: Initial reaction and community rating form

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Relief

Ian Walton

Chelsea managed to stay atop the table in a fixture that looked doomed to end in a scoreless draw. They were the better side for most of the day, but some poor decision making and execution had the result in doubt until the dying moments.

The first half was an odd one, as Chelsea seemed to be their own worst enemy. Like we've seen regularly this season, the Blues couldn't get out of their own way for long enough to hit the Toffees on the break. The space was there to attack, but Chelsea rarely weighted passes properly, and failed to control the few which were.

The second half saw Ramires introduced in place of Oscar. Chelsea had a very strong penalty shout several minutes in, as Phil Jagielka managed to block a shot with his arm as he was going to ground. It clearly wasn't intentional, but it probably should have been given anyway.

Regardless, it was a better start from Chelsea, who looked more composed to start the second half. Jose Mourinho seemed to sense this, and brought Fernando Torres on for Willian, hoping to find an end product. Samuel Eto'o shifted wide, but came off several minutes later for Andre Schurrle.

Chelsea kept pressing, but just couldn't find a way through a tough Everton defense in regulation. Luckily, a beautiful Frank Lampard free kick found it's way into the back off the net in the 94th minute. That's the sort of thing that wins titles, and will keep Chelsea atop the table at the moment.

Thoughts:

  • Oscar could have been better today.
  • As long as Chelsea's other attackers play as poorly as they did in the first 45 minutes, Eden Hazard is going to find himself with 2-3 markers at all times. It would be awfully nice if our guys did a little more to make his life easier.
  • Happy birthday Bran, welcome to the 30+ club.
  • There was some very odd refereeing today. Early on, he looked like he was going to allow very little physical play. He went through a stretch shortly afterward where he appeared to have lost his whistle, before making up for lost time by blowing every twelve seconds as the game wound down. It was awfully hard to figure out what was a foul and what wasn't, as there was no consistency in the calls at all.
  • Tip of the hat to Sylvain Distin, he was unbelievable today.