Naismith: I showed my worth today.
Chelsea Relegated to Bottom table.
…as Costa struggles to find his feet.
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.
However, 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.
Chelsea’s defensive woes
Chelsea’s failed pursuit of Everton centre-back John Stones and reports they had transfer deadline day offer for Paris St Germain defender Marquinhos rejected shows where manager Jose Mourinho thinks he needs strengthen.
Mourinho 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, including to deny Arouna Kone, James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku.
Mourinho’s side have now let in 12 goals this season.
‘Money can’t buy you Stones’
England international Stones handed in a transfer request but Everton held on to him and he did not take long to show his mind was firmly on the job at hand.
Chelsea striker Diego Costa nutmegged him but Stones quickly turned to get the ball before the Spain international and clear the danger early on.
When Cesar Azpilicueta stole in on the right to try to haul Chelsea back into the game, Stones also got in the way of the shot to deflect it into the side-netting.
He showed a calmness and maturity beyond his 21 years and his partnership with Phil Jagielka blends youth with experience – the latter twice putting in vital tackles on Costa in dangerous situations for the home side.
Costa scored seven goals in his first five league games of last season but has managed just one in the same number of matches so far during the current campaign.
He got little change from the Everton defence and was far from the marauding powerhouse of last season.
Costa may point to the limited service as playmakers Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard made little impact.
Mourinho sent on Radamel Falcao for the ineffective Pedro late on but it made little difference, with Everton the most likely scorers as they played on the counter-attack.