Hat-trick hero Naismith inspires Everton win over Chelsea
When Steven Naismith arrived at Goodison Park a couple of hours prior to the match against Chelsea to be told he would be starting from the bench, not even he would have expected to come on after the first 10 minutes and win the match single-handed for Everton scoring a hat-trick. Not just a hat-trick, but the perfect hat-trick.
Following an injury to Muhamed Besic, Roberto Martinez, rolled the dice early and decided to go more attacking and how this paid off.
Immediately drifting in between the lines, Naismith was hard to pick up, as shown from his first goal. With noone marking him, the ball came into his feet, while Branislav Ivanovic pointed in vain.
Everton left back Brendan Galloway, who was impressive throughout had made his move as Naismith slid a quick ball into him to then reconnect with a superb header two seconds later to nod past Asmir Begovic.
With the Blues stunned, the Toffees capitalised, and Naismith once more found a pocket of pace to steam into with the ball before unleashing a drilled left foot shot, low past Begovic, to leave Chelsea floundering as Jose Mourinho looked on solemnly.
Chelsea though, tried to turn the screw and almost went close through Diego Costa, though a great block from John Stones, who was having an excellent match, sent the effort out for a corner.
Just before half time, Mourinho’s men were given hope, when Nemanja Matic thundered a left drive into the top left corner past a helpless Tim Howard to change his manager’s half time team talk somewhat.
Much of the second period was more of an arm wrestle than anything else, with Chelsea trying to impose themselves on their hosts, as Mourinho brought on attackers Kenedy and Radamel Falcao in an attempt to force the issue. However, it was Everton against the run of play who were successful, as Naismith surged into the area to brilliantly lift the ball over Begovic with a sublime right-foot finish. The perfect hat-trick.
Before this match, Mourinho hadn’t lost consecutive Premier League matches with Chelsea since 2006 against Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, though they had already won the title by then. The Blues have work to do.