LONDON: Antonio Conte, before Chelsea’s comfortable 2-0 win over Everton, had described the Blues as in “emergency” because of the number of players injured and the lack of experienced cover. Not much of emergency, according to the evidence at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea, with David Luiz back in defence after his midfield role in the previous week’s win at Tottenham, dominated from kickoff and were never in danger.
Cesc Fabregas scored the first goal after 26 minutes after taking a return pass from Alvaro Morata following a quick free kick. Everton manager Ronald Koeman, a former defender himself, will not have been impressed by the way his defence failed to react.
The second goal followed after 39 minutes. Referee Jon Moss allowed the advantage after Victor Moses was tripped outside the penalty box, Cesar Azpilicueta crossed and Morata headed his second Premier goal in three games.
Everton defender Phil Jagielka again stood still, appealing in vain for offside.
Wayne Rooney, having retired in midweek from England duties to concentrate on Everton, cut a frustrated figure in attack. Everton created nothing in the first half and only a couple of half chances after the interval.
Not until the 89th minute did Everton test Thibaud Courtois. Substitute Aaron Lennon had a shot brilliantly blocked by Antonio Rudiger then Courtois turned Idrissa Gueye’s follow-up effort over the bar. Otherwise the effort Everton had expended forcing a draw at Manchester City on Monday then playing in Split on Thursday had left them with little power in reserve.