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    Everton massively dent Chelsea’s top-four hopes

    18 March 2019 | Premier League | Opinion
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    Everton massively dent Chelsea’s top-four hopes
    Silvi Photo / Shutterstock.com

    Chelsea suffered what was a frustrating 2-0 defeat at inconsistent Everton on Sunday, as goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson sealed the win for the Merseysider’s.

    In truth, Chelsea should have been out of sight at half-time. The Blues had a number of chances to take the lead in the first period, including Eden Hazard hitting the post with a deflected effort.

    However, Everton were that poor in the first half that it was almost too easy for the visitors. They got complacent and probably believed that a goal would eventually arrive. Unfortunately for the Blues, the home side came out for the second half like a different team.

    Suddenly the Toffees looked dangerous and were winning second balls and offering an attacking threat, something they did not in the first period. The second half performance was probably how Everton boss Marco Silva always wants his team to play.

    Despite still having possession in the second half, the visitors struggled to fashion the same chances and when they did the home defence were on hand to snuff out the danger.

    The result leaves Chelsea’s hopes of securing a Champions League place through the league in a perilous position, which leaves head coach Maurizio Sarri’s job also in a perilous state.

    The Blues are still only three points behind fourth-place Arsenal in the race for a Champions League place this season. However, the Gunners have superior goal difference and a much more favourable run in until the end of the season.

    Sarri needs to find a solution to the Blues recent poor away form, as they have now lost four of their last five matches away from home in the top-flight. The poor record away from Stamford Bridge has played a key role in their descent down the table.

    If Sarri is to have any hope of staying beyond the summer, then he must turn things around quickly or he could be heading for the Stamford Bridge exit door.

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    OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
    1. Liverpool 46 16 15 1 0 40 14 26
    2. Leicester City 38 16 12 2 2 39 10 29
    3. Manchester City 32 16 10 2 4 44 19 25
    4. Chelsea 29 16 9 2 5 31 24 7
    5. Manchester United 24 16 6 6 4 25 19 6
    6. Wolverhampton 24 16 5 9 2 23 19 4
    7. Tottenham 23 16 6 5 5 30 23 7
    8. Sheffield United 22 16 5 7 4 19 16 3
    9. Arsenal 22 16 5 7 4 24 24 0
    10. Crystal Palace 22 16 6 4 6 14 18 -4
    11. Newcastle United 22 16 6 4 6 17 23 -6
    12. Brighton 19 16 5 4 7 20 24 -4
    13. Burnley 18 16 5 3 8 21 29 -8
    14. Everton 17 16 5 2 9 19 28 -9
    15. Bournemouth 16 16 4 4 8 18 24 -6
    16. West Ham 16 16 4 4 8 18 28 -10
    17. Aston Villa 15 16 4 3 9 23 28 -5
    18. Southampton 15 16 4 3 9 18 35 -17
    19. Norwich City 11 16 3 2 11 17 34 -17
    20. Watford 9 16 1 6 9 9 30 -21

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