Match ends, Everton 3, Chelsea 6.
Everton 3-6 Chelsea
- Chelsea top of the table with three wins from three
- Diego Costa scores for the third game running for Chelsea
- Cesc Fabregas claims his fourth assist of the season
- Samuel Eto'o scores against former club with first touch
Diego Costa scored twice as Chelsea clinched a thrilling victory over Everton to keep up their 100% start to the new Premier League season.
The Toffees fought back from conceding two goals in the first three minutes and had hope of a remarkable comeback as the sides traded five goals in a manic 10-minute second-half spell.
But ultimately Jose Mourinho's side survived an incredible match to take the three points with a performance that showed their progress since a 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park this time last season.
Back then, goals were hard to come by for a Chelsea side often maligned as dull and lacking a cutting edge in attack, something nobody could accuse them of this time around.
Even after discarding £50m striker Fernando Torres this week, they demonstrated how much their summer signings have improved them going forward - albeit assisted here by some shambolic Everton defending.
Costa ensured he kept up his record of scoring in every game since his £32m move from Atletico Madrid when he found the net after just 35 seconds, running on to a perfectly weighted pass from another new arrival, Cesc Fabregas.
Moments later Branislav Ivanovic made it 2-0, although there was a hint of offside about his finish from Ramires's pass.
Things could have got even worse for Everton after eight minutes when their goalkeeper Tim Howard clearly caught the ball outside his area as he dashed out to beat Costa to another Fabregas through-ball, but it was not spotted by the officials.
|Highest scoring Premier League matches|
|This match is the joint seventh highest scoring match in Premier League history after: Portsmouth 7-4 Reading (2007), Tottenham 6-4 Reading (2007), Tottenham 9-1 Wigan Athletic (2009), Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal (2011), Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle (2012) and West Brom 5-5 Manchester United (2013). There have been 12 other Premier League matches containing nine goals.|
Instead of being down to 10 men, Everton were able to belatedly find their feet in the game.
They thought they had pulled a goal back when Sylvain Distin turned the rebound home after Romelu Lukaku - sold by Mourinho this summer - had crashed a header against the bar, but the French defender was correctly flagged offside.
And, despite enjoying plenty of pressure, the Toffees had to wait until the stroke of half-time to reduce the deficit, when Kevin Mirallas met Seamus Coleman's header and expertly steered a header of his own into the corner of the net.
But the home side's exploits in attack were not being matched by their efforts in defence, and they were lucky to survive when Costa broke clear again but Howard turned his shot round the post with an outstretched leg.
Everton's backline did not heed the warning and the Toffees fell 3-1 down after 67 minutes with another goal they will feel they should have stopped.
Eden Hazard was allowed to cut in from the left and fire in a shot that deflected off Coleman and past Howard, with Costa's celebration bringing an angry response from the home keeper.
That was the cue for a crazy spell in which every attack seemed to end in a goal, Steven Naismith reducing the deficit again two minutes later with a precise finish.
Everton's joy lasted only until Nemanja Matic's shot nicked off Distin and flew into the bottom corner to make it 4-2.
And although Samuel Eto'o - another former Chelsea striker - marked his debut with a deft headed goal as the hosts replied again, Ramires appeared to have rounded off the scoring by making it 5-3 with his opportunistic finish.
Fittingly, however, the final word would go to Costa who added a goal in the 90th minute to go with his first-minute strike. After another Everton mistake, by substitute Muhamed Besic, the ball was fed to Spain international, who made no mistake with a low angled finish.
- 24HowardBooked at 69mins
- 7McGeadySubstituted forEto'oat 70'minutes
- 10LukakuSubstituted forBesicat 89'minutes
- 7Santos do NascimentoBooked at 64mins
- 22WillianSubstituted forMikelat 75'minutes
- 4FàbregasBooked at 81minsSubstituted forDrogbaat 89'minutes
- 10E HazardSubstituted forFilipe Luísat 83'minutes
- 19Diego CostaBooked at 56mins
- 3Filipe Luís
- Jonathan Moss
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Everton 3, Chelsea 6.
Foul by Muhamed Besic (Everton).
Didier Drogba (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Gary Cahill (Chelsea) because of an injury.
Corner, Everton. Conceded by John Terry.
Attempt blocked. Samuel Eto'o (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Goal! Everton 3, Chelsea 6. Diego Costa (Chelsea) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by John Obi Mikel.
Substitution, Everton. Muhamed Besic replaces Romelu Lukaku.
Substitution, Chelsea. Didier Drogba replaces Cesc Fàbregas.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Ramires (Chelsea) because of an injury.
Kevin Mirallas (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Filipe Luis (Chelsea).
Substitution, Chelsea. Filipe Luis replaces Eden Hazard.
Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Samuel Eto'o (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea).
Attempt blocked. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leighton Baines.