Sports

5/10 Havertz struggles as Chelsea lose following Mendy error


Chelsea‘s unbeaten run of 17 games in all competitions came to an end at Goodison Park as Everton won 1-0, the home side claiming just their second win in eight games. The defeat for Frank Lampard’s side means Chelsea missed the chance to go top of the league.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the only goal from the penalty spot after 22 minutes, following a foul by Edouard Mendy on Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Reece James had Chelsea’s best chances to get back in the game but was twice denied by Jordan Pickford, and Chelsea were unable to break a resolute home back line that featured four central defenders.

Positives

Chelsea responded well in the second half, playing with greater urgency and totally dominating the ball. James was the pick of the bunch; solid at the back and a nuisance going forward.

Negatives

Chelsea had as much as 78% possession at one point in the first half, but were unable to convert that into scoring chances. Kai Havertz and Timo Werner looked lost in wider positions, while Olivier Giroud was isolated in attack.

Manager rating out of 10

5 — In the absence of the injured Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, Lampard’s men looked devoid of ideas, with Havertz and Werner perfect examples of square pegs in round holes. In hindsight, it looked as though the Chelsea formation did not suit the personnel.

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Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Edouard Mendy, 6– His careless challenge on Dominic Calvert-Lewin gifted Gylfi Sigurdsson the chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot, which he took. Mendy recovered well after that, though, saving well twice from Richarlison.

DF Reece James, 8 — It was another fine performance from James, who was everywhere. He was particularly impressive in the final third. He struck a long-range free-kick towards Pickford’s top left, which was well saved, and then another fine shot that Pickford turned onto the post. In the second half, he showed excellent positional awareness to cover in the middle when Everton attacked on the counter.

DF Kurt Zouma, 6 — The central defender had an excellent chance to level the scores following a Giroud knockdown, but he could only hit the ball straight at Pickford. Zouma found himself in attacking areas on numerous occasions.

DF Thiago Silva, 6 — The Brazilian looked comfortable on the ball but was given a tough evening by Dominic Calvert-Lewin. First, he was beaten to the ball by the England striker when he later went down for the penalty that won Everton the game, and then Silva went into the book for fouling his opponent.

DF Ben Chilwell, 5 — The left-back had a tricky task facing Alex Iwobi on his return to Goodison Park. In the second half, Chilwell looked to have brought down Calvert-Lewin for a penalty, but the Everton striker was adjudged to have been offside.

MF Mateo Kovacic, 6 — Together with Kante, he helped control the central areas but then failed to adequately support those ahead of him. He often dribbled the ball into the Everton half but couldn’t influence the game when he got there.

MF N’Golo Kante, 7 — A couple of wasteful balls early on couldn’t disguise his class, and he was consistent for the visitors while those around him struggled to fire on all cylinders.

MF Mason Mount, 7 — A quiet game by the England international’s recent standards, though he grew into the match after Chelsea went behind. He was unlucky to escape a booking after he pushed Yerry Mina into Jordan Pickford, but he then twice came close in the second half, first with a chip that finished just over the bar, and again when he struck the post from a free-kick.

FW Kai Havertz, 5 — Havertz played in a wide position and it didn’t really work; he slowed Chelsea’s tempo when in possession and seemed to lack urgency. He was substituted in the second half.

FW Olivier Giroud, 5 — The Frenchman had a tough evening lining up against four central defenders, and he often looked isolated. He had few shooting opportunities and when he did get a sight on goal, he blazed over with ten minutes left on the clock.

FW Timo Werner, 5 — The German striker played on both sides of the pitch but never looked comfortable. He did provide the odd cross for his teammates, but you got the feeling he might have made more impact in the centre. He missed Ziyech’s influence.

Substitutes

FW Tammy Abraham, 5 — Abraham played in one of the two wide positions and it didn’t seem to suit him. He lost the ball on several occasions and was second best in the aerial challenges.

MF Billy Gilmour, NR — Gilmour came on to make his second appearance for the club since July. Chelsea needed a goal and Gilmour’s introduction highlighted the lack of attacking options in the absence of Christian Pulisic and Yiyech. He was tidy in possession, but wasn’t what was needed.



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