Previous
CSKA Moscow
Bayern Munich
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Manchester City
AS Roma
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Apoel Nicosia
Ajax Amsterdam
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Paris Saint-Germain
Barcelona
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Schalke 04
NK Maribor
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Lisbon
Chelsea
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
BATE Borisov
Athletic Bilbao
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shakhtar Donetsk
FC Porto
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Brighton & Hove Albion
Cardiff City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derby County
AFC Bournemouth
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Middlesbrough
Blackpool
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Millwall
Birmingham City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Norwich City
Charlton Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Rotherham United
Blackburn Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield Wednesday
Ipswich Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Watford
Brentford
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Wigan Athletic
Nottingham Forest
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Crewe Alexandra
Notts County
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Telford United
Chester City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Halifax
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Altrincham
Macclesfield Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Braintree Town
Barnet
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dover
Aldershot Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Eastleigh
Bristol Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Forest Green Rovers
Torquay United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Grimsby Town
Southport
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Gateshead
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Welling
Dartford
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Woking
Nuneaton Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Wrexham
Kidderminster Harriers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Aberdeen
St Mirren
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
León
Monterrey
1:06 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlas
Queretaro
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
U.A.N.L
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Icasa
Luverdense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
Portuguesa de Desportos
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Vila Nova-GO
Ceará
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AA Ponte Preta
Paraná Clube
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Al-Ain
Al Hilal
3:15 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Herediano
Universidad De Costa Rica
Postp
Postponed - now being played Wed, Oct 1
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Mark Worrall
Aug 30, 2014

Recovered Costa crushes Everton

ESPN FC's Craig Burley breaks down the nine-goal thriller at Goodison Park in which Chelsea moved to the top of the Premier League with a 6-3 victory.

It's still early days in the 2014-15 Premier League campaign, but the chances are, that come May 24th when everything is done and dusted, the nine-goal feast served up by Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on Saturday evening will rank as one of the games of the season.

EvertonEverton
ChelseaChelsea
3
6
FT
Game Details

If the Blues are crowned champions of England on that day, it will be because they were worthy of winning the title. Against the Toffees they displayed the essential quality that was lacking last season: putting the ball in the back of the net -- again and again and again. Six times in fact. So much so that it didn't matter how many times Everton scored because Chelsea were always going to score more.

- Tyler: Three points: Everton vs. Chelsea
- Report: Mourinho criticises Everton over Costa
- Report: Blues go top; United, City slip

The build-up to the game had concerned itself with two men: Diego Costa and Fernando Torres. Several days ago, hysterical media headlines proclaimed Costa was 'out for six weeks' following a training ground injury. Meanwhile Torres, the man Costa was brought in to replace, was loaned out to AC Milan on a two-year deal -- a move which effectively ended his Chelsea career.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho was suddenly caught short up front. Déjà vu. Same story, different season. Old warhorse Didier Drogba could lead the line, but at 36 years of age how long would he last? Another dip into the transfer market could solve the problem, but not for the trip to Goodison. Last season, Roberto Martinez's men had got the better of Chelsea, once more the writing was on the wall -- or was it?

Not only is Mourinho special -- he is a very clever man. With Martinez plotting to undo a Costa-less Chelsea, news broke that the Spain international had come through Friday's training session unscathed. The Special One had been non-committal in his pre-match presser and the eventual expectation was that Costa would be named among the substitutes. It was wrong. Costa started. And how!

Diego Costa was in full force with a brace to help the Blues double up the Toffees.
Diego Costa was in full force with a brace to help the Blues double up the Toffees.

With Martinez, Everton, and their supporters, still digesting the fact that Chelsea's 32 million pound striker was on the pitch -- and thinking perhaps they, along with the rest of the football world had been hoodwinked -- referee Jonathan Moss got the game underway.

It was a classic sucker-punch. Inside one minute, having made the greatest comeback since Lazarus, Costa put the Blues in front. Cesc Fabregas spilt the Everton defence open with a perfectly-weighted trademark pass, and Costa did what he does best giving Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard his first task of the afternoon -- picking the ball out of the back of his own net!

Depending on his own point of view, Howard might consider himself lucky to have remained on the pitch to repeat the process a further five times. With just eight minutes on the clock, and Branislav Ivanovic having already doubled Chelsea's lead, the United States international keeper blatantly handled the ball outside his area when rushing out to prevent a through-ball from reaching Eden Hazard. This wasn't football, it was basketball! Yet the match officials saw nothing when at least a yellow card and a free-kick were in order.

With Kevin Mirallas having pulled a goal back for Everton on the stroke of half-time, the second period saw the home side press forward for an equalizer. Catching the Toffees on the break was now the name of the game, and Eden Hazard did just that by jinking into the penalty area and firing a low shot goal-ward which was deflected in by Seamus Coleman.

Howard was incensed. A rush of blood to the head. A head which he decided to put in the face of Cesar Azpilicueta as the Blues players celebrated. It was a disgrace, but referee Jonathan Moss chose meekly to wave a yellow card. It was no surprise, really, given the fact that in the first half an atrocious two-footed lunge by Gareth Barry on Willian had gone unpunished.

John Terry and the Chelsea defence allowed three goals, but were boosted by the team's attack in Saturday's wild affair.
John Terry and the Chelsea defence allowed three goals, but were boosted by the team's attack in Saturday's wild affair.

Steven Naismith responded by pulling another goal back for Everton which was the cue for a remarkable passage of play which saw a further three goals scored in as many minutes: 74 minutes, Nemanja Matic 4-2. 76 minutes, Samuel Eto'o, on his Toffees' debut, and against his old club, 4-3. 77 minutes, Ramires 5-3.

Nerves were jangling. Mourinho was in a state of constant agitation. What was going to happen next? Another goal for Chelsea, that's what. Step forward that man Costa. His first strike had been the third game in succession that he scored with his first shot. On Saturday night he rippled the net with his last shot as well.

Jose Mourinho's frustration with his back line was evident.
Jose Mourinho's frustration with his back line was evident.

A slip-shod back-heel from Everton substitute Muhamed Besic allowed John Obi Mikel to steal the ball and play in Costa who finished with aplomb. 'Boring, boring Chelsea,' was the ironic chant from jubilant travelling Blues supporters. Moss blew the final whistle. 6-3, phew!

Mourinho may lament the inept defending which gifted Everton three goals, but in the end it didn't matter. Last season he could only have dreamed of watching his side score six times in a game. On Saturday they did just that, and there was plenty to suggest it won't be the last time they put teams to the sword. Chelsea have all the hallmarks of Champions.

Mark Worrall

A football author and Chelsea Gate 17 season-ticket holder, Mark has penned "Over Land and Sea," "One Man Went to Mow," "Blue Murder" and the "Chelsea Chronicles" series and co-authored "Chelsea Here Chelsea There" and "Making History, Not Reliving It." You can follow him on Twitter @gate17marco.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.