Cobham Commutes #17: Defeat to Everton at Goodison Park as Chelsea’s fourteen game unbeaten run away from home comes to an end

In this series, I review my in-ground experience throughout the season, this time for Everton away. It’s split into two columns, one for home games and the other for away days. I run through various topics from atmosphere to an overall match review and give my thoughts on my match-day experience at the stadiums I visit.

Journey to the game: Everton away at Goodison Park

This was just my third away day as a Chelsea fan this season – last one being just a few days ago at Old Trafford as I saw Chelsea draw 1-1 to Manchester United. The journey today was fairly straightforward – a one hour drive from Leeds to Liverpool.

Although I arrived at the ground three hours before kick off, the nerves were certainly starting to kick in – unsurprisingly considering our record at Goodison Park over the years.

View outside Goodison Park just as I arrived

Stadium Summary

I really like the ‘traditional’ and ‘older’ type stadiums. I think the Goodison Park falls into that category, similarly to Old Trafford. The concourse was tightly packed but the pitch isn’t exactly big. Funnily enough, I prefer stadiums like Goodison Park to the likes of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where it’s up-to-date and massive in size but doesn’t really have that history, traditional value or atmosphere.

Moving onto my seat, it was a very nice view. As against Manchester United and Aston Villa, I had two tickets and was able to sit next to my brother. We were sat very close to the pitch in the lower tier, aligned to the bottom left (TV view). I wasn’t able to fully see what was going on at the other end of the pitch but the view was still more than good enough.

In terms of the atmosphere, it was nothing short of exceptional. The Everton fans were needed on a day like this and to be fair, they did turn up and generate a consistent atmosphere throughout the game.

My view at Goodison Park for Everton vs Chelsea

Everton 1-0 Chelsea: Match Review

It wasn’t as dominant a start as it was against Manchester United, but we did preserve control early on. We managed to get a foothold early in the game but a lot of the possession we had was mostly in our half where we struggled to really play with the intensity that Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea fans would’ve expected. The Toffees were sat deep in what looked like a 5-4-1 and they made it difficult for Jorginho and the three CB’s to play in between the lines to the likes of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz.

The start of the second half didn’t exactly go well with Azpilicueta gifting the ball to Gray who passed to Richarlison for an easy finish. They should’ve doubled their lead shortly after with Mykolenko blazing a great effort wide.

Eventually, we created some chances which resulted in Pickford pulling off two top class saves to deny Azpilicueta and Rudiger. We then started piling on the pressure as Pickford made two more saves to stop Loftus-Cheek and Kovacic getting on the scoresheet. Those missed opportunities sadly cost us and Everton’s time-wasting helped slow the game down as our hopes of finding a equaliser slowly faded away.

In the end, it wasn’t good enough. Some will blame it on how we were setup, others will blame it on complacency. I think it was both. Lukaku being on the bench while we were lofting in crosses to the likes of Pulisic, Mount and Havertz who aren’t really good in the air, wasn’t really going to work. Second balls were falling Everton’s way and from the first half, it had the look of a match where we’d struggle to create many clear-cut chances and convert them.

Things you don’t see or hear on TV

As expected, we showed our support for Chelsea legend, Frank Lampard. Chants of ‘Super Frank’ and ‘Frankie Lampard scored 200’ were sung throughout the game.

There was a moment shortly after the Richarlison goal where a flare was thrown from an Everton fan into the away end. I think the handling of this by the stewards was pretty poor. There were also other objects being thrown at Chelsea fans.

It was hard to know whether it could’ve been heard via the pitchside microphones, but when Kai Havertz and Timo Werner were subbed off, there was a scathing reaction. Not necessarily surprising as the two Germans struggled to make an impact throughout the game.

It would be unfair to criticise just the two as the whole team collectively were poor. There were many instances where we worked the angle for a player to have a shot but instead chose to pass sideways or backwards. I must’ve heard ‘Just f*cking shoot’ at least eight times throughout the match.

I also heard ‘diving cheat’ aimed at Richarlison and Yerry Mina countless times, for time wasting and throwing themselves to the floor.

The atmosphere and vibes in the away end, again, were incredible. It’s just a shame our poor record at Goodison Park continues, having not won there since 16/17 which was when we last won the league.

Written by Vik (@CFCVik)

Edited by Luka Foley (@UOGLuka)

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