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  • By Paul Lagan

Spanish duo down dour Toffeemen As Blues win 2-0

Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata scored the goals that sealed the champions first home win of the season, dispatching workmanlike but uninspiring Everton 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the early afternoon kick-off. Fabregas in particular was in imperious mood all afternoon and he was the architect and finisher of the opening goal that set the Blues on their way to a deserved three point win. Morata by contrast seemed to struggle under the combined weight and presence of Everton’s centre-back painting of Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka, but when released from their shackles just before half-time, he showed his class with a neat clipped header to double the lead and effectively end the match as a contest. When he was substituted with 13 minutes left he had to have a large bag of ice put on his head and neck to cool him down. The opening skirmishes were limited to the midfield and referee Jonathan Moss had had enough on the ninth minute, when he issued the first yellow card for a late challenge on Cesc Fabregas by Idrissa Ghana Gueye. A minute later and the first serious attack was for the home side, where Pedro saw a speculative overhead kick from 10 yards out sail over Jordan Pickford’s crossbar.

Than a Willian dipper was goal-bound but took a deflection for a corner. This was quickly followed on 13 minutes by a left-footed daisy-cutter by David Luiz. Pedro was next up but, again, Pickford was equal to the task as the Blues went on the offensive rampage. The pressure finally told on 27 minutes when, after great set-up play between Willian, Fabregas and a double touch by Alvaro Morata, the ball poked home by Fabregas from an acute angle from which Pickford could not reach and it settled into the right-hand corner of his net. The second was an almost comic affair. Antonio Conte was fuming at the fourth official of a play-on by Moss as Moses was bundled over on the edge of the Everton penalty area, up popped Morata to head home, from close range from a cute Cesar Azpilicueta clipped cross to double the lead on 40 minutes. Conte then realising the Blues had scored jumped up and down like a demented cat in delight, forgetting his argument at the official. There were no changes at half time by either side. The first attack of the second half came from the Toffeemen when Wayne Rooney took advantage of a misplaced pass by Azpilicueta. He raced clear before passing to Sandro Ramirez who fluffed his lines by cutting the ball wide of goal, but struck lucky by seeing a deflection for a corner off Luiz. Pedro did brilliantly on 59 minutes but saw a rasping right-footed smash into the side netting rather than the Everton goal. This was quickly followed by Victor Moses. This time the shot was goal-bound but a regulation save was made by Pickford. Tiemoue Bakayoko entered the fray on 75 minutes replacing Pedro. This was followed by Morata coming off for Michy Batshuayi three minutes later. An overhead, speculative effort on 81 minutes, by Ashley Williams, gave Thibaut Courtois just a moment of worry, but the ball inched over his crossbar. It was the visitors’ first effort on goal in the second half. The late rally by Everton saw a couple of half-chances but the Blues, clearly tiring in the heat managed the situation with a couple of tactical substitutions and saw the game out.

Chelsea: Courtois, Rudiger, Alonso, fabregas, kante, Morata, Pedro, Moses, Willian, Azpilicueta, Luiz Subs: Cabballero, Bayayoko, Kenedy, Musonda, Batshuayi, Christensen, Tomori

Everton: Pickford, baines, Keane, Williams, Jagielka, Ramirez, Rooney, Ghana Gueye, Sigurdsson, Davies, Holgate. Subs: Stekelenberg, Lennon, Martina, Besic, Calvert-Lewis, Lookman, kenny

Referee Jonathan Moss

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