Chelsea traveled to Goodison Park to face former club great Frank Lampard and Everton on Merseyside and came away with all three points to start their 2022-23 Premier League campaign with an expected win away from home.
A loan goal scored by Italian international midfielder Jorginho was the lone difference maker on the evening between the two sides, and some may feel that the football under Tuchel is still not up to the required standard if the Blues are meant to track down title favorites Manchester City.
Everton may possibly feel a bit hard done given the level of their performance in certain stages of proceedings, particularly in the first half, which showed promise that they should be in good stead to avoid another relegation scrap with the current squad irrespective of possible additions before the close of the transfer window.
The Toffees crafted a few half-decent chances on the night, with a header from James Tarkowski forcing an acrobatic save from Édouard Mendy.
But there is already one massive concern for Lampard after Ben Godfrey was stretchered off while on oxygen and taken to the hospital after what looks like a serious lower-leg injury, with footage showing his right leg fully stabilized when being removed from the playing surface.
As for the Blues, the result will be all that mattered while Chelsea’s main summer signings proved their worth, with Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, and Marc Cucurella all looking bright in their respective performances.
Everton player ratings
Jordan Pickford (6.5): The England international continues to make head-scratching decisions at times but he was decent on the evening overall
Nathan Patterson (6): Struggled in certain phases and was found wanting on a number of occasions but it was a decent enough performance from the Scottish youngster
James Tarkowski (7): You know what you get with Tarkowski and he proved his summer acquisition to be a smart bit of business thus far. Could have scored as well, but it was a very solid debut
Yerry Mina (6): A sub-par outing from the Colombian international, who still looks to not have shaken the level of inconsistency he brings to the table, and may be under threat to lose his place
Ben Godfrey (N/A): Lasted a little over ten minutes before being stretchered off - with oxygen - in what looks to be an unfortunate serious injury for the Toffees defender
Vitalii Mykolenko (6.5): A booking maybe reduces his rating here but the Ukrainian international had a pretty decent outing and showed a willingness to contribute in the final third that will be needed
Demarai Gray (6): Gray was one of the better overall performers across the entirety of last season once Lampard came in the door, but he was off the boil a bit here
Abdoulaye Doucouré (6.5): Doucouré was brilliant last season for Everton before an untimely injury and though he wasn’t at his sharpest, he was still decent. Winning five tackles helped the club along as well
Alex Iwobi (6.5): Utilized in central midfield tonight, the winger/attacking midfielder was relatively solid throughout proceedings and could have added versatility in his locker this season
Dwight McNeil (7): A good debut from the former Burnley winger, who showed that he could be capable of bringing the creativity that Everton needs while being defensively responsible
Anthony Gordon (6): There could be big things to come from Gordon moving forward so it is hard to judge him tonight against Chelsea, but he certainly didn’t do enough to suggest he should start over a fit Calvert-Lewin
Mason Holgate (sub; 7): It was a good performance from Holgate who had the tough task of coming on for the injured Godfrey, but put in a shift that was one of the better ones on the night for the Toffees
Dele Alli (sub; 6): How the mighty have fallen. His substitute appearance after coming in for Dwight McNeil was sub-par by comparison and justified his starting on the bench
Rúben Vinagre (sub; 6): Difficult to judge Vinagre on a 20-minute cameo. Okay overall but unlikely to usurp Mykolenko at this stage
Chelsea player ratings
Édouard Mendy (7): A calm but good performance from the Senegal shot-stopper but he did come up with a top-class reactionary saved when he tipped Tarkowski’s header over the bar
César Azpilicueta (7): Chelsea may regret letting Azpilicueta go this summer and today showed he still has something to offer the club. He was good throughout
Thiago Silva (7): Solid from the Brazilian veteran, who looked settled next to debutant Kalidou Koulibaly as he continues to defy the years with a good display
Kalidou Koulibaly (7.5): An excellent debut by the veteran Senegalese center-back, who was a rock in defense while being a dominant force in the air as expected.
Reece James (7): Ineffective while on duty taking corners on the evening but other than that, James continues to prove why the right-back spot in the senior squad is unquestionably his
N’Golo Kanté (7.5): Though he made one or two poor decisions when in possession, the French midfielder was as dominant as ever in the middle of the park
Jorginho (7): Solid through the middle as always through reliable possession and distribution. The loan goalscorer on the night after his match-winner from the penalty spot
Ben Chilwell (6.5): A decent enough outing from the England international but he still struggled in certain phases of play and may have shown why the club invested in Marc Cucurella
Mason Mount (7): Reliable in possession and when on the ball while being effective in his distribution as he typically is. A few chances fell to him, but overall he had a good outing
Raheem Sterling (7): A good debut from the England star. Though he was dispossessed seven times, his quality on the ball and combination play showed promise. Should grow in influence
Kai Havertz (6.5): An enigma since his arrival to Chelsea. His talent is unquestioned, but he still struggles to truly fit in under Thomas Tuchel, but was okay overall tonight
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (sub; 6): Nothing special from the Blues academy product but was hardly a problem area during the 25-minutes of action he received off the bench
Christian Pulisic (sub; 6.5): The United States international star was proactive after coming off the bench while trying to make things happen using his pace and direct movement to decent effect
Armando Broja (sub; 6): Lively and worked hard through the middle while earning a dangerous free kick for Chelsea. Could push for a start if Kai Havertz cannot produce the goods
Marc Cucurella (sub; 6.5): Good after he came on, and showed his qualities when going forward but also in terms of his ability to be progressive when passing. Would have a higher rating with more minutes
Conor Gallagher (sub; N/A): Came on with seconds remaining