Chelsea cruised to victory in what was supposed to be a difficult fixture, brushing aside Everton at home in a 2-0 win courtesy of goals from Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata.
Everton were no doubt still recovering from their Thursday trip to Croatia for their Europa League qualifying tie, but it was nevertheless a disappointing display for a team that had performed so admirably against Manchester City on Monday.
For the champions, it was a second straight win after their shock opening-day loss to Burnley, and the crisis that threatened to engulf the club after that result seems to have been averted.
Here are three things we learned from the match.
Last week’s hard-fought win over Tottenham was no doubt a morale-booster, but Chelsea knew that they were outplayed for large stretches of that game, despite the result.
Given what had happened in the week before, when they’d fallen behind 3-0 to Burnley before making the score look respectable, the champions needed a convincing performance to show they had truly made progress.
That’s exactly what they gave, albeit aided by a poor and likely tired Everton side. Chelsea were dominant and in control, and looked like champions.
Fabregas compounded his poor outing against Burnley with a display of petulance that got him sent off when his team were already down to ten men, thus missing the following week’s win over Spurs.
Tiemoue Bakayoko’s performance against Tottenham, despite lacking match fitness, would have made Fabregas yet again wonder if he’s set to be a backup midfielder, but on Sunday he showed his value.
He pulled the strings in midfield, conducting Chelsea’s attack, and when his chance came he took it well, with a smart finish.
Everton’s performance on Monday, away against Manchester City, had shown that the team has the capability to mix it with the Premier League’s best. On Sunday, it looked like a completely different Toffees side had shown up – or rather, that no Toffees side had shown up at all.
Managing the Thursday-Sunday schedule that Premier League teams playing in the Europa League have to face is going to be a challenge for Everton all season. While it’s understandable that they were sluggish, they need to find out how to recover quickly from midweek exertions.
If they keep putting on post-Europa League displays like this, they will drop far too many points to break into the top six.
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