FULL TIME: Chelsea win!
90+4min: Mount hammers one towards goal from 20. Pickford makes the save.
90+2min: Alonso crosses, Kante heads not far wide back across the goal.
89min: Pulisic on for
Havertz Werner, after a bit of delay/confusion. Davies absolutely hacks down Alonso for that stoppage in play, and gets a well-deserved yellow.
88min: Bernard, on for Everton, shanks a shot miles wide from 25 yards.
85min: Pickford stands on his head a couple more times, making great saves from Werner and Kante.
81min: Werner with another chance in the area as Everton keep leaving massive spaces at the back, but can’t quite find the space to sort out his feet and get a shot towards goal.
80min: Kante on for Kovacic. Ball over the top from Azpilicueta. Werner holds off Godfrey with relative ease, and tries to beat Pickford low at his near post. Another great save from the England goalkeeper. Zouma gets a header goalwards from Mount’s subsequent corner, but it’s straight at Pickford who holds on.
77min: Another counter opportunity, this time results in Mount taking a low shot from outside the area, blocked.
76min: Chelsea counter with Havertz and Mount, but the latter delays his pass even though Werner and Alonso are both making runs on either side of him. Allan eventually bodies him off the ball.
75min: Another Everton corner as Zouma defends well on Josh King, on as a substitute. Digne swings it in from the right side, Mendy gets a hand to it amongst the trees and then gets taken out by Godfrey for his troubles. Mendy stays down briefly, but looks okay to carry on.
74min: Everton pressing now to get back into the game. James with some strong defending stops Richarlison. Chelsea head clear the subsequent corner.
71min: Havertz looks for Werner cutting across, but it’s a bit behind the run and he can’t quite bring the ball under control
69min: Zouma goes down awkwardly under no challenge. He looks to have hurt himself rather badly, but after a bit of treatment, looks okay to carry on?! That looked very concerning for a minute...
66min: Mount on for Hudson-Odoi, with Werner going top and Mount and Havertz in double-10 support.
65min: GOAL!! Jorginho steps up. Jorginho does the hop-skip as Pickford dives out of the way. Easy as you like. 2-0, CHELSEA!
64min: PENALTY! Kovacic pings a great ball through to Havertz from deep. Havertz takes a touch and gets wiped out by the outrushing Pickford. Not much doubt about that and no complaints from anybody.
62min: James tries to chip in from deep for Hudson-Odoi, but Pickford reads it well and is out to grab it.
60min: CHO tries to replicate Mount’s effort from Thursday, but Pickford pushes the shot over the bar. Alonso takes the corner, outswinging from the left. Somebody flicks it on at the near post, but no one’s arriving at the far to take advantage.
58min: James goes for goal from 20 yards, and just barely misses the far post. Pickford probably had it covered.
57min: Davies on for Everton and immediately into the action as he wins the ball and gets it to Sigurdsson, who finds Richarlison in space to shoot. But he miscues his shot rather badly.
53min: GOAL! HAVERTZ! Hudson-Odoi chips in from the left, Havertz takes it down on his chest, turns, and finishes with aplomb. Except the referee says he controlled it with his arm, and VAR agrees after review. Looked “shirt-sleeve” more than anything, which is what ruled Werner offside in the last game. Who even knows anymore.
So can you use that part of your body or not?? pic.twitter.com/dmPHCVZnTx— ✈️ (@Arrizabalager) March 8, 2021
50min: Chelsea pass it around at the back, then break forward with Kovacic. He finds James, who tries to play a 1-2 with Havertz but gets taken out for the return ball. Chelsea free kick, just outside the corner of the area, right flank. Alonso curls it in and goes for the surprise shot at the near post. It looks like it’s just going wide, but Pickford gets a panicky hand to it. Chelsea don’t do much with the corner.
46min: Havertz combines well with Werner near the right touchline, and drives infield. He opts not to release Hudson-Odoi with a through-ball and instead plays wide to Alonso. He gets past Iwobi, but sees his low cross blocked and cleared.
SECOND HALF: No changes for either side as Chelsea restart proceedings.
HALF-TIME: Solid half and Chelsea lead! Havertz’s goal has been changed to a Godfrey own goal.
45+1min: Dinge hangs a big cross towards the far post, but Mendy gets a hand to it. Everton keep it alive for Gomes to have a shot from outside the area. Mendy down to save and hold on.
43min: Chelsea with a chance to counter as Havertz shows good burst before playing wide to Hudson-Odoi. Alonso arrives in support on the outside, but CHO undersells the pass and Iwobi can slide in to clear.
41min: Christensen with a glorious ball over the top, finds Alonso running through. He looks odds-on to score even as the defender closes from behind, but Pickford makes a tremendous save. Chelsea’s corner is headed clear.
40min: Hudson-Odoi splits a couple as he cuts inside from the left. Space to shoot, but it hits Keane on the standing leg and bounces out.
39min: Kovacic a bit lax in possession in midfield, runs into Allan and loses it. Everton counter quickly with Richarlison, but Christensen does magnificently to drag a leg and win the ball on the attempted 1-v-1 cutback.
37min: Alonso, Kovacic, and Jorginho battle against three on the near touchline. It’s all a bit too rec league level before the referee spots some foul and spares us further silliness.
35min: Good press from Kovacic to win the ball and smuggle it to Werner. He finds Havertz cutting right to left centrally, but his shot from the edge of the area is blocked.
31min: GOOOOOALLLLL!!! HAVERTZZZ!!! Hudson-Odoi, back on the left, finds Alonso with a great through-ball on the underlap. Everton all at sea as Alonso picks out Havertz in the middle. His finish isn’t great, but it hits Godfrey and deflects into the net! 1-0, CHELSEA!!
30min: Digne’s corner is headed out by Zouma. Sigurdsson tries to volley it goalwards. It’s a poor effort, but the bouncing ball somehow still trickles through several legs. Chelsea eventually clear the ball as it pings around.
29min: At the other end, Richarlison nips in as Christensen tries to play to Kovacic. Jorginho dives in and gives away the foul in prime shooting position, just right of center outside the D. Digne’s take looks dangerous, but Christensen gets a head to it in the wall to deflect it over the bar.
27min: Havertz bursts through a couple, gets squeezed, goes to ground, baffling no call. Kovacic wins the ball back with a great sliding tackle, but the referee claims Alonso has blocked off Allan to create the space for Hudson-Odoi to shoot.
26min: Alonso makes a good interception as Everton try to counter from midfield. Gomes takes him out to prevent a counter-counter. No card.
25min: Chelsea turn the ball over in midfield and Everton have a short field to attack. Sigurdsson oversells a through ball to Richarlison, who rescues it for Digne. He crosses harmlessly as Mendy collects.
23min: Richarlison tries a through ball that doesn’t come off and Mendy gathers. Chelsea not too fluid at the moment.
22min: Hudson-Odoi driving again, plays through for Havertz, who tries to stand up a cross towards Werner and Alonso, but Pickford’s up to claim first.
21min: Everton play through on the left, but Alonso heads clear the cross. Everton win the ball back from Kovacic and Werner, but Iwobi crosses straight into the arms of Mendy from the other flank.
19min: Hudson-Odoi combines with James, who cuts a ball back towards the penalty area, but no one’s arriving for the prime opportunity.
17min: Werner plays a 1-2 with Havertz and gets dragged back by Holgate on the return pass. Yellow for the Everton defender and Chelsea have a free kick, wide-left, level with the top of the penalty area. Alonso curls it in, Pickford rises high to punch clear above Zouma. Jorginho again tries to volley first-time towards goal; this one not quite so close.
16min: James runs a long way down the right and just keeps going before taking a shot that’s blocked for a corner. James takes the corner, headed out only as far as Jorginho, who volleys it goalwards first-time and not far wide.
13min: James and Jorginho back defending well in the corner. Jorginho draws a foul from Sigurdsson to prevent a slightly loose ball from becoming a concern.
11min: Some slick passing in midfield sees Kovacic get in space and find Havertz, who turns his man but stumbles a bit before he could get his shot off. Everton clear.
10min: Kovacic and Havertz win the ball but Everton are back quickly in numbers and Chelsea have to turn back.
8min: Zouma looks for Hudson-Odoi. He battles well and appears to win the ball while on the ground, but the referee blows for a foul and it’s Everton’s ball.
6min: Christensen plays through the press to James, but he slips as he cuts inside. Everton look to quickly counter, but Zouma’s alert and heads clear.
5min: Werner crossed blocked for a corner. James plays a short routine with Alonso, then hits a ball towards the top of the box, where Werner’s dropping. But he can’t quite wrap his foot around the ball, and he blasts it out of the stadium.
3min: Kovacic looking for Alonso with a through-ball, but it’s overhit.
1min: Everton actually in a back-four, with Holgate at right back. Chelsea’s front-three already moving about quite fluidly, with CHO on the left and Werner on the right, Havertz central.
KICK-OFF: The teams are out under the darkening sky, Chelsea in all blue with white socks, Everton in their away goose-poop green shirts and socks, with dark grey shorts. The players take a knee and Everton get us started.
In-form Chelsea take on in-form Everton at still out of form Stamford Bridge (i.e. no fans), with fourth place on the line once again. Exactly one year ago, in the last “normal” game before the pandemic, Chelsea won this same fixture 4-0. That would be nice, again, but any three points will do.
Tuchel has chosen to rest a couple players, including Rudiger and Mount, with Kai Havertz getting a start for the first time in ages. The exact configuration of the front-three will be interesting (Havertz as a No.10 maybe, or a false-9 central?). Still no Tammy Abraham in the matchday squad, probably due to the ankle injury.
Here we go!
Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3)
Mendy | Zouma, Christensen, Azpilicueta (c) | Alonso, Jorginho, Kovacic, James | Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Werner
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Silva, Chilwell, Kante, Pulisic, Mount, Ziyech, Giroud
Everton starting lineup (4-2-3-1):
Pickford | Digne, Godfrey, Keane, Holgate | A.Gomes, Allan | Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Iwobi | Calvert-Lewin
Substitutes from: Joao Virginia, Tyrer, Nkounkou, John, Davies, Onyango, Bernard, Broadhead, King
Date / Time: Monday, March 8, 2021, 18.00 GMT; 1pm EST; 11:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Chris Kavanagh (on pitch); Michael Oliver (VAR)
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBCSN, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BT Sport Live (UK): NBC Sports Live, Universo Now (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!