Viewers of today’s clash between Everton and Chelsea have taken to social media in their droves to discuss the tactics employed by the hosts.
The two sides went head to head at Goodison Park this afternoon, with the hosts coming into proceedings on the back of a remarkable upturn in form over recent weeks.
The Toffees endured a nightmare start to the campaign and were considered as being involved in a genuine relegation battle up to a few weeks ago, when Sam Allardyce replaced caretaker boss David Unsworth at the helm for the Merseysiders.
However, they have since earned 5 wins and a draw from their last 6 outings, with Allardyce having introduced some much-needed steel to the defensive ranks of the club.
Chelsea, meanwhile, needed a last-gasp Alvaro Morata winner to put a plucky Bournemouth side to the sword in the Carabao Cup during the week, with the Blues’ win their 3rd straight following a surprise loss to West Ham two weeks ago.
The starting lineups for today’s clash were released an hour prior to kick-off, with one glaring omission for the home side.
The player in question came in the form of Wayne Rooney, who was not even included in the Toffees squad due to illness:
— Everton (@Everton) December 23, 2017
Alvaro Morata, meanwhile, missed out through suspension for visitors Chelsea, meaning the attacking trident of Willian, Pedro and Eden Hazard continued up top for the Blues:
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 23, 2017
The 90 minutes at Goodison Park unsurprisingly saw champions Chelsea on top, though the Blues majorly struggled in front of goal.
Everton, meanwhile, were content to sit back and soak up the pressure put on them by the visitors, with the likes of Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford particularly impressive.
In the end, despite having held the vast majority of possession and aiming 25 shots at Everton’s goal, Chelsea were forced to make do with a point.
Chelsea had 25 goal attempts, with 11 players having a shot. Jordan Pickford made saves from 6 different players
Everton draw their 1st home PL game of 2017, ending the year with a home PL record of P20 W15 D1 L4 pic.twitter.com/dxr3QgAVVx
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 23, 2017
Though the fixture in the end produced no goals, there has nevertheless been widespread debate regarding the 90 minutes on Merseyside, with the defensive tactics employed by Everton boss Sam Allaryce having split opinion among fans in a major way.
Check out the best reaction below:
Never has Everton being the final ‘highlights’ on @BBCMOTD felt so satisfying. Sprit of Catenaccio defending in 1970s Serie-A. In me element, lad.
— Dave Wiggins (@DWiggo) December 23, 2017
The true blue is CFC! Disgraceful display by Everton. Defending for your lives at home? Really?
— Jonas Smith (@Tiiga45Jonas) December 23, 2017
DEFENDING!!!!!!! Outstanding Everton!
— Ben (@benbluenose79) December 23, 2017
Shambolic tactic from Everton. Defending at home considered as a ‘tactical brilliance’ pfft
— Afdhal Aqib (@AfdhalAqibAJ) December 23, 2017
Damn it… just can’t seem to score. Kudos to Everton for defending well
— Muhd Firdaus (@MdFirdaus95) December 23, 2017
Why is nobody talking about how Everton were brilliant defensively today? Why is Nobody talking about The Brilliant Keane?
— Lamide (@Lamide_) December 23, 2017
Yeah the luckiest display I’ve seen in years, they call it brilliant defending but in reality those Everton players were running around not knowing where the ball is 90% of the time. Plus that Zappa sub was absolutely ridiculous, why not give Dujon Sterling a chance?
— Andrew (@ajrippo_) December 23, 2017
— Joe Finch (@joelfinch) December 23, 2017
Everton are a joke of a football club. Fans celebrating Allardyce scavenging draws. Unbeaten my arse. Only won against teams they should be beating anyway. Don’t even deserve to be 9th in the table.
— Shafiul (@IsntItShuffle) December 23, 2017
Credit to you lot. You were brilliant defensively
— Hamza (@HamzaHT98) December 23, 2017
That’s a fucking joke, one team in that whole game. Scummy Everton got away with that someee fucking how
— Thats What She Said (@JoshConte) December 23, 2017
Spend Friday night complaining about Arsenal and Liverpool not defending.
Spend Saturday afternoon moaning about Everton defending.
Because football fans.
— Michael De Asha (@MichaelDeAsha) December 23, 2017