Manager Roberto Martinez will be happy this week, after leading his new club, Everton, to their first victory of the season. In what was a tight match at Goodison Park, a header in the 46th minute from Steven Naismith put Martinez’s side in front going in to halftime.
Chelsea gave up the ball cheaply in their own half, allowing Leon Osman to swing in a cross to Nikica Jelavic on the back post. Jelavic headed the ball back across goal and onto the head of Naismith, who buried the ball in the back of the net, in what would be the last play before the break.
Chelsea asked many questions of the Everton defense in the second half. Fernando Torres came on to replace defender Ashley Cole, a move that revealed Jose Mourinho’s desperation for a goal. However, for all of Mourinho’s substitutions, and for all the wonderful buildup play from Chelsea, the London club were unable to break through for an equalizer.
In the end, Everton were able to absorb Chelsea’s offensive pressure, keeping goalie Tim Howard’s clean sheet in tact and sealing the teams first win of their 2013/14 campaign. While Everton should be credited for a resolute defensive performance, Chelsea found themselves unable to capitalize on numerous goal-scoring opportunities.
In his return debut with Chelsea, Samuel Eto’o missed several chances on goal. When questioned whether Eto’o's match fitness could explain his performance, Mourinho was quick to dismiss any doubts he may have about his player.
“Of course he needs [matches], but it was not just him,” said Mourinho. ”I think [André] Schürrle missed three big chances to score and other players also had chances but I don’t like to be critical of players who missed some chances. We are a team and I prefer to analyse the game. We didn’t deserve to lose because we were the best team and the team that tried harder to win the game.”
Everton manager Roberto Martinez had been under pressure to turn out a result at the Merseyside club, having drawn the first three matches of the season. A victory against the highly-budgeted Chelsea side will go a long way in endearing Martinez with Evertonians and the clubs hierarchy, as the side look to build a new legacy after the departure of David Moyes.
After the match, Roberto Martinez spoke about the events of the day and how he believes the side is progressing.
“It feels really, really good because it was a special game, a special opposition and a very good performance,” said Martínez. ”We are still going through a transitional period and I think the crowd understands that and as players we understand that.”