By, Navaneeth Ravichandran (Twitter: @navrav28) Chelsea have made their first big splash of the January transfer window, signing Everton player Ross Barkley for what I believe to be a bargain at 15 million pounds. The 24-year old English midfielder will join the Blues and wear number 8 (can you think of another English midfielder […]

As expected, Antonio Conte started Eden Hazard in place of Morata, with Michy Batshuayi back on the bench as usual. Apart from the game against Huddersfield, whenever Chelsea have used Hazard as a striker this season they’ve been a bit ineffective in attack. It was the same today – lots of chances but no goals.

Everton crowded their penalty area, with only Calvert-Lewin up top. The effect was that Chelsea could easily get back possession whenever Everton tried to go forward, but they didn’t really counter-attack properly, even with speedy players like Hazard, Kante, Willian and Pedro in their side.

This meant Chelsea lost the offensive benefit of the large number of opposition turnovers they forced in their defensive area and in the middle of the park.

They made thirty (!) crosses in total this game – it was difficult to tell at what point they would realize the strategy wasn’t working. They tried 25 shots to Everton’s 5, and although they were 8 – 0 up on the home side in shots on target, only one stat counted at the end. […]

By, Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood) Goodison Park/December 23, 2017   We may have escaped from the Carabao Cup quarter final tie against Bournemouth by the skin of our teeth but that’s what champions are made of and a win is a win no matter how it comes about. To score straight from the kick off […]

Chelsea faced a pretty tough examination from their visitors in the second half. Caballero was absolutely the man of the match for me. There’s no hiding from the facts – put this Chelsea team under pressure, and without N’golo Kante, David Luiz or similar players in midfield, they will fold.

In fact, they did fold over and over this game, but Caballero showed a bit more experience and quality perhaps than Courtois had in some other challenging games this season, and held the line until their attacking quality won them the match. […]

By, Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood)   Stamford Bridge/October 25, 2017 This is the last of our three consecutive home matches in three different competitions with a win and a draw to show for our efforts in the previous two matches. Everton decided on Monday to cut their losses on Ronald Koeman by showing the Dutchman […]

Champions Chelsea began their second home game of the season twelfth in the premier league table. They hosted Everton at Stamford Bridge, whom at kick off, were a well-deserved four places ahead of them in eighth.

Last week we witnessed Antonio Conte’s Italian job, in which Chelsea snatched all three points to make Wembley even less comfortable for Tottenham than it already was. It was a brilliant performance tactically, Conte deploying a bristling Roman testudo shield wall, with six center backs and defensive midfielders in two ranks of three each. So what would the shape and tactics be this week, against an improving Everton side?

Everton, had shown good defensive quality so far this season, conceding only one goal in their previous two games against Stoke City at home and Manchester City away. They might have had a few tired legs from their midweek trip to Hajduk Split in Croatia, but they’d been a quietly efficient side so far this season. […]

By, Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood)   Stamford Bridge/August 27, 2017   The big matches keep coming for Chelsea. After our sweet victory over Spurs last Sunday (it was my personal favourite), Roland Koeman brings his Everton team to Stamford Bridge for what is going to be another explosive encounter. This match did not play out […]