Saturday analysis: Costa comes up trumps again to make most of City stumble
The first real test of Chelsea's mettle, it was billed as. And pass it they did, but not without a hiccup or three that left manager Jose Mourinho ecstatic and apoplectic in equal measure.
The Special One's debut defeat of the last campaign had come at Goodison Park, a venue where the Blues had lost on four of their previous five league visits. But any thoughts of a repeat were discarded when both Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic rifled home inside the opening three minutes.
Yet the usual Mourinho method of shutting up shop didn't materialise. Everton, who had gone from conceding late goals in their opening two league encounters to collapsing early on, settled into their rhythm and were well on top by the time Kevin Mirallas reduced the arrears moments before the break; the Belgian firing in 4 first-half efforts and making more attacking third passes than anyone else.
Having started the scoring in the first minute, Costa fittingly finished it in the 90th, smashing home to put an end to the mayhem that had seen five goals in the space of 10 second-half minutes. The Brazilian, with four strikes in three Premier League appearances, looks every inch the striker Chelsea were crying out for last season, and is set to be kept on his toes by Loic Remy.
"I played against him in the Champions League and realised he was a top player, but when you see him every day you realise he's literally got everything," said skipper John Terry. "He's got off to a flying start and long may it continue, because that was the difference today."
Martinez's men remain winless despite leading in their opening two games and twice reducing the deficit to one goal against Chelsea. The Spaniard believes Everton are suffering from a crisis of confidence.
"We were too soft with our defending, every time the ball was around our 18-yard box we had a real fear that the ball was going to end up in our net. Now we've got 10 goals conceded in three games and that is not like us at all. We kept 15 clean sheets last campaign. Our attacking play was phenomenal, we need to bring that intensity and that feeling to our defensive play."