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How Edouard Mendy Angered Thiago Silva As Raheem Sterling Proves £47.5m Chelsea Point

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New season, new Chelsea? Not exactly. At least not based on the performance Thomas Tuchel’s side produced against Everton. But a victory on the opening day of the Premier League season is nothing to quibble about – even if it did only come courtesy of a Jorginho penalty.

There were bright spots at Goodison Park, a stadium the Blues hadn’t won at since 2017. Raheem Sterling, who arrived in the summer from Man City for £47.5million, was the standout attacker. Inventive, composed, and demanding, Sterling brought so much the frontline has lacked over the last two years.

At the opposite end, on the left of the Blues’ defence, Kalidou Koulibaly was dominant. Yet the Senegal international also played the best pass of the match to unlock the Everton backline and find Ben Chilwell. He was tripped, a spot-kick was awarded, and it proved Chelsea’s winner.

And let’s not overlook the performance of Thiago Silva; the grandmaster of defending. At 37 years old, the Brazilian has seen it all. Perhaps that is why he is always one step ahead of the rest of the players on the pitch.

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In the opening period, with Everton on the counter and Silva faced with two opponents, he positioned himself expertly and waited for the perfect moment to intercept an attempted pass from Demarai Gray.

The Everton forward was frustrated by Silva in the second half too. A raking pass forward momentarily highlighted the miles in the centre-back’s legs and he gestured frantically for Edouard Mendy to come and clear the ball.

The Chelsea goalkeeper, perhaps still haunted by his mistakes of last season, was hesitant and Gray was able to collect and position himself to shoot. Yet there was Silva, again in the right spot, to make a vital block. The look of anger he shot toward Mendy told its own story.

Tuchel wasn’t happy with much of Chelsea’s display either. He is a man unable to hide his emotions and frequently throughout the contest, the Blues’ head coach threw his arms into the air in frustration and complained to his coaching staff. He did witness his side come close to finding a second goal, however.

New signing Marc Cucurella, introduced late on and hugely assured, delivered the perfect low cross into the penalty area for Sterling, whose instinctive shot was deflected inches wide of Jordan Pickford’s post. The anguish on the face of the England international was clear; he wanted a debut goal.

Three points and a winning start are some consolations. But Chelsea will need to improve in the week ahead with Tottenham Hotspur set to visit Stamford Bridge next Sunday.

“We are not on the highest level,” Tuchel told Sky Sports. “Players came in late; pre-season was turbulent. But we had high training last week. Today, we had not enough movement on the ball, too many ball losses. It was a strange second half with 10 minutes extra time in the end, strange.”

The Chelsea head coach added: “I don’t want to put pressure on us or lower expectations. We should dig in, stay quiet, be humble. The next week has one headline, Tottenham.”

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