Chelsea opened the Premier League season with victory over Everton as Jorginho’s penalty settled a scrappy contest at Goodison Park.
Thomas Tuchel introduced summer signings Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling from the start, but it was one of Chelsea’s established stars who decided the case when Jorginho curled a complex penalty past Jordan Pickford in the first half after the break following Abdoulaye Doucoure’s foul on Ben Chilwell.
Everton, without a recognized striker after the sale of Richarlison and injury to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, fought fiercely but lacked quality and threat in attack.
Manager Frank Lampard’s cause was not helped by a serious early injury to defender Ben Godfrey, who was taken off on a stretcher after a challenge on Kai Havertz, with Yerry Mina another victim in the second half.
Chelsea survived in relative comfort and were able to hand a debut to new signing Marc Cucurella, the defender signed from Brighton in a deal that could eventually be worth £62m, as they made it to a winning start.
Chelsea grinding opening victory
Chelsea never needed to touch the heights to beat Everton, but manager Tuchel will still be happy to start the season with a win after a turbulent summer.
Raheem Sterling showed glimpses of what he will bring while powerful defender Koulibaly eased into the Premier League against the blunt instrument that was Everton’s attack.
Chelsea didn’t cause Everton too many serious problems, but this game was actually over as a contest because the visiting defense had too much knowledge and the home side lacked something.
Cucurella’s debut was notable only for a yellow card after he kicked the ball away in the dying moments as Chelsea ran down the clock against an increasingly frustrated Everton.
Chelsea will look to bring in more new faces before the transfer window closes and have been linked with a number of names – although this still represents a very strong squad.
It’s all about the result on the opening day and achieving it by any means possible, a mission Chelsea managed with plenty to spare.
Everton a spotlight
Everton did not lack effort or effort in this Premier League opener, but looked exactly as they are when they started the season with a loss – namely a team without a recognized striker.
They held themselves hostage to fortune by failing to replace Richarlison after his £60m move to Tottenham and paid the price when Dominic Calvert-Lewin was ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury sustained in training days before the start of the campaign.
It was a mistake that was brutally exposed when boss Lampard was forced to hand Anthony Gordon the thankless task of an unfamiliar role up front, who predictably struggled against the experience of Chelsea’s summer signings Koulibaly and Thiago Silva.
Lampard needs to address this as quickly as possible, while also concentrating on bringing in other new faces.
Lille’s £33m midfielder Amadou Onana arrived in the directors’ box to warm applause in the first half ahead of the completion of his move as talks continue to complete a return to Goodison Park for Paris St-Germain’s Idrissa Gueye.
The hunt for Wolves defender Conor Coady may intensify following these injuries to Godfrey and Mina – but the need for a striker was evident with every passing minute of this disappointing defeat.
- 22GodfreySubstituted forHolgateon 18′minutesOrdered in 90 minutes
- 1. 3MineOrdered in 45 minutesSubstituted forVinegaron 70′minutes
- 19MykolenkoOrdered in 80 minutes
- 7McNeilSubstituted forAllion 61′minutes
- 6Thiago Silva
- 26KoulibalySubstituted forCucurellaon 75′minutesOrdered in 90 minutes
- 24JamesOrdered in 56 minutes
- 5JorginhoSubstituted forGallagheron 90+9′minutes
- 21ChilwellSubstituted forLoftus-Cheekon 65′minutes
- 19installSubstituted forPulisicon 65′minutes
- 29HavertzSubstituted forThe bridgeon 75′minutes
- 18The bridge
- Craig Pawson
The match ends, Everton 0, Chelsea 1.
Second half ends, Everton 0, Chelsea 1.
Attempt saved. 23 Attempt saved. James Tarkowski (Everton) header from the center of the penalty area is saved in the center of the goal. On a pass from Demarai Gray with a cross ball.
Marc Cucurella (Chelsea) receives a yellow card.
Raheem Sterling (Chelsea) takes the free kick.
5′ Nathan Patterson (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Raheem Sterling (Chelsea) takes the free kick.
5′ Dele Alli (Everton) wins a free kick in his own half.
Offside, Chelsea. Marc Cucurella tries a through ball, but N’Golo Kanté goes offside.
Change, Chelsea. Conor Gallagher replaces Jorginho.
Mason Holgate (Everton) receives a yellow card for a foul.
43′ Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.
30′ Mason Holgate (Everton) takes the free kick.
Attempt saved. 13 Attempt saved. Armando Broja (Chelsea) header from the center of the box is saved in the low right corner. On a pass from Reece James with a cross ball.
40 Armando Broja (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the opponent’s half of the field.
James Tarkowski (Everton) takes the free kick.
5′ Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in his own half.
36′ Vitalii Mykolenko (Everton) takes the free kick.
43′ Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) takes a free kick.
48 Rúben Vinagre (Everton) wins a free kick in the opponent’s half of the field.
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