Breaking Down Chelsea 2-0 Everton - The Chelsea Chronicle

Breaking Down Chelsea 2-0 Everton

In the first match since Chelsea ‘salvation’ win at Wembley, the champions had returned home in hope of keeping their win streak going. A freshly bolstered Everton side coming off of a disappointing yet hard-earned draw away to Manchester City were hoping to get more points on the board. Both teams hadn’t made the best starts to the season but with a majority of the season still to play, the early games may not fully affect them -or so they hope.

Chelsea make use of extra space

A usual characteristic of Ronald Koeman is his tendency to have his teams sit deep away from home despite arguably having enough talent to do the opposite. The Toffees aimed to absorb pressure from Chelsea then attack them on the attack via Wayne Rooney amongst others. What this did do was allow Chelsea to come forward but the naturally aggressive Idrissa Gueye & Tom Davies would drift out of the block to press too early, thus creating disparity in Everton’s midfield line. On the occasion, picture they were punished as a smart pass & move combination by the hosts allowed Fabregas to score from close range. although it may not be their fault it must certainly be dealt with by Koeman because when two box to box midfielders are deployed next each other in a deep block, the risk of them vacating their positions forever lingers.

Home side build up play easily

In the same fixture last year, the travelling side used a pairing of Yannick Bolasie & Romelu Lukaku to actively hound Chelsea’s centre backs. This time around they set up with a three man attack consisting of new boys Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney & Sandro Ramirez. The tactical tweak was that the trident were told to be patient & let Chelsea come to them. However, a problem with both methods occur; an aggressive press leaves space whilst a passive press leaves time- both of which Everton were punished for. Once David Luiz (pictured) had broken through the first line of Everton pressure they were taken out of the game, allowing the rest of the defence to push up & box the toffees in. This caused a knock-on effect for later in the game as Everton’s attackers eventually ended up so deep they’d be left with an impossible distance to cover in order to have an attempt at goal.

Lack of pressing out wide hurts Everton

As a result of ‘parking the bus’, Everton’s wing backs would have to stay close to their centre backs in order to limit space in the centre. This meant that Marcos Alonso & Victor Moses could hug the touchline knowing they would remain untroubled whilst doing so, allowing them to whip in crosses with ease. Furthermore, Willian & Pedro would make matters worse by either joining their wing backs out wide or making runs in the half-spaces. This put the Everton wingbacks in two minds; press your opposing wingback & allow a run in behind you or keep your position & invite crosses. Leighton Baines was affected more than Holgate by this as Moses & Baines were more of a physical match causing Moses to cross whereas Alonso is stronger than Holgate resulting in more 1 v 1s. The lack of pressing meant Chelsea could work the ball back inside easier as Everton’s defenders wanted to keep their shape but this punished them in the end. At the end of the day, Ronald Koeman prioritising horizontal compactness over anything else virtually assured that they would defend for most of the game.

It finally seems as if the drama of days past are nothing but an episode of madness for the Champions. With more players likely to come through the door & some of the current squad soon to return back from injury, things may not be as bad as they had seemed after the opening day defeat to Burnley. With Atletico Madrid, Roma & Qarabag all on their European adventure, Antonio Conte & the Chelsea board must work hard behind the scenes to ensure the ‘Mourinho season’ doesn’t come back to haunt them.