Three takeaways from Chelsea 0-0 Everton
After a scrappy 0-0 draw with Everton, we examine the three main takeaways from the game.
1. Sarri was wise to not start Barkley
When he came on as a late substitute, Ross Barkley had an absolute nightmare. he made the wrong decision every time he got the ball. The ball was bouncing off him and he sent several passes astray.
His head was clearly not in the game against his former club whose fans gave him a hostile reception. This clearly affected him so we should be grateful he did not start.
2. Kovacic impressed
Mateo Kovacic is worth every penny of the £60 million price tag he is being touted at. He was especially influential in the second half.
The midfield trio that started the game is the best midfield three at present. Kovacic helps with the high press, in regaining possession quickly and playing forward passes. Yes, a few moments did not come off today and he still has not scored. But he is a fantastic player.
3. Teams that deploy a mid-block will cause Chelsea problems
There was an element of Europa League hangover about the performance today. But what was most telling was that Everton set up their defensive lines higher up the pitch rather than parking the bus.
This has the affect of cutting off the passing lanes into the front three which forced Chelsea to moved the ball out wide. Because the full backs do not offer much threat on the outside, the Blues were not able to create much.
Sarri needs to tackle this problem, possibly by introducing speedier full backs like Emerson and Zappacosta.