Chelsea vs. Everton: Five Things We Learned As Avaro Morata Stars and Conte's Champions Return to Form

Alvaro Morata
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata at Wembley Stadium, London, August 6. Dan Mullan/Getty

There has been a darkness over Stamford Bridge over the last three months, an ominous cloud that made that day in May, when John Terry and Gary Cahill lifted the Premier League trophy, seem like a distant memory. But not on Sunday. No, on Sunday, as Everton traveled to west London, the sky was blue, the sun shone and scorched. Chelsea was red hot.

Alvaro Morata is excelling in difficult circumstances since moving from Madrid to London for a club record fee this summer. After playing a role in both goals in the 2-0 win over Everton, assisting then scoring, Morata has already shown his potential for the champions. Willian and Pedro caused the Everton back line problems all afternoon, while Cesc Fabregas dictated from midfielder for the hosts. Admittedly, Everton made it look easy for Chelsea. Ronald Koeman's team, which has hopes of Champions League football next season, struggled to truly worry Antonio Conte's team.

Here, Newsweek looks at five things we learned as Chelsea looked back to its title-winning best on Sunday:

Home Comforts For Conte

Even though it may not look like it this season, Antonio Conte's life has gotten easier already this summer. The Italian has had a slight moan about the lack of signings at Stamford Bridge and admitted there were times his future in west London was in doubt. But there were two key reasons why Conte is happier this season, and they were sat behind him at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Elisabetta Conte, the Chelsea manager's wife, and their daughter Vittoria have moved to London this summer. "Honestly for sure this season wasn't easy for me about my family, because we decided my wife and my daughter would stay in Italy to allow my daughter to finish school," Conte said in May. They both sat behind the dugout for the Everton match, Conte's daughter wearing a Chelsea shirt with "Champions 17" on the back.

Morata Ready For A Beautiful Scrap

Ever since arriving in England, the pressure has been on for Alvaro Morata. With Diego Costa awol and refusing to return to west London, Morata is Chelsea's main man in attack, a role he has not been used to at either Real Madrid or Juventus. The 24-year-old has shown his potential already, scoring and assisting in his debut against Burnley, but also missing a sitter in the victory over Tottenham at Wembley last weekend. Here, he was surrounded. An Everton back three consisted of Michael Keane, Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka, covered by a defensive midfield of Idrissa Gueye and Tom Davies. But when the ball spilled out to Cesar Azipilcueta with five minutes remaining of the first half, and the Spaniard whipped in an inviting, arching cross, Morata was unchallenged. He leapt high and directed his header past Jordan Pickford. After setting up Cesc Fabregas for the first goal, Morata already has two assists and two goals to his name at Stamford Bridge. Diego who?

Everton Has Four Days To Add to Attack

Everton, so far, has been the surprise package in the transfer window so far this summer. The Merseyside club has backed Ronald Koeman, opening up the purse as wide as can be, sparking talk of whether the Toffees can mount a top-four challenge. But even though the core of the team may be considerably stronger, with Keane in defense, Pickford in goal, plus Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney supporting the attack, there is still no replacement for Romelu Lukaku. Sandro, signed from Malaga, is an industrious forward but not once did he concern the Chelsea defense. Dominic Calvert-Lewin impressed in the draw with Manchester City last weekend and had a positive cameo here, but he is still only 20 years old. Koeman knows that, and he also knows how much Everton will miss Lukaku. The purse will need to be dipped into further in the next four days if those top-four dreams are to be any more than just that.

A Not So Delightful Debut

After scoring a stunning goal from 50 yards in the Europa League on Thursday night, Gylfi Sigurdsson's Premier League debut wasn't quite so thrilling. The Icelandic midfielder, a club record signing, started on the left of the attack for Everton but barely had any involvement in the game. Everton paid £44 million for his creativity, but he needs the support. The introduction of Calvert-Lewin and Aaron Lennon breathed life into Everton and aided Sigurdsson, but Koeman knows his new star man will need more.

And Finally, Chelsea Shows Its Dynamism

At Wembley last weekend, Chelsea was dominated by Tottenham while also showing a sense of control. Conte's team can win ugly; we know that. But, here, with Fabregas back in the line-up, playing at home, Conte put his team out to dominate—and it did just that. Chelsea enjoyed more possession, had 12 more shots than the opposition, and seven more on target. The champion looked back to its best, dynamic and adaptable. The sun is once again shining over Chelsea and Conte.

Chelsea vs. Everton: Five Things We Learned As Avaro Morata Stars and Conte's Champions Return to Form | Sports