Boss: Scoreline Was Harsh

by Mike Taylor
@Everton

Ronald Koeman praised the clinical nature of Chelsea’s performance but believes the 3-0 scoreline was harsh on his Everton side.

The Blues fell to their first Premier League home defeat of 2017 after Pedro’s long-range effort, Gary Cahill’s fortuitous goal and Willian’s late strike earned the visitors all three points.

For long spells, however, Everton more than matched the league leaders and went close to opening the scoring within two minutes of the first whistle when Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck the post.

“I think we did well,” said Koeman. “We started well and we were a bit unlucky in the first minute by hitting the post. We made some mistakes in possession and that made them really dangerous at times in the first half, but I think we did a good job up until it went 1-0.

“After that, it makes it more difficult to create chances and then, of course, if they get a little bit more space then they are a team who can kill the game with the second goal. The third goal was high quality [showing] the offensive side of Chelsea. Maybe we didn’t deserve the defeat by three goals, but that is football.

“I don’t think physically they had too much for us, but they were confident in the way they defended their lead, they were the more experienced team and they managed to go 2-0 up. They waited for space, waited for chances. I think comparing our offensive play to theirs was the difference today. They were really clinical.”

A shining light in an otherwise disappointing afternoon was the performance of midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, who man-marked Chelsea’s Eden Hazard throughout and restricted the influential Belgian’s impact on the contest.

When asked about Gana’s performance, Koeman added: “He did really well. It is very difficult to mark a play like Eden Hazard. I thought he controlled him, he was aggressive and we stopped one of the strengths of Chelsea today. It was an outstanding performance by Gana.”

Koeman also offered an update on Morgan Schneiderlin, who missed the game with a thigh injury.

He said: “It’s not really bad. It’s not the end of the season for Morgan. Maybe next week, maybe not - but it will not take longer than 10 days.”

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