'A win is a win' for Tuchel after Chelsea's tough opener against Everton

Jorginho's penalty seals victory at Goodison Park on Saturday

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Chelsea put the troubles of a harrowing 2022 season behind them by fighting their way to a 1-0 win at Everton on Saturday thanks to Jorginho's penalty.

Manager Thomas Tuchel had warned last week that Chelsea were "not ready" for the new season after a gruelling tour of the United States, which included a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Arsenal, left his squad drained.

However, a new era at Stamford Bridge under the ownership of Todd Boehly and his group is picking up pace off the field with the signings of Marc Cucurella and Carney Chukwuemeka in recent days joining new arrivals Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly.

Sterling, Koulibaly and Cucurella made their debuts as Chelsea ended a run of four consecutive defeats at Goodison Park despite a patchy performance.

"We have struggled in the last seasons to get points here and we have the points," said Tuchel.

"A win is a win, it's the most important thing, but we have to get better. We are maybe not at the highest level. We have brought players in but they came in late, pre-season was a bit turbulent but the last week of training was promising."

Everton v Chelsea ratings

Chelsea peppered the home goal with 13 corners in the first half but the goal remained elusive. Just as the interval approached, Jorginho converted from the spot after Ben Chilwell has been fouled to give the visitors the lead.

It was redemption for Italy midfielder Jorginho, who saw his penalty saved by Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the Euro 2020 final last July.

Everton's pre-season preparations were rocked this week by an injury that ruled England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin out for the first six weeks of the season.

The Toffees suffered another injury blow early on when Ben Godfrey was stretchered off after coming off worse in a challenge with Kai Havertz.

"I thought we played well against a tough opponent," manager Frank Lampard told the BBC. "I thought the penalty was the only difference between the teams.

"One tiny lack of focus and they got their goal. I felt a draw would be a fair result."

Meanwhile, Tuchel revealed defender Marcos Alonso was not included in Chelsea's line-up for their opening match of the Premier League season as he wants to leave the club.

"He asked to leave and we agreed to his wish," Tuchel said. "That is why it would not have made sense to put him on the pitch."

Having given new £60m left-back Marc Cucurella a debut off the bench, Tuchel is ready to allow Alonso to return to his Spanish homeland.

Updated: August 07, 2022, 8:14 AM
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