Belfast Telegraph

Striking power puts Chelsea in a strong place

Everton 3 - Chelsea 6

By Simon Hart

It was a weekend when Chelsea gave a telling exhibition of striking power, first in the way Diego Costa bullied Everton’s backline as they scored six goals at Goodison Park, then in the signing of Loic Remy from Queen’s Park Rangers.

Remy, who joined the club yesterday after the £10.5m release clause in his contract had been triggered.

“When I heard Chelsea wanted to sign me I said ‘let’s go’ straight away because they are one of the best clubs in the world,” the Frenchman said.

Remy’s 14 league goals for Newcastle last season were more than any of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba or Samuel Eto’o managed for the Londoners and he gives their manager, Jose Mourinho, a decent back-up to Costa, who already has four goals from three appearances.

After the goals had stopped flying in and the dust had begun to settle at Goodison on Saturday evening, Mourinho let his mind wander back to Chelsea’s previous visit to the old stadium last September.

“When we played here last season we missed four or five chances,” he said, recalling that 1-0 defeat. “For us, it was difficult for us to scare (teams) away from home last season.”

Saturday’s nine-goal thriller provided quite a contrast as a Chelsea team bolstered by the summer additions of Costa and Cesc Fabregas showed that they should have no trouble at all frightening opponents this term.

It took Chelsea until last December to manage as many away goals as they have scored in their two games on the road thus far and, while it is one thing scoring three at Burnley, hitting Everton for six is some statement from the early Premier League leaders.

With Costa, the feeling is many more goals will follow and the way he combined with Fabregas for the first goal — scored before an single Everton player had touched the ball — showcased the qualities that pair have brought.

Mourinho considers the quick integration of the pair no surprise — “Cesc played in the Premier League and this is nothing new for him. Diego is a mature guy of 25” — although his suggestion that opponents were targeting the Spain international striker had to be taken with a pinch of salt; his goading of Seamus Coleman after the full-back’s own goal showed he can look after himself.

It helped Nemanja Matic and Chelsea’s other scorers that Everton crumbled whenever the ball got near their penalty box.

Their performance may have featured some superb attacking play but defensively they were a shambles. Everton manager Roberto Martinez suggested that the late goals conceded in throwing away leads against Leicester and Arsenal in their previous games had had a “psychological” impact on his winless side.

“We didn’t defend with a lot of confidence,” Martinez said. “Everything that went around Tim Howard ended up in the back of the net.”

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