Chelsea slipped to 5th place in the table as the Blues slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Everton on Saturday.
Goals from Pienaar and Denis Stracqualursi ensured that the home team grabbed all three points and thereby increased the competition for the final Champions League spot.
Chelsea started the game without the likes of Captain John Terry and Ramires. With Meireles, Lampard and Essien in the midfield, it was a conventional 4-3-3 for the Blues but it created absolutely no impact whatsoever to the Everton defence.
Chelsea failed to settle and things started very badly when Pienaar sent the Toffees ahead in the 6thminute of the game with a neat shot past goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Chelsea dominated possession after going ahead but failed to break into Everton’s defence. It was not until the 25thminute that Chelsea had their first real threat when Mata’s pass from the side to Sturridge resulted in a shot that was well defended by Phil Neville.
Chelsea had their best chance in the 28th minute when Mata’s low cross was met by Lampard. But his left footed shot went just wide of the post. That was a chance missed for Chelsea considering Lampard’s calibre.
In the last minute of the first half, Torres made his way into the box and was ‘supposedly’ tripped. Massive appeals for a penalty by Torres were denied by the referee.
With that, Chelsea went into the break 1-0 down, with the 4-3-3 formation proving ineffective yet again.
AVB probably didn’t learn anything from the 1st half as Chelsea began the 2nd half from where they left the 1st, plenty of possession but no real threat to the Toffees’ defence.
Loud chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ were heard from the away section when AVB replaced Essien with Malouda.
AVB probably knew what he was doing -Shifting from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 with Mata in the hole, but the reality was that he took off Chelsea’s best player.
The introduction of Malouda and a change in formation didn’t add any creativity whatsoever and in the 71st minute the game will killed off when Chelsea went 2-0 down.
This time though, it was Chelsea’s left-back who was at fault. Cole was dispossessed after a hard, but perfect tackle by Phil Neville. The resulting ball was picked up by Donovan who’s released Stracqualursi to score.
Meanwhile, AVB called for further abuse on himself from the travelling fans when he replaced Mata with Lukaku. The intentions were clear, but the reason why he replaced Chelsea’s only genuine creative player for Lukaku was a mystery.
Lukaku had a half chance inside the box but his left shot was well saved by Tim Howard. That was probably the only real save Howard made all day.
With no more chances being created till the final whistle by both sides, Chelsea slumped to a defeat, and out of the top four thus increasing the pressure on the young shoulders of Andre Villas Boas.