By Mollie Bennett (@molliebjourno)
Steven Naismith stepped off the bench to net a perfect hat-trick and secure a comprehensive victory for Everton over Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
The Scot entered proceedings after just nine minutes – due to an injury to Bosnian Muhamed Besic – and fired the Toffees in front in emphatic style on the 17-minute mark.
Naismith played a pass to the impressive Brendan Galloway on the left wing, and continued his run into the box, before the 19-year-old delivered a pinpoint cross, which the Scot headed home in resounding fashion.
Everton then took the game to the champions and would have extended their lead but for Chelsea’s stand-in keeper Asmir Begovic, who made two excellent saves in quick succession.
The Bosnian stopper first made a fingertip save to deny Arouna Kone, before palming James McCarthy’s low drive away from danger.
Everton deservedly doubled their lead on the 22-minute mark, when Naismith grabbed his second, just 13 minutes after making his entrance, with a fine low drive from distance.
Chelsea were stunned and looked lost for ideas until a moment of inspiration from Nemanja Matic gave the champions a lifeline.
The Londoners rallied before the break with Eden Hazard and John Terry going close, but Everton stood firm to take a deserved lead into half time.
The Toffees came out stronger in the second half and dealt with everything Chelsea threw at them, as Tim Howard stood as a spectator in the Toffees goal.
John Stones showed why he is rated so highly on Merseyside as he put in a star-studded performance, alongside captain Phil Jagielka and youngster Galloway in the Blues defence.
Man of the match Naismith put the icing on the cake for Everton, as he collected Ross Barkley’s disguised pass on 82 minutes and completed the perfect hat-trick, to become the first man to score a Premier League trio against Mourinho’s Chelsea.
The Scot’s goals capped off an excellent team performance by Everton and secured three points Evertonians particularly enjoyed, given the transfer events this summer.
As for Chelsea, Everton’s first league win at Goodison since April, condemned the champions to their worst league start since 1988, and piled more misery on Mourinho.