Roberto Martinez has his first Premier League win as Everton boss. He picked it up in impressive fashion on Saturday afternoon as his team exceeded all expectations in a 1-0 win over Chelsea. The visitors failed to take their chances and then gave up more than they created when they went to an aggressive lineup in the closing minutes.
Everton got the better of the very early part of the game, with Nikica Jelavic registering the game's first shot on target eight minutes in and Ross Barkley threatening with his runs through the center. He lacked an end product on a couple of occasions, however.
Around the half-hour mark, momentum started to shift in Chelsea's direction with the Blues controlling the match until first-half stoppage time. A terrible giveaway by Tim Howard in the 29th minute led to a big chance for Samuel Eto'o right in front of goal, but Gareth Barry made an impressive last-second block. Howard looked a bit more impressive when called into action six minutes later, making a stop on a stinging shot by Ramires.
It appeared that the game was going to stay scoreless until halftime, but Everton had other ideas and even stunned their home fans with a late goal. Leon Osman set it up with a cross to the back post for Jelavic, who opted to head the ball across the face of goal instead of trying to score himself. It was a great decision and Steven Naismith got on the end of the ball to nod past Petr Cech.
Chelsea came out like gangbusters to start the second half and nearly scored instantly, with Andre Schürrle hitting what looked like a good chance into the side netting. It wasn't his first miss of the evening, and he was subbed out in the 57th minute for Frank Lampard. Oscar took to the pitch at the same time, replacing Juan Mata.
In the 66th minute, Roberto Martinez opted to strengthen his midfield in a move that signaled his intent to try to hang on to a 1-0 lead. James McCarthy entered for Jelavic and slotted into the middle. Later on, Steven Naismith was pulled for John Stones as Everton tried to further shut up shop.
Jose Mourinho responded with a drastic change in his personnel, removing left back Ashley Cole for striker Fernando Torres. His team switched to an aggressive 3-5-2 formation with Ramires and Eden Hazard as wingbacks -- leading to to both chances for them and lots of open space for Everton to counter into for the duration of the match.
Chelsea generated a couple of very good set-piece chances -- Branislav Ivanovic forced a good save from Tim Howard on one occasion -- but it was the Toffees who looked like the stronger team to close the game. They took advantage of their chances to counter and forced David Luiz and Eden Hazard to take yellow cards to keep their deficit at one goal.
Torres had Chelsea's last big chance, a half-volley from eight yards in the 90th minute. Unsurprisingly, however, he fluffed it.
Everton: Howard, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman, Osman, Barry, Mirallas, Barkley, Naismith, Jelavic (McCarthy 66')
Goals: Naismith (45')
Chelsea: Cech, Cole (Torres 69'), Terry, Luiz, Ivanovic, Ramires, Mikel, Hazard, Mata (Oscar 57'), Schürrle (Lampard 57'), Eto'o