Premier League giants Chelsea put in what has been arguably their most balanced and dominant performance of the campaign so far, after dispatching former manager Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton side by a 4-0 scoreline. Many expected the Blues to falter at Stamford Bridge, against a team that is stacked to the brim with supremely talented players. Despite all the build-up, the London side began the fixture like a team on a mission.
How Did The Fixture Itself Play Out?
The Toffees are a side that like to push their full-backs into good attacking positions in the opposition final third, but an adamant Chelsea midfield on the night had ensured that the Everton attackers weren’t able to find spaces in between the Chelsea lines. The team from London, on the other hand, looked at their free-flowing best, with the enthusiasm of Frank Lampard constantly pushing them from the near touchline.
The likes of Willian, Pedro and Ross Barkley looked like different players to the ones that usually line up for Chelsea, and the performance of Billy Gilmour in the middle of the park has already become the stuff of legend in West London. Excellent goals from Willian, Pedro, Ross Barkley and Mason Mount meant that Carlo Ancelotti’s first visit to Stamford Bridge as the manager of a Merseyside club has ended in an embarrassing defeat.
Here are 3 Tactical Decisions that the Blues took to beat Everton:
Play Two Attack-Minded Midfielders Together
Frank Lampard has preferred to utilise two holding midfield players in the central area, with one attacking midfielder coming in and out of the team based on requirements. What the Chelsea legend decided to do instead against the Toffees was to play both Mason Mount and Ross Barkley in the advanced position, with the defensive responsibility, split equally between the two of them. This offered Billy Gilmour some additional cover at the back, while also taking nothing away from their attacking firepower.
Additional Support For Billy Gilmour
The youngster was given his first ever Premier League start tonight, and to say that he impressed would be a massive understatement. Despite the brilliant display he put in recently, many expected the youngster to have a tough time in the holding midfield position. Lampard, as a solution, asked his full-backs to work harder on the night by unforgivingly following the opposition wingers, thereby leaving lesser space for the young Scot to cover from his role as the pivot.
Proper Utilisation Of Olivier Giroud
The Frenchman spent the first half of the Blues’ campaign on the fringes of the team, and despite some good work at the end of last season in the Europa League final, Lampard never looked comfortable playing him from the start. With that said though, it must be conceded that the manager utilised Giroud’s attributes perfectly for the fixture, and made sure that Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal went long on every possible opportunity. They registered ten long balls from the goalkeeper to the striker from open play.