Naismith’s hat-trick compounds Chelsea’s woes


Steven Naismith scored a hat-trick as Chelsea’s struggles continued with a third loss in their opening five league games following a defeat at Everton.

Naismith came on for the injured Muhamed Besic early on and headed in Brendan Galloway’s cross before rifling in a shot to put the Toffees 2-0 up.

Chelsea responded when Nemanja Matic scored with a superb 30-yard effort, but the visitors struggled for chances and Naismith slotted in a late angled strike to complete his treble.

Chelsea’s tally of four points from a possible 15 means they have made their worst start to a top-flight season since 1986.

The Blues lost only three games on the way to the Premier League title last season – but after losing three already this campaign they are 11 points behind top-flight leaders Manchester City, who beat Crystal Palace on Saturday.

“It is better not to look at the table,” said Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, adding that “For me it is the first time I look and see my team in that position. I don’t look at the table, I look to players, the training session we have and the matches. Our next match in the Premier League is against Arsenal and we are candidates to win.”

Chelsea’s failed pursuit of Everton centre-back John Stones and reports they had a transfer deadline day offer for Paris St-Germain defender Marquinhos rejected shows where Mourinho thinks he needs strengthen.

The Portuguese chose Kurt Zouma to partner John Terry, who was back from a one-game suspension, in central defence and left Gary Cahill on the bench.

He also recalled John Mikel Obi to partner Matic and reinforce the defensive side of his midfield.

But the Blues were quickly two down, while keeper Asmir Begovic – in for the injured Thibaut Courtois – was regularly called upon and made several smart saves, denying Arouna Kone, James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku.
Mourinho’s side have now let in 12 goals this season.

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