Chelsea, Everton Play to Scoreless Draw in Physical Match

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist INovember 11, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11:  Yerry Mina of Everton and Alvaro Morata of Chelsea react during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on November 11, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Chelsea lost ground in the Premier League title race after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The first half was an ill-tempered affair with chances at a premium for both sides. The best opportunity fell to Marcos Alonso, but his volley was parried clear by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Chelsea dominated the second half but could not find a way past Pickford. Eden Hazard fired narrowly wide, Alonso hit the post and Alvaro Morata saw an effort ruled out for offside as the hosts had to settle for a point.

The result means that Chelsea remain unbeaten but drop to third place in the Premier League table, while Everton are ninth on 19 points.


Sarri Must Buy a Striker in January

Chelsea's strikers have come under scrutiny this season for their lack of goals, and the Blues once again lacked a clinical edge in attack against Everton.

Alvaro Morata started the game and came into the match on a good run of form with five goals in his last six matches. However, he never looked like scoring and was comfortably handled by the Everton defence.

The striker was also guilty of going to ground too easily in the box, was frequently caught offside and ended the match by talking his way into the referee's notebook.

Jake Heasman at The Sun summed up his display:

Jake Heasman @jakeheasman

Unforgivable performance from Morata today. One of the worst I’ve ever seen. This is why I refuse to get too high when he’s in good form now. Constant diving, constant offsides, brainless footballer. Sell him in January. Get Batshuayi back. Had enough. #CHEEVE

Morata did manage to get the ball in the net, converting Cesar Azpilicueta's cross, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.

WhoScored.com noted how he picked up a wanted record for offsides during the match:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Alvaro Morata: Was ruled offside five times against Everton, a record in a Premier League match this season Full player statistics -- https://t.co/caLqHq4Il6 https://t.co/qQ9MMNcl3C

Despite dominating the second half and having the better chances to win the match, Chelsea were forced to settle for a point and currently sit behind both Liverpool and Manchester City.

While the Blues remain unbeaten, they look in real need of a clinical finisher if they are to challenge for the title this season.

The club have been linked with a move for a striker in January. Mauro Icardi, Krzysztof Piatek and Callum Wilson have all attracted interest from the Blues, per The Sun's Mike McGrath.

Chelsea do not lack for creativity with Hazard, Willian and Pedro in the squad, but a new striker looks to be a priority ahead of the winter transfer window.


Kevin Friend's Poor Performance Underscores Physical Match

Sunday's match was a physical affair between the two sides that kept referee Kevin Friend busy:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

5 - There were five yellow cards in the opening 45 minutes between Chelsea and Everton, the most in the first half of a single Premier League game this season. Excitable. #CHEEVE

His first big decision came when Yerry Mina caught Hazard and was given a yellow card. There was plenty of debate among the players about the decision, according to Goal's Nizaar Kinsella:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Hazard looks in some pain after that heavy challenge. Lots of players around debating with the referee on the severity of it. Yellow for Mina. #CFC #CHEEVE

Jorginho also found himself booked for a poor challenge on Gylfi Sigurdsson. Liam Twomey at ESPN FC said he was lucky not to have seen red:

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

Jorginho lucky to escape with a yellow for that tackle on Sigurdsson. He looks in an awful lot of pain #cfc #efc

Friend also handed out bookings to Antonio Rudiger and Bernard after an incident between the two players the referee did not appear to see.

The Brazilian appeared to try to headbutt the Chelsea defender, who went to ground rather theatrically.

Football.London's Oliver Harbord offered his view:

Oliver Harbord @ojharbord

Bother Rudiger and Bernard get a yellow card there. Looked strange that, Bernard maybe lucky to stay on the pitch. #cfc

Chelsea also had a penalty shot in the second half when Morata went down under pressure from Mina:

BBC 5 Live Sport on BBC Sounds @5liveSport

Yerry Mina has certainly put himself about on his first #PL start. 💪 A yellow in the first-half - should a penalty have been given against him in the second? 🤔 ⚽📱https://t.co/avBTuD63gI #CHEEVE https://t.co/cK803DEXuv

The referee's decisions appeared to frustrate both sides in an ill-tempered game, although Chelsea may be relieved he did not view Jorginho's challenge more harshly.


What's Next?

Chelsea are back in action after the international break, as they travel to Tottenham Hotspur on November 24. Everton host Cardiff City on the same day.