As featured in royalbluemersey.sbnation.com

If Everton’s slick home win over Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend was one for the purists, today’s draw at Chelsea was more for the pragmatists.

There were few, if any, silky combinations between Gylfi Sigurðsson and Richarlison, or penetrative ventures forward from Seamus Coleman or Lucas Digne.

The Blues, despite having chances, had little choice but to defend for the majority of the goalless draw, and did so with commendable cohesion, the like of which was rarely, if ever seen in the long-forgotten days of last season.

Everton made only one change to the side which comfortably saw off the Seagulls; with loanee Kurt Zouma ineligible to face his parent club, Yerry Mina was handed his first start in a competitive game in royal blue.

Mina completed 90 minutes as an Everton player for the first time in the Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

And the Blues started the brighter, undeterred by the daunting prospect of facing a side unbeaten in all competitions this season, as Marco Silva’s men looked to take the game to the hosts from the offset.

André Gomes headed just over the bar from Digne’s excellent corner inside three minutes, and soon after, Bernard narrowly fired wide with a half-volley from the edge of the penalty area.

But Chelsea began to apply more pressure on the Everton defence as the first period wore on, and came closest to breaking the deadlock through full-back Marcos Alonso on 40 minutes.

A clever move

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