Jorginho’s penalty late in the first half saw Chelsea claim their first victory at Goodison Park in five visits, but there was no fresh start for Everton, who ended the day with defeat and a double injury.
Everton’s Premier League campaign was barely 10 minutes in when Ben Godfrey was stretchered off to hospital with a serious lower leg problem and was followed by Park End’s second-half departure for a cross prone to get injured. Return Yerry Mina.
Chelsea were not immune to the curse with debutant Kalidou Koulibaly also limping in the final 15 minutes, but he played his part in the 1-0 win by ensuring the hosts were kept at arm’s length for long stretches.
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Each team started without a recognized striker – new signings Raheem Sterling and Anthony Gordon, for the hosts, nominally filling the roles – and there is still business to be done in that area for both sides.
Chelsea are still looking for someone to fill the vacancy left by Romelu Lukaku’s return to Inter Milan, but Everton’s need is even more desperate as they need to cover for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who is sidelined for some six weeks. after missing much of last season with injury. , and to provide the threat once posed by the now late Richarlison
As a result, goals were likely to be few and the first particularly important, so once Jorginho scored from the penalty spot the visitors put themselves in a strong position.
Everton posed a challenge in the second half but simply couldn’t make the breakthrough, something they struggled with for much of the previous campaign.
The new season at Goodison had begun as the old had ended. The coaches arrived through a plume of blue smoke and the old field was bouncing before kick-off with memories of their penultimate game escaping relegation seemingly in the distant past.
Everton made their debuts for former Burnley duo James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil, while January signing Nathan Patterson made his first Premier League appearance after injury.
But it wasn’t long before his bad luck materialized as Godfrey was carried away on a stretcher after what was an unnecessary tackle on Kai Havertz.
The defender’s rogue back pass crossed the baseline by about a yard but was dragged back onto the field by Jordan Pickford and with the assistant referee behind the play, Godfrey charged back to strip the Chelsea striker but was hurt. in the process.
After an eight-minute delay, the central defender was taken directly to a waiting ambulance.
Tarkowski was the first to threaten with his header in the 24th minute deflected by Edouard Mendy.
But with little happening on the pitch, there was a rush of excitement when the Toffees’ long-awaited £33million new signing, Amadou Onana, arrived to take his seat in the directors’ box just before half-time, after that the Lille midfielder underwent a medical examination. earlier in the day.
Sterling had the ball in the net thanks to a Pickford rebound save but was flagged for offside, but seconds before half-time Jorginho scored a penalty after Abdoulaye Doucoure brought down Ben Chilwell.
Demarai Gray’s shot deflected wide of Thiago Silva early in the second half, having isolated the veteran centre-back before Dele Alli replaced McNeill and took over as the centre-forward on the hour.
But the attacking game began to fizzle out and Mina’s injury compounded the problems former Chelsea midfielder and manager Frank Lampard has to deal with as he looks to make the improvements he needs to avoid another relegation battle.
Lampard’s replacement at Stamford Bridge, Thomas Tuchel, who made his debut off the bench against defender Marc Cucurella just over 24 hours after his £60m transfer from Brighton, also has work to do for his undercooked side to solidify. .