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Steven Naismith celebrates opening goal against Chelsea

Naismith hat-trick stuns Chelsea

WT24 Desk

Chelsea’s early-season woes continued as substitute Steven Naismith’s hat-trick inspired Everton to a 3-1 victory over the champions at Goodison Park, Sky Sports reports. The result condemns Chelsea to their worst league start since 1988 – they now have four points from their opening five games – and the 12 goals they have conceded is more than anyone else in the Premier League.

Meanwhile Everton’s second victory of the season sees them claim a long-awaited first home win since their defeat of Manchester United in April. Having been brought on in place of the injured Muhamed Besic after only nine minutes Naismith rounded off a great move to head the hosts in front on 17 minutes. After stand-in Chelsea ‘keeper Asmir Begovic had denied Arouna Kone and James McCarthy with two brilliant saves, the Scotland international doubled the Toffees’ tally with a low strike on 22 minutes.

Chelsea clawed themselves back into the game when Nemanja Matic’s thunderous drive halved the deficit ten minutes before the interval. But the Chelsea comeback failed to materialise as Naismith became the first player to score a hat-trick against Jose Mourinho in the Premier League with his third eight minutes from time. The focus ahead of the game concerned Everton defender John Stones as he lined up against the side who saw had three bids rejected for him over the summer.

Stones made a decent start to the game as he set out to prevent a repeat of the last season’s 6-3 defeat to Chelsea, where the visitors raced in an early lead.  Everton’s cause was seemingly not helped when Besic, who was filling in for the injured Tom Cleverley, sustained a hamstring injury inside the opening 10 minutes, with Naismith entering the fray.  But it was a game-changing substitution as the Scot struck within 10 minutes of coming on to put the hosts firmly in the driving seat.

Having escaped the clutches of Matic and John Obi Mikel in midfield, he played Brendan Galloway in down the left before racing into the area to head the full-back’s cross beyond Begovic from close range.  Begovic momentarily kept Everton’s lead at one goal as he expertly denied Kone with a fingertip save, before pawing McCarthy’s long-range effort out for a corner.

But the Bosnia international was helpless as Naismith gathered Ross Barkley’s centre and rifled home his, and Everton’s second, on 22 minutes. The champions rallied and reduced the arrears when Matic beat Howard with an exquisite strike on 36 minutes, and the Blues came close to levelling things up before half-time as Eden Hazard, John Terry and Pedro had chances.

But Everton found sanctuary at the break and, when the second half restarted, the game resumed more even in nature.  Chelsea struggled to create a clear opening on goal in the second 45, with Howard not called into action at any point.  And Naismith was left to cap off a perfect afternoon as he gathered Barkley’s disguised pass before drilling the ball home for his third on 82 minutes.

Everton: Howard (7), Coleman (7), Stones (8), Jagielka (7), Galloway (7), McCarthy (7), Barry (7), Besic (5), Barkley (8), Kone (7), Lukaku (7).

Used subs: Naismith (9), Funes Mori (6), Lennon (6).

Chelsea: Begovic (8), Ivanovic (7), Zouma (6), Terry (6), Azpilicueta (6), Mikel (6), Matic (6), Pedro (7), Fabregas (6), Hazard (6), Costa (6).

Used subs: Falcao (5), Kenedy (6), Willian (5).

Man of the Match: Steven Naismith

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