Chelsea head into the half-time break one goal to the good, after Antonio Rudiger gave them the lead in the 26th minute. Rudiger met Charly Musonda’s cross from a short-corner routine with an excellent looping header that left Jordan Pickford with no chance.
Otherwise, it’s been a relatively quiet half with neither team really fashioning out clear-cut chances. Everton haven’t yet registered a single shot, with Chelsea’s back three of Rudiger, Christensen and Cahill subduing the likes of Rooney, Lennon and Mirallas with ease. Davide Zappacosta showed great enterprise on a few occasions in the half, eager to take on players while darting down the right flank before crossing, and even shooting on one occasion. Fellow summer signing, Danny Drinkwater finds himself playing alongside 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu in midfield and the duo have been fairly comfortable in the middle of the park, recycling possession and closing down loose balls. While the signs of not having played a competitive game in five months are telling for Drinkwater, Ampadu has looked very composed on his full Chelsea debut despite over-hitting a few long passes.
Charly Musonda and Kenedy have had a quiet half on Chelsea’s left side, not doing much of note but not playing badly either. Everton’s impressive young right-back, Jonjoe Kenny has helped keep Musonda at bay but couldn’t prevent the Chelsea starlet from delivering an absolute peach of a cross for Rudiger to open the scoring.
It’s been smooth sailing so far, bring on the next 45 minutes!