Alright, Chelsea beat Everton by three goals today—two of which it took them all of three minutes into the match to score—but that doesn't even begin to state how insane this game was. There were nine goals! There could've been three more! There was a Tim Howard head butt!
The goals came early and often. If Diego Costa's 36 second opener didn't exactly portend the ridiculous number of goals we ended up seeing, it at least alerted us to some terrible defending. No Toffee was interested in closing down the Premier League's most lethal incisive passer, Cesc Fàbregas, who neatly poked a ball behind the defense and onto the run of a criminally unharried Costa for him to slot between Tim Howard's legs.
Seemingly the next time Chelsea had the ball, they went ahead a breached the Everton back line again, this time for Ivanović to knock in. Knowing how talented Chelsea are and how great José Mourinho teams usually are at protecting leads, you could've been forgiven for changing the channel and expecting "FT: Everton 0-2 Chelsea" to scroll on the bottom of your screen about an hour and a half later.
If you did change the channel, you missed out because Everton fought on. Probably emboldened by what they felt were two dubious offside calls—Costa's first goal was close, Ivanović's was definitely wrongly upheld—and benefitting from Chelsea's relaxation, the blues took control of the match. They started to combine passes in Chelsea's half and for most of the half looked the more likely to score.
Just before halftime, Everton got the goal they deserved from a neat header from Kevin Mirallas. Going into the intermission, what could've turned into a snoozer instead was as tightly poised as the fixture appeared on paper.
The second half picked up where the first left off, with the home side regularly threatening but with Chelsea growing more into the game as well. The next goal came from a typically slithery Eden Hazard run. After easing right past James McCarthy like he didn't exist, Hazard took off down the touchline, flicked a ball across the front of the goal, where a sliding Seamus Coleman would redirect it past Howard. 3-1, Chelsea, game over again.
During Chelsea's goal celebration, Howard took issue with something either Costa or César Azpilicueta said, so he ran at a couple Chelsea players and got in their face. Things looked like they had cooled down, until Azpilcueta followed Howard back to his goal. The American with the shaved head and a beard Paul Bunyan would've been jealous of didn't take too kindly to some little Spaniard not respecting his gangster, so he drove the defender back with his forehead:
More a head push than a head butt, but everyone got the point. Don't fuck with Timmy.
Inspired by this bit of fiery leadership from their keeper, Everton pulled another goal back almost immediately when Steven Naismith scored on the break. With over 20 minutes left to play, you couldn't count out Everton coming back to win the thing or Chelsea putting the match to bed with a couple more goals of their own.
Ultimately, it was the latter, though the tension in the match remained until the very end. Not even five minutes after Naismith's goal, Nemanja Matić gave Chelsea another two-goal lead when his shot from outside the box found the back of the net after a deflection.
Matić's strike was the first in a three-goals-in-three-minutes flurry. Everton substitute Samuel Eto'o, who played (poorly) for Chelsea last season got on the scoresheet two minutes later, no doubt hoping to pique his new nemesis, Mourinho. But then Chelsea came right back seconds later through Ramires.
Despite the two-goal advantage, Everton still looked like they could get back into the match until the man who started proceedings, Costa, settled it right before stoppage time. The Soccer Gods were appropriately sated with the nine goals and atrocious defending on both sides, and eventually the final whistle blew.
The only thing all of this means is that the Premier League is where narrative goes to die. A match that, before kickoff, looked like an early test for two top-5 table finishers quickly turned into Chelsea's coronation as this season's team to beat and Everton's regression to the mean after last year's Champions League near-miss, then made a hard right into a scrappy Toffee fight-back showing their continued class and justifying their top-4 aspirations, then ping-ponged between some version of those two stories before everyone with a brain just sat back and enjoyed the show. Because wow, what a show it was.