Chelsea welcomed Everton to the Bridge in a grudge match of sorts with the Merseyside club pestering Chelsea into selling Romelu Lukaku and then themselves acting all high almighty when it came to poaching young talent with John Stones. The club is possibly in the greatest rut of its Premier League history with Chelsea languishing at 14th but similarly, things aren’t going too well for Everton at the moment as they themselves were 11th.
The match which unfolded was nowhere near suggestive of the lack of quality prevailing in both the squads as there was a two goal Everton lead vanquished by Chelsea in a matter of minutes and another lead generated in the ultimate minute of normal time again lasted only seven minutes as Terry backheeled the ball over Tim Howards to claw back a point.
The team ratings for the incredible match:
Thibaut Courtois: 4
Brilliant when confronted with danger and could do absolutely nothing about the conceded goals while made his save of the season when he denied compatriot Mirallas for the second time in a one v one situation.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 4
Again shut down his wing so effectively. It almost seemed futile for Lennon to stick around on the right with Azpi lurking for the ball.
John Terry: 3.5
Had probably the best performance of his season as he kept Lukaku at bay. Gave away an unfortunate own goal and made up for it with a slightly fortuitous goal in the very last minute.
Kurt Zouma: 3.5
Another game, another massive tackle from the Frenchman. He has proven that no Premier League forward can beat him for pace. It tends to be all too easy for the man mountain but his Right Back makes things interesting for him with abysmal play.
Branislav Ivanovic: 1.5
Poor. Very Poor. Abysmal. The defender was at fault for the first goal and almost gave away three other. If it wasn’t for Zouma, he probably wouldn’t have left the Bridge without tasting the fans’ fury.
Nemanja Matic: 2
Was called back into action for a deep role and provide stability but was nowhere to be seen in the second half. Coupled with his shoddy passing, was an easy target for substitution by Hiddink.
John Obi Mikel: 2.5
Managed to provide some cover but was caught upfield far too much for Hiddink’s liking. Managed to stay on the pitch because Matic was poorer.
Failed at everything miserably in the first half but managed to salvage some pride with a better second half performance.
Cesc Fabregas: 5
Sublime. The man was in the form of his life as he owned the midfield post the 60 minute mark and strangled and choked Everton into submission.
Disappointing night for the Brazilian as he needs to recover some form which made him Chelsea’s standout performer so far.
Diego Costa: 5
The best player on the field by far for Chelsea and managed to ignite Fabregas’ form too with dazzling runs. The nutmeg on Howard in itself was priceless.
Came on for Matic and was above average overall, contributing heavily to the pressing.
Another superb cameo from the youngster who will leave Hiddink with a real selection dilemma if he keeps up these performances.
Tim Howard: 2.5
Was nutmegged and was chipped with a backheel. Safe to say he won’t be impressed.
Leighton Baines: 3
Decent match for the Englishman who made great chances but left spaces for Chelsea in doing so.
Phil Jagielka: 4.5
The best player for Everton, managed to save at least five clear opportunities for Costa with his impressive positioning.
John Stones: 2.5
Disappointing showing from the youngster as he gave away the ball too often.
Bryan Oviedo: 2.5
Owned Pedro in the first half but was anonymous in the second.
Gareth Barry: 4
Was the only reason why Chelsea weren’t bossing the midfield as he stood firm alongside the shaky Besic.
Mediocre on the ball, suspect positioning. Barry bailed out the youngster often.
Kevin Mirallas: 4
Constant nuisance to Ivanovic and could’ve had a hat trick if Courtois was still injured.
Ross Barkley: 4
Above average performance from the youngster as he won the midfield in the first half but was invisible in the second.
Aaron Lennon: 2.5
Miserable match for the winger who had the misfortune of facing Azpilicueta.
Romelu Lukaku: 2
Did as much as he could but Terry was in inspired form and Zouma ready to clean up in case Terry missed something.
Funes Mori: 3
Impact from the substitute as he scored what seemed like the winner for Everton in the ultimate normal time minute.
Steven Pienaar: 2.5
No impact whatsoever from the South African who was brought on for Barkley.