Chelsea 2-0 Everton
by Amar Azam
at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte yesterday issued a determined response to suggestions that he is ready to walk away from the club if he doesn’t get his way in the transfer market.
His reigning champions saw off a lacklustre Everton side through first-half goals from Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata.
However, after the match, he was forced to bat away questions surrounding his immediate future at Chelsea.
“My message to the fans is always the same, I am totally committed to the club and to improving the team,” said the Italian.
“When you want to strengthen your squad you have to give your opinion, and speak with your club.”
Meanwhile heading into the final few days before the transfer window is slammed shut, Conte refused to be drawn on any questions relating to Chelsea’s activities.
He added: “The club is working very hard to strengthen our squad.
But I am ready to work with the players I have here.”
Despite the continued absence of influential playmaker Eden Hazard, Chelsea dominated their opponents on a sweltering day in west London.
After a period of sustained pressure, Chelsea took the lead through Fabregas on 27 minutes.
The Spaniard applied the finish to a fine move involving Willian and Morata as Chelsea looked to build upon their victory over their recent Tottenham Hotspur.
The home side were further ahead five minutes before the interval when Morata rose high to convert a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta.
For Chelsea’s supporters, this was an altogether more pleasing performance than last time around at Stamford Bridge when they were beaten by Burnley on the opening weekend of the season.
The impressive Pedro nearly added a third for his side on 58 minutes when he unleashed a fine drive from the edge of the penalty area that flew past the post.
Moments later, Victor Moses was through on goal, but his tame shot didn’t trouble Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Everton’s players only threatened near the end of the match, but by then, the points were secured for Chelsea.
Everton’s side featured Wayne Rooney and new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson, but they did little to warrant taking anything from the match. Manager Ronald Koeman, however, could not fault the effort of his players.
“You need to be at your best to get a result here,” said the Dutchman. “I will defend my players. I am proud that they fought to the end.
“We were better in the second half, but still not good enough.”
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