Everton vs Chelsea: Super Diego Costa has manager Jose Mourinho purring as Chelsea slip into overdrive

Everton 3 Chelsea 6: New signing sets the tone with all-action performance in startling team display of attacking play that Chelsea’s manager describes as ‘fantastic’

goodison park

Park the bus? That’s so last season for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. On their last visit to Merseyside in April, they won at Anfield with a smash-and-grab. Here, in the Goodison drizzle, they went on the attack and outpunched Everton in an extraordinary nine-goal slugfest to maintain their 100 per cent winning start to the campaign.

Diego Costa started it all off with the opening goal after 37 seconds and finished it in the final minute, underlining why Mourinho did not hesitate to offload four different strikers when bringing in the Spanish international for £32m from Atletico Madrid in the summer.

One of the forwards who left Stamford Bridge – Samuel Eto’o – came off the bench to score a debut goal but that was a mere footnote during a breathless second half when two teams traded blows – with five goals scored in one mad 10-minute spell – and Chelsea came out on top.

“We were killers in attack, especially counterattacks,” said Mourinho of this new, all-guns-blazing Chelsea. “The quality of our football was fantastic – every time we had the ball we were aggressive, we were dangerous. We were very, very good with the ball.”

And they had in Costa a player who has four goals from three Chelsea starts. “Diego is maybe the best player in the Premier League in the first three matches,” said Mourinho of the striker who started the goalrush when Cesc Fabregas picked out his diagonal run behind Sylvain Distin.

 

With Everton defenders appealing for offside, he shot through the legs of Howard. Everton had conceded two late goals to surrender a two-goal lead against Arsenal last weekend and here they had not even puffed their cheeks before they were two goals down as Ramires played in Branislav Ivanovic who shot low past Howard.

Replays showed the Chelsea man was offside, though the next big call did go the way of the shellshocked home side with Howard lucky to avoid being penalised when he caught a through ball in the D of his penalty box.

It was on a Saturday evening last September that Roberto Martinez’s reign as Everton manager gained lift-off with victory over Chelsea but today was a sobering experience for the Spaniard,. Everton have conceded ten goals in three games. He said: “We were too soft with our defending.’’

What they did have was a refusal to lie down. Romelu Lukaku, starting against his old club for the first time, almost threw Everton a lifeline after 16 minutes when he thumped a header against the crossbar. Sylvain Distin was offside as he bundled the loose ball in. Yet on the stroke of half-time, Mirallas did find the net as he beat Gary Cahill to Seamus Coleman’s cross.

That hope was nearly extinguished early in the second half when Phil Jagielka gave the ball away to Fabregas and Ramires put Costa clear but this time Howard made the save.

Chelsea did get their third after 67 minutes when Eden Hazard dribbled into the box and his low ball was deflected in by Coleman. It was the cue for Costa to make a beeline for the Everton man. Costa had been booked for shoving Coleman and now had words with the Irishman as he sat on the turf. It was ungracious and sparked a furious reaction from Howard, who earned a booking.

Mourinho accused “some Everton players of trying to create problems for Diego”, but Martinez responded pointedly: “I think there are certain foreign players who when they come to the Premier League need to understand the ethics. It is a completely different culture, and the last thing you want to be is disrespectful to another player even if he is in the opposing team.”

What followed after Coleman’s own goal was a remarkable spell of scoring. Steven Naismith poked in from an Aiden McGeady through-ball. Matic fired in off a post. Then Eto’o nodded a free-kick past Courtois. At 3-4, Goodison roared again but not for long. Sixty seconds later Ramires shot across Howard and into the Park End net. There was still time for Mirallas to hit a post before Costa rounded off the scoring after Muhamed Besic gave the ball away.

It was astonishing stuff. “I prefer to win 6-0,” added Mourinho, before highlighting once more the work of Costa. “In the first half he was tackling Coleman on the edge of our box. He recovered balls, he held the ball up, he was aggressive, he was face to face with Howard three times and scored two goals.” Mourinho has Loïc Rémy arriving to boost his attack after the departures of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba, Lukaku and Eto’o. It is Costa, though, who has already given them a new dimension. And, as if these goals were not enough, Chelsea also expect to complete the signing of Loic Rémy tomorrow.

Everton (4-2-3-1): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; McGeady (Eto’o, 70), Naismith, Mirallas; Lukaku (Besic, 89).

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian (Mikel, 75), Fabregas (Drogba, 89), Hazard (Filipe Luis, 83); Costa.

Referee: Jon Moss.

Man of the match: Matic (Chelsea).

Match rating: 8/10.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there