Analyzing Everton's goal and highlighting Mikel's performance

First off, Cech threw the ball towards Eto’o to start off a counter-attack. However it was quite a poor throw, and Everton were able to capitalize and recover despite Ramires trying to get the ball back. The three players encircled had a direct effect on the goal Chelsea conceded right before half time.


With 3 players indulged in recovering the ball from the flanks, there were two Everton players who were quite free. Eto’o at this point was nowhere near them, and the responsibility of pressurizing them fell on Schurrle’s shoulder. Everton were clever while going forward by letting Chelsea’s high pressing fall on the wrong players and 2-3 midfielders were smart enough to take advantage of it.


Everton cut the ball back, and here is when the disaster becomes worse. Mikel is forced into pressurizing the ball because if he doesn’t, the ball is played out somewhere else with more attacking intent. Luiz, however, breaks  away and tries to press at the ball as well. This was the main reason behind Everton’s goal. Luiz is ball watching, something you don’t expect from world-class defenders. What Luiz should have done is held his ground and let Schurrle who is coming in as well, to press when the ball is passed into the middle and towards Barkley.

With Luiz’s movement, the defensive line was messed up. 2 defenders were now marking 2 instead of 3 marking 2. The numerical advantage was reduced. If we were to have 3 throughout the period, the ball could have been cleared off well right when Jelavic headed the ball back into the middle and at Naismith. Also note how JT is far off from Naismith, as even he couldn’t have predicted Luiz to have just walked away from his responsibilities to press at the ball needlessly.


Another thing to note is how Barkley had brilliant vision to play it towards the flanks where Osman is making a run, despite being pressurized by almost three to four players. Jelavic has his hand up as Terry closes in on Coleman who’s made the run inside, and Ivanovic marks Naismith.

This is where the effect of Luiz’s ball watching can be clearly seen. Everton take good advantage of Chelsea’s high pressing thanks to Coleman making the decisive run which turned the numerical advantage to their favor . From 3 on 2, to 2 on 3 in a matter of seconds for Chelsea’s defensive line.


Cole did a pretty poor job of blocking off Osman. Even though Ramires was a lot more closer to the Everton midfielder, it was never really his job to do it. Luiz has realised his mistake and is slowly making his way back towards the defensive line that was once well structured, but the damage has already been done. Ivanovic has to rush back in time to stop Jelavic from getting in contact with the ball.


Jelavic pulls it back as Luiz continues retreating. Terry is forced to mark two players, but realizes that the main danger is Naismith. He is forced to press on him, but can’t make it in time.

Technically speaking, even if Terry was to clear the ball away, Coleman could have put the ball in the net. Not only were Everton able to create a direct scoring chance, they also had a plan B.


This gives a much clearer view on the problem. The fact is that Luiz should never have moved, cause Schurrle was always going to be the one pressing on Barkley. Luiz could have stayed and maintained the structure, instead his adrenaline forced him into pressing and Chelsea paid the price.

Apart from the goal, we can have a look at Mikel, who put in a MOTM performance. He looks like one of the only few players who will fit into Mourinho’s system with ease. The defenders have to press with a definite structure, the full-backs have to learn when to initiate counter-attacks and when not to, the midfielders including one player from the pivot needs to understand that they have to track back and press efficiently while conserving enough energy to attack as well and the striker needs to be able to drop deep and link up well. The defensive midfielder however has to press, break up plays, defend area rather than man mark (zonal marking) and also help in maintaining possession.

Mikel seems to easily fit in while others have to train to fit into their roles, and this is why he ended up as one of our best players on the pitch. The problem is that he has to deliver consistent performances, and only time will tell if he can. Ramires and Mikel had good communication between them, and that was well evident.

Looking at few passing graphs –


66/71 passes completed, He had a pass completion rate of 92.95% . The failed ones where mostly long balls. He basically was the person in the middle who players went to when they wanted to be relieved under pressure. He is the kind of player that will thrive when facing a side put up by Martinez.

To summarize, there isn’t much we have to be worried about. We created chances, were able to link up well but only need to work on a few mistakes and pray that luck is on our side. The Luiz conundrum, however, is something that can’t be resolved easily.

  1. Anonymous says

    Marco van ginkel and Ramires is the best combo I think. Mikel offers nothing on offense and doesn’t do any deadly passes or through balls. Van ginkels passing is much better.

    1. Yusuf Babatunde says

      u hate this guy i can see, racist

    2. manji says

      gee.. u no sabi ball joor.. give way

  2. JAYDE says

    Not only a nice article; it shows a candid analysis of the whole event. At least some fans are good watchers and not economical with the truth.

    Mikel: For the response, of van Ginkel a kid in experience being compared to Mikel is a fallacy. Were at first did you watch a Ramires & V. Ginkel combo? probably its just a personal fantasy with prejudice. Jon Mikel remains undoubtedly the best passer in Chelsea fc if not entire epl. no offense. But when sentiments sets in we seem not to be observant to such facts.

    Çech: A man I admire with his good instincts at the post. But to be candid, he was the scapegoat. Threw the ball carelessly. Should have at least get the ball to Ivanovic who’d reliably have started a counter from the flanks. I hope he learns from that.

    Luiz: Yeah, you’re probably right … the young man needs more than discipline to do better. He’s a world class player but has failed to fine tune some of his weaknesses. Being adventurous isn’t bad, but constantly going upfront and staying there often is an offence. it creates trouble esp when you don’t rem to come back.

    Generally: we have a fantastic squad. but the players would have to do better and convert their half chances lest they blame MOU for sitting on the bench.

    1. tyoember says

      Jayde, that’s a good one, keep it up. all round good views

  3. Anonymous says

    Good analysis

  4. Anonymous says

    Who to start between mata, Oscar, Schurrle, KDB, and Willian?

  5. Vaakmeisster says

    @Anonymous: No bro, you are just biased against Mikel. Mikel can do no right before Chelsea fans…thank God the coaches know his worth.
    The analysis was spot on. Luiz must take a hard look at himself for that goal. He should learn to scream at his midfield covers (for pizza’s sake he has two) to cover up for him instead of needlessly pressing when there’s more danger close to home. Terry needs to stamp his authority on Luiz, seriously.
    About Hazard; that guy needs to learn to be creative with markers. Last game, he always had 3 players on him anytime he had the ball (like most matches anyway) and he seemed overwhelmed. A Ronaldo or Messi would have used this to the advantage of the team: attract the markers to ruin the opposition’s defensive shape and make Mata and Schurrle benefit

  6. osazee says

    Mikel has also been one the very best mid field controller in chelsea fc and in the world in genera so am not surprised at all

  7. true blue says

    Please stop over rating Mikel Over here. I dont know what side of the pitch Mikel is very good at, as you are trying to say here. He is definitely not the best defensive midfielder Chelsea could have and not our best offensive player too. SMH

    1. Sherry Philips says

      You should stop watching football if you don’t understand the role of a defensive midfielder. He had a good game, played well. No one is over-rating him. He deserved it. He is the best defensive midfielder in the squad, and no one is saying he is the best offensive player. You high?

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