Chelsea got off to a good start despite a lackluster performance in the first leg of the Premier League when they beat Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday night.

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In a calm first half, the home side enjoyed more of their chances, but it was Thomas Tuchel’s side who took the lead after Abdoulaye Ducour fouled Ben Chilwell in the box and Jorginho scored Chelsea’s first goal of the season. The Toffees reacted well after the break when Demarai Gray found a place in the penalty area before checking on Edouard Mendy and it was the home side that came close to equalizing again, but from a desperate defence.

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Chelsea continued to struggle to create meaningful chances despite some substitutions, which featured Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, with a cautious approach, preferring to resist pressure from hosts who lost patience as the game progressed. 10 minutes of stoppage time due to a medical emergency in the stands kept Chelsea determined even in injury time and they were able to hold on to three vital points in a close contest.

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Positive sides

Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy were Chelsea’s standout stars that day and their contributions were vital in helping to earn a clean sheet.

Negative

Chelsea’s attacking play was predictable and too often poor, making it difficult for them to create chances in open play. Thomas Tuchel must also find a way to support Raheem Sterling, who has been ousted by the opposition.

Manager rating (out of 10)

four — A Chelsea win is all that matters, but Thomas Tuchel has a lot of work to do after his team’s performance tonight. The Blues could easily be punished for not supporting the attack enough in their style of play, and this is something that needs to be improved in the next game.

Player rating (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes do not receive a rating)

GK Eduard Mendy, 7 years old — A strong hand in the first half kept James Tarkowski from opening the scoring, while the Senegal international scored a goal from Demarai Gray just minutes into the second half.

DF Kalidou Koulibaly, 6 — The former Napoli centre-back has handled some defensive situations well, especially with the ball in the air, but overall Everton’s mixed Premier League debut could have been better with more focus on some midfield passes.

DF Thiago Silva, 8 — A vital interception stopped a pass by Demarai Gray that would have created the best moment of the first half, epitomizing the 37-year-old’s defensive play that day. Thiago Silva’s reading of the game has become a benchmark for his team.

DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 6 — Azpilicueta acted simply and did not intend to make many mistakes, although he could be closer to Thiago Silva at some points when Everton quickly broke through on the flank.

MCH Ben Chilwell, 6 years old — The 25-year-old made the most of contact in Abdoulaye Dukour’s box to win a penalty shortly before half-time to earn maximum dividends from an instinctive shot into the box.

MF Jorginho, 6 — A steep penalty saw Jorginho send Jordan Pickford the wrong way off the spot and give Chelsea the lead. He had a lot of ball for 90 minutes, but he did not want to interfere in the game in defense.

MF N’Golo Kante, 7 years old — The French international interrupted the game several times: N’Golo Kante quickly stopped the danger while keeping the play forward simple.

MF Rhys James, 5 — James regularly sought to stretch the game on the right flank, but Everton hoped to counter his influence well, ensuring he was shut out. The 22-year-old received an unnecessary yellow card for wasting time before the hour mark.

FW Raheem Sterling, 6 — The England international enjoyed a few promising moments looking like Chelsea’s brightest player but was often left alone and surrounded by Everton shirts.

FW Kai Havertz, 5 — An anonymous reveal from a man in Germany who has struggled to make any meaningful impact on the game.

F. W. Mason Mount, 5 — Mount landed a good shot early in the game to test Jordan Pickford in a quiet game for him. A shrewd move helped Chilwell pave his way for Chelsea to take a penalty.

Substitutions

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chilwell, 65″), 6 — A powerful run forced Vitaliy Mikolenko to foul on the penalty area in the danger zone.

Christian Pulisic (Mount, 65″), 5 — Mount had a USMNT star just after the hour mark, but Pulisic didn’t get the favor he needed to impress. Mark Cucurella (Coulibaly, 75″) N/A – Cucurella almost made his debut assist with his accurate pass to Raheem Sterling, but Mikolenko blocked the shot.

Armando Brocha (Haverz, 75″) N/A — Replaced Havertz for the last 15 minutes.

Conor Gallagher (Jorginho 90+8″) N/A — On the Chelsea debut, Gallagher appeared in the last two minutes of the game.