So this was a big win for Silva, maybe his biggest of his up and down first season at Everton. He was brought to lift people from their seats like this. There has not been nearly enough of it over the course of the year but here his team recovered from a flat first half to overrun Chelsea.
Really poor for 45 minutes, Everton improved beyond recognition and scored twice – through Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson – in the space of 25 minutes to remind us just what an atmospheric place Goodison Park can be when the home team’s blood is up.
For Chelsea and their coach Maurizio Sarri, it was all greatly disappointing and a little familiar.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
EVERTON: (4-4-1-1) Pickford 7; Coleman 6, Keane 6, Mina 6 Digne 6; Richarlison 7, Gomes 7 (Schneiderlin 67mins 6.5), Gueye 6.5, Bernard 7.5 (Walcott 77mins 6); Sigurdsson 6; Calvert-Lewin 6.5. Not used: Stekelenburg, Baines, Tosun, Davies, Lookman.
GOALS: Richarlison 49, Sigurdsson (pen) 71
MARCO SILVA: 7.5
CHELSEA (4-1-4-1) Arrizabalaga 7; Azpilicueta 6, Luiz 6, Rudiger 6, Alonso 5.5; Jorginho 6 (Hudson-Odoi 73mins 6) Pedro 6.5, Barkley 6.5 (Loftus-Cheek 65mins 6), Kante 6, Hazard 6.5; Higuain 6 (Giroud 65mins 6). Not used: Caballero, Kovacic, Willian, Christensen.
BOOKED: Alonso, Rudiger
MAURIZIO SARRI: 6
Chelsea have recovered a little since they were dismantled by both Manchester clubs in February. Indeed, in the first half they were the better team by a distance, completely controlling the game.
But once Everton emerged for the second period seemingly determined to show themselves in a better light, Chelsea could not cope and this is does not say terribly much for their depths of reserve. Some of Chelsea’s performances this season have caused people to ask just how much they care for their Italian coach. This was not one of those days but, still, their reaction to falling behind was not good enough.
This was an opportunity to move level on points with Arsenal in fourth place and that they ultimately failed by such a distance suggests this is a group of players missing something very important as the tussle for the Champions League places intensifies.
Subsequently, Silva’s team were faster to every ball and also began to use the width of the pitch. Both things helped their cause.
Pickford – who had a good afternoon after his horrors at Newcastle – saved well from Higuain and Barkley had a shot blocked but the crucial second goal went Everton’s way.
Seamus Coleman was blocked in the penalty area in the 70th minute and then, after the ball broke, so was Richarlison. The difference was that the second challenge – from Marco Alonso – was illegal and Sigurdsson drove the rebound in to the net after Kepa saved his initial penalty low to his right.
Sarri looked resigned to another Premier League failure long before full-time. It is a countenance we are likely to see again before the season is out.