EPL...Everton 3-1 Chelsea: 'You're Getting Sacked In The Morning', Toffees Taunt Mourinho

The feeling of helplessness and crisis surrounding Jose Mourinho deepened at Goodison Park when a vibrant Everton side inspired by youth and verve inflicted another defeat on a Chelsea team that is looking tired, old and lost as it slides towards the bottom of the table.

A superb hat-trick from substitute Steven Naismith and a quite sumptuous defensive performance from Chelsea transfer target John Stones consigned Chelsea to their third defeat in five games this season. The season may be young but it already feels as if the title has slipped from the champions’ grasp. This felt like an ominous result for Mourinho, who had a meeting with the club’s owner Roman Abramovich at the club’s Cobham training ground on Friday.

Abramovich is not a patient man and even though Mourinho has a special place in the hearts of Chelsea fans, his position may be growing precarious.

Chelsea now have only four points from their first five games and star players like Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas look shadows of the men they were last season. Even the sublime Eden Hazard is struggling to impose himself on matches.

Mourinho, so often a coach who forces improvements with change, looks suddenly powerless. His team faces Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge this week and those who fear for him will remember that the first time he was in charge of the club, he left after a disappointing opening European game at home to Rosenborg. The omens, generally, are not good.

Chelsea had begun the game well. Hazard, in particular, looked back to his best, wriggling away from the close attentions of Barkley and McCarthy and curling a lofted ball down the wing to Ivanovic. Everton chased shadows and gave the ball away as soon as they got it.

Chelsea, with Mikel drafted in ahead of Willian to provide extra solidity at the base of midfield, looked comfortable and in control. Mourinho prowled the touchline, occasionally giving a thumbs-up. It seemed that order was about to be restored.

Then, with their first proper attack of the afternoon, Everton scored. With just over a quarter of an hour gone, they targeted Ivanovic – as every team seems to do now – and it paid off.

Naismith, an early substitute for the injured Besic, took the ball deep in Chelsea territory, turned and laid it off to Galloway. Galloway was given time and space to cross and he did not waste it. He hit it with curl and pace and Naismith met it on the full and powered it into the roof of the net.

The Everton fans, still exultant about Chelsea’s failure to prise away Stones, taunted Mourinho anew. ‘Sacked in the morning,’ they yelled at the Chelsea manager. ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning.’

The game was transformed. Suddenly, Everton looked irresistible. Coleman, impressive as always, drilled in a cross from the right that Kone glanced goalwards. It took a brilliant diving save from Begovic, the replacement for the injured Courtois, to keep it out.

Seconds later, Begovic was in action again, diving to his right to push a stinging shot from McCarthy round the post. But he could not hold back the blue tide and when Barkley played a short, square pass to Naismith, he lashed it low past the goalkeeper’s left hand from 20 yards and into the corner of the net.

Chelsea were stunned. Their vulnerability this season has taken everyone by surprise, not least them. So has their impotence in front of goal. Diego Costa was a largely anonymous presence again here. Even in his petulant arguments with defenders, his heart does not seem to be in it.

But just as it looked as if the match was spiralling out of their control, they regained a foothold in it. Nemanja Matic had not scored in the Premier League since he got one in a 6-3 Chelsea win at Goodison at the start of last season. It is rapidly becoming his favourite ground. 

Ten minutes before half time, he picked the ball up 30 yards out and caressed a sumptuous, curling left foot shot past Howard. It was struck so cleanly and placed so perfectly that the Everton goalkeeper had no chance.

Chelsea glimpsed salvation. Their fans were encouraged enough to poke fun at themselves and their league position. ‘We are staying up,’ they sang. The goal breathed confidence into their team, too. They forced a series of corners. Terry stole ahead of a defender but headed a Hazard cross just over.

Chelsea continued to press for an equaliser after the interval but the Everton defence stood firm. Stones remained majestic at the heart of their defence but the game remained in the balance until the 83rd minute when some brilliant interplay between Barkley and Naismith ended with Naismith driving a shot past Begovic to seal Everton’s win.